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New Year’s Eve Bombing in Alexandria, Egypt

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The clock strikes midnight and all around the sounds of fireworks and celebration fill the air.  I am in Alexandria, a port city in Egypt, visiting my aunt and cousins.  I have been in Egypt for 3 weeks.  Although there are plenty of New Year’s Eve fireworks in the states, I have personally never heard so many right outside my home.  My aunt watches the tv as channel after channel celebrates the coming of 2011, Egyptian style.

My kids have been a sleep for nearly 2 hours and I am yawning with fatigue.  By 12:20, I am in bed trying to sleep despite the constant blasts of the fireworks that keep waking me up.

Finally I fall into a deep sleep until I hear the beautiful sound of the athan coming from the masjid directly under the building I am staying in.  We wake up and pray and then fall back asleep.  We are supposed to leave Alexandria in the morning to drive back to Cairo for our final week of vacation before boarding the plane back to America.  A few hours later my mom wakes me up and tell me there is bad news.

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“A car bomb exploded at 12:20 am in front of a church about 8 km from here.  21 are dead,” she says sadly.

“Were their children killed?” I ask tearfully as I look at my two precious children eating their oatmeal.

We immediately turn on the tv and search for any news.  Details are sketchy and constantly changing.  The mayor of Alexandria makes a statement claiming that Al-Qaeda terrorists are responsible.

“WHY?  Why would they do this?  What is their point?  How can they justify this?” I ask as the tears increase in my eyes.

Al-Azhar, the oldest Islamic university in the world located in Cairo, issues a statement condemning the attack, saying the attack was against all Egyptians, not just a single religious group.

I immediately wonder what the U.S. news is reporting about the incident and whether they are relaying the condemnations flowing from the Arab and Islamic world about the incident.  One of the most asked questions I receive in America is “Why don’t the Muslims condemn the terrorism done in their name?”  My answer is always the same, “They do!  Over and Over and Over.  But the media does not report it, does not give us a mouthpiece.  Search the internet and you will see.”

As we keep watching more details come out.  They report that an empty car, apparently filled with bombs, was parked in front of the mosque across the street from the Church.  Eight of the twenty-one killed were actually Muslims, including a poor man selling prayer beads on the side of the road, a woman in hijab, and several Muslim guards stationed there to protect the church-goers.

“Why are they saying it is Al-Qaeda?  The car was parked between a mosque and a church on the mosque side of the street!”  My mom exclaims in surprise.

The news-people then begin a series of interviews with doctors operating on the injured and spectators outside of the church/mosque complex.

“I am a Muslim.  I love all fellow Egyptians and I view this attack against all Egyptians.  I want people to know that I am a Muslim and I condemn what has happened,” a young Egyptian man states in broken English in an attempt to give a clear statement for any English speaking networks.

I am so deeply saddened by the event.  I am saddened by the fact that innocent people were killed. I am shaken by the proximity of the church to my children and I.  I am confused by the conflicting news reports and wonder if we will ever really know the truth of who was behind the bomb and whether or not it was a tool in a religious battle or rather some sort of twisted political calculation.

In Cairo, my parents own a flat next door to a large church complex.  We must pass by the front gates of the church each time we walk out of the building.

All I can think is, “The next one could easily be me.”

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Hebah is a Muslim American with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UIUC. She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Egyptian immigrants. She currently resides in Albuquerque, NM with her husband and two children. Hebah is a social activist who works to dispel the myths about Islam and Women in Islam through community presentations and panel discussions. She also heads Daughterz of Eve, a local Muslim girls youth group.

79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. Ify Okoye

    January 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun. The question that always gets to me is of what good does the bomber or those who plan such attacks think will be brought about by the killing of innocent people. And the people are innocent and could be anyone of us, for what crime are they being killed? May Allah azza wa jal protect us.

  2. snizami

    January 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    I am currently living at a two minutes walk from this Church and Mosque. We often walk right between the two buildings and I am told the relationship between them is good. Its impossible to imagine anyone happy about it, Muslim or Christian. Extremely sad news indeed.

    • Najya

      January 1, 2011 at 10:47 PM

      Thank you for your observations….. Prayers to those who were killed and injured…..

      • SyreaDea

        January 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        I agree with your words. Believe me the world is full of those people who believe in religious freedom and dont believe in every words of media and politics. I have many friends, christians and muslims also. Dont you think the media and politics provocate the people directly and makes all troubles because on a peaceful world they loose their power? I am really sorry that the media forgot to remember the muslim victims.

