The 2 year anniversary of the Alexandrian Church Bombing

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It is with great sadness, that two years on, the perpetrators of this savage attack that rocked the world have not been brought to justice. Those who incited hatred against the Copts are today enjoying total freedom in Islamist ruled Egypt whilst those who call for genuine freedom and justice are living in fear as the Muslim Brotherhood looks to force its agenda on the Egyptian people.

2011 was the year the world’s attention was focused on Egypt and its’ great revolution. It was also the year that the Coptic civil rights movement and the plight of Egypt’s Christians began to make headlines worldwide.

2011 commenced with the traditional fireworks celebrations in capital cities across the globe as a tragic event unfolded soon after midnight, in the once cosmopolitan city of Alexandria.  The Mediterranean city – now a stronghold for Islamists – witnessed fireworks of a far more fatal nature, as  CCTV recordings streamed across all major international news outlets, showing the moment of terror when a bomb exploded outside The Two Saints’ church in Alexandria; killing dozens and severely injuring over 100 people.

The timing and precision of the attack was meant to cause maximum impact, both in terms of casualties and on the psyche of a Coptic population and diaspora that refuses to be treated as second class citizens in their own country.

Rather conveniently, the Egyptian security forces guarding the church on this evening, retreated prior to the attack, fuelling speculation that the Mubarak regime itself facilitated this savage attack on its own people, and to instil fear in the hearts of the Copts and to reinforce their stranglehold on order, following the uprising in Tunisia.

Subsequent clashes between Coptic protestors and Egyptian security forces ensued for almost a week following these attacks and spread from Alexandria to Cairo and to other cities.

These events were an ideal backdrop to the Egyptian revolution that was to commence on 25th January 2011. Many Muslims joined their Coptic counterparts in protest and many were beaten and arrested following the New Years Day Alexandrian massacre.

Then came the 25th January 2011, the start of the Egyptian Revolution that was supposed to liberate the Egyptian population from tyranny once and for all. For an eighteen day period, all Egyptians set aside their differences, extremists temporarily ceased their attacks on Christians and amazing scenes of unity were witnessed in Tahrir Square, as the mainly young revolutionaries of Egypt; Muslim and Christian alike, joined hands and demanded freedom, social equality and justice.

There was an aura of excitement, optimism and fear of the unknown, after Mubarak’s dramatic departure. The Military were ushered in as heroes and protectors of the revolution in its initial days. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF promised that they would never use force against their own people.

Two years on and we have witnessed some of the worst crimes against humanity in Egypt’s modern history, with the Coptic minority enduring attack after attack by Muslim mobs, extremists, armed thugs, SCAF  and the Islamists.

Egyptian talk shows are now pre-occupied with extreme radical views and calls for restrictions on individual liberties. Anyone who objects to the opinions of the sheikhs or Islamist party leaders is labelled an infidel and many Islamic clerics, some of them well respected, have openly labelled Christians as Infidels, only further inciting hatred and violence against Egypt’s already besieged Coptic population which many believe number up to 15 million of the population, almost double the estimated 10% that is often repeated by officials.

There is no indication that Egypt’s first democratically elected President Morsi intends on bringing those responsible for many mass massacres to justice. The Alexandrian massacre and the infamous Maspero Massacre were witnessed by the world as camera’s captured the devastation.

We will continue to advocate for justice and turn every stone in our efforts to ensure that those held accountable for these brutal attacks are held accountable otherwise they will only be inspired to continue their evil works.

In the meantime we can only request that those who have moved on to the eternal life to remember us in their prayers and to pray for an end to the bloodshed. We remember the families of the martyrs of the two saints such in Alexandria in our thoughts and prayers.

 

Peter Tadros

The Australian Coptic Movement Association

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