The head of the NSW Community Relations Commission has offered his sympathies to the state’s Coptic Community following fatal clashes in the streets of Cairo.
At least 24 people were killed and more than 200 injured as sectarian violence raged in downtown Cairo on Sunday, the worst since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.
Stepan Kerkyasharian said the scenes would be very distressing to Australian Copts.
“It is sad to reflect that the unity we saw during the revolution earlier in the year could be dissipated in the wake of extremist attacks on churches and members of the Coptic faith in Egypt,” he said in a statement.
“I realise that being so far away from family and friends at these difficult times only adds to the pain for Australian Copts.
“Fair-minded people around the world would be greatly disturbed by the scenes in the streets of Cairo in the past twenty four hours and would condemn all acts of violence, especially those committed as a result of religious intolerance or hatred.”
No one should be persecuted or vilified in any country for their religious beliefs, Mr Kerkyasharian said.
The rioting lasted late into the night, bringing out a deployment of more than 1000 security forces and armoured vehicles to defend the state television building along the Nile, where the trouble began.
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