        May God be with all victims and all of us!

  3. Observer

    January 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    In before the MM staff begins to blame muslims,

    Just as a side note, the US have been directly involved in many acts of terror in the Middle East, including three that takes the cake.

    1) 1985, the car bomb outside a mosque in Beirut that killed 80 people ( mostly women and girls) and wounded 250 others, timed to explode as people were leaving and traced back to the CIA and British Intelligence.

    2) Shimon Peres’s bombing of Tunis, killing 75 people, Palestinian and Tunisian, expedited by the US and praised by Secretary of State Shultz, then unanimously condemned by the UN security Council as a “act of armed aggression”

    3) Peres’s “Iron Fist” operations directed against what the Israeli high command called “terrorist villagers” in occupied Lebanon, reaching new depths of “calculated brutality and arbitrary murder” in the words of Western diplomat familiar with the area, amply supported by direct coverage, total casualties unknown in accord with the usual convention.

    • Linda

      January 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      It’s always someone elses fault isn’t it, it sounds so stupid because there have been so very many attacks by these extremists even 9/11 was hotly disputed for years until al Qa’eda came out and admitted it. I think it’s all very well people expressing sorrow but where are your voices when your government discriminates against Christians or does not deal with general racism against the Copts and adds fuel to the fire? I live in Britain and I’m ashamed so many people go to Egpt on holiday because of the way Christians are treated in your country and you are not alone, look at how minorities are treated across the Islamic world. Islam is not peace, Islam is dominance.

      • Abu Abdillah

        January 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        Welcome to the forum Linda, I am sorry you have such a negative image about Islam and Muslims. Egyptian Christians are not discriminated against, despite claims otherwise. Their churches are protected, open, and in main streets often overshadowing neighboring mosques. They openly wear crosses by choice, hang up Christian pictures in their shops and they are almost never detained nor imprisonned unlawfully. The government is fair with them and the general populations treat each other well.

        In fact, often openly practicing Muslims have it the hardest in Arab countries, are discriminated against and often abused by their governments. You are welcome to visit Egypt anytime and see the reality for yourself. Islam calls to the Oneness of God, to worship Him alone, to be kind and helpful to others. Islam abhors violence and acts of terrorism, may God guide you to the truth.

        • sam

          January 1, 2011 at 7:29 PM

          Shame on you. The church had been persecuted in Egypt by Islam since the beginning. Please call a spade a spade. I am from Egypt there are good Muslims but the bad one are all over, and they are causing these problems. If Islam is really a peaceful religion then you guys should condemn these acts, instead of lying about and covering it up.

          • Linda (II)

            January 1, 2011 at 8:50 PM

            Sam,

            First: the good and the bad exist in all communities.

            Second: The Muslim Vs. Christian rhetoric is over played. Both communities in Egypt have their faults and mistakes so lets treat it for what it is and not make a big deal about the Christians of Egypt at every chance that opens up.

            Linda,

            I agree with you that there are plenty of terrorism from Muslims. They have their own ideological problems (parts of the muslim community at-large that is). However, please understand that the world of politics is a little more complicated than what you and I can imagine. It is not too far fitch that this attach was orchestrated by non-Muslims for political gain.

            No doubt the loss of life is dear and priceless, but also please keep in mind that the Muslim community at-large suffers more from such terroristic acts (more specifically the peaceful religious Muslim community) than any other community. Hence, it is important for us to know exactly who committed these acts so that we prevent these acts from happening again….. or to redirect the blame to the rightful owners of this shameful act (in the case it wasnt done by muslims).

            Linda (II)

