Simmering Under The Surface: Copts and Muslims Clash in Alexandria

Last month, there were clashes between Copts and Muslims in Alexandria, Egypt. It started when someone leaked a CD of a theatrical play performed inside a church said to be disdainful of Islam. Three were killed in the clashes. The government was quick to blame a conspiracy by "external entities", or the religious parties (Muslim Brotherhood), for the soon to be held parliamentary elections. The problem is that someone to blame is always sought, whether internal or external. No one wants to admit that there are tensions brewing for decades, and that the causes often have nothing to do with religious differences. The stagnating economy, lack of real political process for change, half a century of absolutist rule, single party choking grip on all decision making, and much more. All these Here is a good analysis by Waheed Abdel Meguid in (Arabic only) Dar Al Hayat newspaper. It discusses why there are tensions, and why they have to be bravely faced and addressed, instead of finding someone to blame. Copts and Muslims have co-existed in Egypt for 14 centuries. There is no reason we cannot continue to live together for 14 more centuries.

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