December 15, 2011
Muslims and Christians in Egypt made common cause in agitating for the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, but the alliance is fraying. A report by The Times' Jeffrey Fleishman about the country's Coptic Christians — 10% of the population — suggests that they are developing painful second thoughts about the "Arab Spring" now that Islamist parties are in the ascendance. Like other Egyptians, Copts believe that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control after Mubarak was deposed, has overstayed its welcome.
December 11, 2011 |
Fears and worries murmur like prayers beneath the hammered crosses of the Church of the Virgin Mary. "The whole country will collapse," says Shenouda Nasri. "I'm trying to get my family out," says Samir Ramsis. "This is the Islamists' time," says George Saied. A caretaker sweeps the stones, a woman slips into a pew. But these days Egypt's minority Coptic Christians are finding little serenity. Islamist political candidates, including puritanical Salafis, are dominating parliamentary elections.
October 18, 2011 |
In keystroke bursts of poetry, defiance and humor, Egyptian activists are posting their wills on Twitter. The electronic missives, vibrant with immediacy and edged with wit, specify how organs should be donated and small sums of money spent. One activist asked that his picture not be posted on Facebook so as to spare his mother pain. Another sought to calm the country's deepening sectarianism by arranging for a grave in a cemetery shared by Christians and Muslims. "Bury me in the grassy island in [Tahrir]
October 13, 2011 |
In an attempt to stem widening criticism of their grip on power, generals in Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said Wednesday that soldiers were attacked by mobs and did not intentionally kill Coptic Christian protesters this week. The generals' comments at a news conference were the first public statements by the military on the incidents Sunday, when clashes between thousands of Christian demonstrators, thugs and military police left 22 Coptic protesters and three police officers dead and more than 300 people injured.
October 12, 2011 |
Egyptian Finance Minister Hazem Beblawi resigned Tuesday in protest of the military-led government's crackdown on Coptic Christian protesters this week that deepened sectarian tension and left 25 people dead and more than 300 injured. "Despite the fact that there might not be direct responsibility on the government's part, the responsibility lies, ultimately, on its shoulders," the state news agency MENA quoted Beblawi as saying. "The current circumstances are very difficult and require a new and different way of thinking and working.
October 9, 2011 |
At least 22 people were killed in clashes between military police and Coptic Christian protesters in the latest eruption of violence highlighting Egypt's deepening sectarian divisions since President Hosni Mubarak was driven from power in February. In the bloodiest unrest since last winter's uprising, authorities said, three soldiers and 19 protesters were killed Sunday when Copts threw Molotov cocktails at riot police outside the state Radio and Television Building in downtown Cairo.
May 16, 2011 |
Scores of mostly Coptic Christian protesters were injured when their weekend demonstration blocking a street near the heart of downtown Cairo was attacked by motorists and residents as riot police stood by, prompting new questions about the ability and willingness of Egypt's military-led government to maintain security. The attacks came hours after an explosion at the tomb of a Muslim saint in the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid and a week after sectarian clashes left 15 dead and 200 injured.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2011 |
As news spread Friday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had resigned, members of California's Coptic Christian community shared a sense of joy and relief with family and friends, many of whom had stood alongside their Muslim neighbors in Cairo and Alexandria during 18 days of pro-democracy protests. "I just burst into tears. I was so overjoyed, so proud," said Susanna Khalil, 27, an attorney in Santa Monica. Khalil's mother immigrated to the United States from Cairo in 1975 and her father, who died in 1987, served in the Egyptian air force with Mubarak.
February 3, 2011 |
The morning bells of All Saints Church beckon worshipers a little later these days, and Mass is celebrated more frequently. The schedule shift for the early service has come in response to the government-imposed overnight curfew. The extra services? Coptic Christians in Egypt's second-largest city say they have a lot of reasons to pray amid the nation's ongoing turmoil. But in a surprise even to them, many Copts say they now find themselves praying for President Hosni Mubarak's government to last as long as possible.
January 24, 2011 |
The Egyptian government announced Sunday that it had "conclusive proof" that an Al Qaeda-linked Palestinian militant group orchestrated the New Year's Day bombing outside a Coptic Christian church that killed 25 worshipers and exacerbated sectarian tensions across Egypt. Interior Minister Habib Adly blamed the attack on the Army of Islam, an extremist organization based in the Gaza Strip. The naming of foreigners as the culprit may help Egyptian authorities in easing escalating tensions between Muslims and Copts, who make up about 10% of the nation's population.