        • Najya

          January 1, 2011 at 10:34 PM

          There are always two sides to every story. I have both Christian and Muslim friends in Egypt. And I know both Christian and Muslims that have been wrongfully arrested by the Egyptian government. I appreciate the fact that President Mubarak is trying to maintain peace in Egypt. He has tried to continue what President Sadat started by trying to bring peace to a region that has seen years of strife. But it is difficult when two very strong entities are involved. I believe that most Egyptian Muslims live in their own world and don’t dislike Christians but have little interaction. And I believe that most Copts if wealthy feel less oppressed. But what doesn’t happen is the other step into another’s shoes. As a Muslim would you feel oppressed if as a school child it was mandatory for you to have a religion class where you needed to learn the Bible? If you were told by your government that you needed to gain a permit to repair or even build a church? It is encouraging that government officials are stating their disgust at this heinous act. But, do you see how the article begins with how sad it is that the church was attacked then goes on to say that information was coming out that the car was parked in front of the mosque and how can they say that this is Al Qaeda? Which as I have heard from friends in Egypt believe that Christians did this themselves…… Why? This church was listed as a target by the Al Qaeda group that attacked a Christian Church in Iraqi which resulted in 65 lives lost. And supposedly that attack as well as this attack are a result of two women that rumor has it have converted to Islam in order to divorce their Christian Coptic Priest husband’s. Sadly an environment where individuals can’t freely, as taught in both the Quran and the Bible, chose to practice their faith as they choose without reprisal leads to this us and them mentality. And I’m unclear why you say that openly practicing Muslims have it the hardest in Arab countries and are discriminated against and often abused by their governments?

        • Hebah Ahmed

          January 2, 2011 at 2:41 AM

          I have personally witnessed all that Br. Abu Abdilllah has written during my time in Egypt. I was expecting, from the many reports we get in America, that the Coptics in Egypt would be hiding their identities, and Muslims refusing to do business with anyone they know is Coptic. Instead I have found quite the opposite. As I said in the article, there is a huge Church complex next to my parents flat and Coptics flow easily in and out of it without fear or an attempt to cover up who they are. Additionally, the church bells ring for a full mintue or 2 every single morning at the same time, something that they cannot even do in the US!

          I have walked or passed by so many shops that have pictures of the virgin Mary and Jesus on the cross. Muslims freely enter and buy without hesitation. The most suprising was seeing “Merry Christmas” written on a majority of the store fronts, Christian and Muslim alike. There are Christmas trees displayed everywhere and for sell as well as men dressed up as Santa Claus at all the major malls.

          As we drive up the ramps onto the highways, we can see a myriad of churches with their crosses and mosques with their crescents rising above the skyline of the city. There are churches everywhere. Major Saint’s churches and Cathedrals are labeled with official government signs along the roads.

          Is there some discrimination, I am sure. It will always exist in every country against the minority. But the claims of intense ethnic conflict and widespread persecution is something I cannot attest to.

          • Safiyyah

            January 2, 2011 at 7:51 PM

            Church bells ring in America unless a town has a specific ordinance.

        • Linda

          January 2, 2011 at 6:48 AM

          Abu the fact that churches NEED protection in your country says it all. Can’t you see that? I appreciate the fact that there are so many reasonable voices on this forum and I can see that people here generally care about the victims and indeed are themselves scared of bombs…who wouldn’t be? Indeed the bombers don’t seem to care who they kill Muslim children included no doubt seen by the murderers as good little shahids and blessed to have been chosen by god for martyrdom for the cause.

          The fact remains that you need to look inwards to find the source of the violence and not look for others to blame. I do have a negative view of Islam, I have read the Hadiths and I am stunned to think that even my own former Prime Minister can stand up and claim Islam is a peaceful religion. It’s not. Your own country was conquored by Muslims from abroad and Christians have been second class citizens ever since. How can anyone living in a country conquored by a religious Islamic army claim Islam is peace. I simply don’t understand, it seems utterly illogical to me.

          I don’t want to argue with people, nor insult them but that is my opinion and I think Muslims find it very difficult to understand an outside viewpoint because they have such a strong religious culture. The Romans conquored Britain by force and we got Christianity as a result, the Romans were not peaceful at all but they did not start the Christian faith and they were definately not led by Jesus Christ into more wars than Napoleon Bonaparte!!!

          • Salman

            January 2, 2011 at 3:39 PM

            Rather rich and full of hypocrisy isn’t it, especially since “your” prime minister along with the former U.S. president led an invasion and occupation of a sovereign country (Iraq) on the basis of lies and now go around parading that the invasion/occupation/murder of innocents to spread your values of “freedom, democracy, and liberty” by force were worth it.

            Please take a long look in the mirror before throwing stones at others.

          • Safiyyah

            January 2, 2011 at 7:56 PM

            The Romans started Catholicism. And then of course there’s the Crusades.

  4. Suhaib

    January 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Those guys at Answering Muslimmatters website will try to write a refutation to this. lol

  5. Beverly

    January 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    My heart goes out to all the innocents.

  6. Ahsan Sayed

    January 1, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    When will our ummah come to its senses? When will senseless, haraam violence end?

  7. Moustafa Elshiekh

    January 1, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    THE WHITE HOUSE

    Office of the Press Secretary

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 1, 2011

    Statement by the President on the terrorist attacks in Egypt and Nigeria

    I strongly condemn the separate and outrageous terrorist bombing attacks in Egypt and Nigeria. The attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities. The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshipers, and have no respect for human life and dignity. They must be brought to justice for this barbaric and heinous act. We are continuing to gather information regarding this terrible event, and are prepared to offer any necessary assistance to the Government of Egypt in responding to it.

    The attack near an army barracks in Abuja also reportedly killed more than 20 people and wounded many more. Killing innocent civilians who were simply gathering – like so many people around the world – to celebrate the beginning of a New Year further demonstrates the bankrupt vision of those who carry out these attacks, and we are similarly prepared to offer assistance to the Government of Nigeria as it works to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    The United States extends its deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the wounded in both of these attacks, and we stand with the Nigerian and Egyptian people at this difficult time.

    ###

  8. sam

    January 1, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    I love how this article is downplaying the bombing of the church. To the author and to everyone else who read this. This bombing was against the church and the church only. The car parked in front of the church not between the mosque and the church. 98% of the victims are christian, and it was exploded after the church service. The muslims that were injured where just passing by. So please take a stand and condemn this horrific attack. It’s sad everytime you hear allah we akbar you here a car bombing or some kind of attack, and you wonder why people think bad of islam. So change your ways condemn you people and

    • Correct your math

      January 1, 2011 at 8:04 PM

      98% of the victims were not Christian. 13 Christians and 8 Muslims died, that is nearly 50-50.

      • sam

        January 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM

        WOW the problem is people like you. Lies upon lies and blaming of the wes

        • Linda (II)

          January 1, 2011 at 8:54 PM

          Sam…

          Do you read english? can you read the reports on CNN? Egyptian Media? I know for a fact that Muslim policemen who were guarding the church were killed. If they were the only Muslims killed then mathematically this means that 19% of those who died were muslims.

          The problem, my friend, is ignorant angry arabs like you.

          Get outta here.

          • maria

            January 2, 2011 at 12:52 AM

            it was aimed at the church and the cops wouldnt have had to guard the church if it wasnt for the fact of the christmas boming

    • Hebah Ahmed

      January 2, 2011 at 2:54 AM

      Dear Sam,

      I wrote the articles as soon as I heard of the news and began to watch what was being reported. As with most news stories, it is hard to every really know what is truth and what is propoganda. If my stats were mistaken, I apologize. I was merely describing what I was hearing at the time. You are correct and different stats and numbers are now being reported and only Allah knows the truth.

      I absolutely condemn the killing of innocent civilians in the name of Islam no matter what the religion of the victim. The Quran clearly states that to take the life of one inncocent person carries the weight of killing all of humanity without specifiying the religion of the victim.

      To be honest, most of us Muslims are terrified whenever we hear about such a bombing. We secretly pray that it was an accident or a fluke and we hold our breath as we wait to see who will be blamed. Rather than translate my article as condoning or downplaying terrorism, I would hope that instead you would give us the benefit of the doubt and see it for what it really is, a deep hope that it is not yet another terrorist attack committed by someone who claims he is Muslim.

      I pray that the religious communities in Egypt will ignore the urge to polarize after such events and instead refuse to give in to the terrorist by building bridges with each other and standing together.

      • sam

        January 2, 2011 at 11:51 PM

        Thank you Heba for your respond and i appreciate your comments, and deep care regarding the human life. Unfortunately most of these attacks are done my Muslims extremist, and I feel the moderate Muslims are not doing enough to condemn or prevent these attacks. I am not sure if you follow the Egyptian news or not. But last year 7 people on the nativity feast were killed in Nega Hamadi, till now no one was brought to justice. Recently a few months ago, there were hate messages and demonstration against the pope and they wanted to exile him. I think 6 month ago or so after a Friday prayers a church was raided and broken into. In 2005 the same church was broken into and I think 4 or 6 were slain. These are all events that happened before this horrific attack. If these events were dealt with, we might have not this attack. Now these actions are the one that are polarizing the country and causing the division. This is why we need to stand together, take a stronger stand, condemn these attacks and not sweep anything under the rug. I can see from your post that you are visiting Egypt, and think that there is no prejudice or persecution there, go ask one of the Christian store owners how many taunting remarks were said to them because of the cross they have in their shop, or if it was ever broken into or if he feels persecuted or not. I think if you do you will understand the persecution in Egypt. Again thank you for your respond and I hope you give me the benefit of the doubt when I till you there is persecution in Egypt, till you investigated more.

        • Tee

          January 6, 2011 at 3:53 AM

          Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq “1,421,933”
          http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

          Violence is Violence no matter who does it but someone is clearly taking the lead in killing innocent people. Wake up

    • snizami

      January 2, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      I can tell you first hand that the Mosque and Church are immediately adjacent to each other. If you understand the size of Egyptian streets (or the # of random pedestrians that walk them), they are practically the same building.

      Exiting the Mosque, you are faced with the Church door and visa versa. Yes, indeed the car was parked closer to the Church but the perpetrators simply don’t value human blood. That is a sad reality which is worth recognizing amidst the unmistakable grief of the victims.

      The specific facts are yet to be seen.

  9. sam

    January 1, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Lind III

    The police man who were guarding the church left before the explosion happen and none of them died. You can lie all you want, but your Muslim extremist actions are louder than your words. I have attached the link for you to read. 8 Muslims were among the wounded not the dead.

    Second killing the innocent people all over the world is getting old, not the voices of the victim of persecution.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/01/01/egypt.attack/index.html

    • Moustafa Elshiekh

      January 1, 2011 at 11:25 PM

      I wish that all of us condemn this horrific act and call it for what it is!
      All these comments are not helping, but making matters worse and keeping us from moving forward… we need to come together to find who did it and prevent this from happening again against anyone…today is you tomorrow is me … it never ends. We must stop this madness…and support the families of the victims and find ways to understand each other respect one another.
      Stop the rumors Stop the lies about each other…no one wins … this is very sad…

    • Amad

      January 1, 2011 at 11:28 PM

      I don’t get it. This is a Muslim site that is condemning the attack. Initial reports indicated x number of people died, y Muslims, z Christians. As with all early reports, there are bound to be errors. I don’t know the exact number of Muslim vs. Christian casualties. But you know, I DON’T CARE. It doesn’t matter what the religion of an innocent person is. A dead father, a mother, a son or a daughter, one that is innocent, is one that is too many. Religious background doesn’t change the senselessness of the crime.

      If you want to be part of the solution, stop using incidents such as this to fire your own prejudices. There are innocent victims of terrorism all over the world that belong to all religions. You know well that no community in Egypt has a clean slate.

      Let’s move on. Let’s be respectful of those who died and not use these pages to hurl abuses and stereotypes.

      • Jerusalem'R'Us

        January 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM

        Jazakum Allahu Khayr–just wanted to let you know that your comment is most appreciated… :-)

      • sam

        January 3, 2011 at 12:22 AM

        I agree with you that killing an innocent person regardless of their religious background is murder and is wrong. The reason for finding out how many Muslims died and how many Christian died is to find out the motives of the attackers and to see exactly who are they are intending to hurt.
        but LETS move on…

        We all know the first step of finding a solution is identifying the problem? So what is the problem, harboring hate is the problem and second problem is lack of action? After all “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” .

        And buddy, first Egypt is not like the rest of the world, it is the mother of all land. Second, it’s not because it’s happening in the rest of the world we should says it’s okay for that to happen in Egypt or anywhere else. I don’t think you want the bombing that’s happening in rest of the world to be happening in Egypt.

        • Brother

          January 3, 2011 at 8:44 PM

          If Al Qaeda is responsible for the attack, then they are also responsible for the murders of 1000s of Muslims as well as people of other religions. I stopped trying to make sense of who they kill a long time ago. What they are doing is senseless. Are you still trying to figure them out?

  10. Tariq Ahmed

    January 1, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    jazak Allah khayr, sister Hebah. it’s a good post about a terrible event. inna lillahi wa inna alayhi rajioon.

  11. To Sam

    January 1, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Sam your statement doesn’t make too much sense –

    “It’s sad everytime you hear allah we akbar you here a car bombing or some kind of attack, and you wonder why people think bad of islam”

    Millions of Muslims all around the world proclaim allah hu akbar more than 5 times a day – if as you put it “these proclamations were followed by car bombing” – we’d all be dead a long time ago!

  12. Amatullah

    January 2, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon. My cousin was also very close to this area. After having lived in Egypt for some time, I cannot help but feel closer to the country even though I am not Egyptian. may Allah have mercy on those who passed.

  13. Yahya Ibrahim

    January 2, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Bismillah,

    As an Egyptian through lineage, with extensive family times to Alexandria and Cairo I wish to extend my heart felt sorrow at the bombing that occured outside the church, targeting Christian worshippers during their festivities.

    The Prophet (s) Muhammed orders the protection of Churches in particular the St. Catherine’s Monestary.
    you can see a picture of the actual print @:
    http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-prophet-muhammad-and-the-christian/1qhnnhcumbuyp/37#

    He (s) said (as is found in the copy contained in the royal treasury in Istanbul):
    “The Patent of Mohammed. granted to the Monastery of Sinai.This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

    This is not the first time Egypt has experienced terrorism, and saddly it probably will not be the last. It is just a reminder to the western world that the plague of terrorism touches all and was felt initially within the east.

    I sent a text message to my Christian coptic neighbours in Egypt, whom I have not seen for a few years now. Our Christian neighbours cooked food for our household, for 10 consecutive days when my grandfather passed away. They did that out of love and respect for a man they lived at peace and in harmony with for over 40 years.

    Yahya Ibrahim
    http://www.facebook.com/yahya.adel.ibrahim

    • Amad

      January 2, 2011 at 5:11 AM

      Very touching comment and story, ya shaykh. You always move us, even with short comments.

  14. Ameera Khan

    January 2, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    This is a terribly tragic incident. Sadly, things like these happen daily in Pakistan, all over our country.

    The questions is – who’s dying in Pakistan? Ordinary, innocent Muslims. So will you blame it on? Muslims again? This is a never ending cycle of hate and violence and it’s very easy to come onto a “Muslim” website and push the anti-Islam propaganda. In fact, it takes vision and *real* understanding of human feelings and realities on the ground, to adopt a clear stance.

    Innocent people dying anywhere, no matter what the “justification” – is wrong! Palestine, New York, Karachi, Madrid, London, Baghdad, Bali, East Timor, Kosovo, Kashmir – wherever! Might be a *naive* view of things, to some hate-mongers but it’s the truth, plain and clear… instead of twisting things to suit your own agenda.

    May Allah guide us all to better ourselves and uncover the truth. Ameen!

    • Amad

      January 2, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      Islamiphobes see islamophobia in all events. Not only r we responsible for all terrorist actions, we r also responsible for the wars that have killed far mire Muslims. Ppl like Linda keep doing the same song and dance while more innocent Muslims die as collateral. When bigots like her realize that the political radicals (inspiration is almost always political injustice, Islam is just a shroud) are a common enemy for all of us, regardless of religion, only then can we move ahead. Otherwise these 2 forces (islamophobes and terrorists) are allies in formenting more hatred and murderous cycles.

      Ps:Linda, u had enuf space to spew ur bigotry. U’re done here.

      • Najya

        January 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        Terrorists no matter what faith they say they represent have no respect for human life when they take the life of another — which goes against one of the main tenets of both Islam and Christianity.

        Many voices (both Christian and Muslim) loudly protesting against these acts need to be heard! Their disgust at these individuals when they say that they do something in the name of Islam or the name of Christianity should be the point of a protest.

        Attacking another (Christian attacking Muslim) in retaliation is NOT the answer. No benefit comes from this type of behavior. Peaceful protest is and should be the only response.

  15. Mary

    January 2, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    This attack is not against all Egyptians. It is against Coptic Christians. If Muslims really are condemning these attacks then they would never happen. I dont care if you condemn them with your mouth – actually get up and physically stop these mass killings of christians.There are 80 millions muslims in Egypt. How is it possible that you cannot stop these attacks from happening? Are your words stopping these massacres? Its not enough for Hosni Mobarek and some of the muslims to say we are friends with the Coptic people and this is so bad what is happening to them. Last time i checked, when someone is your friend, you actually physically help to protect them. Friendship does not come from words, it comes from actions. If a mosque was bombed and muslims died, the culprits would be swiftly bought to justice but as this is an attack on Christians, we will just get a few words of “we condemn”. THATS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!

    • Amad

      January 2, 2011 at 11:43 PM

      You are kidding me right?

      There are over 300 million Muslims in Pakistan, yet they couldn’t stop the attacks against our own mosques. Terrorism is a crime that is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is the job of the law enforcement, not the average citizen. And that job is an impossible one.

      Pls check up recent history. And tell us which culprits were brought to justice for countless attacks against Muslims all over the world. It is not a question of desire or will.

      • sam

        January 3, 2011 at 12:34 AM

        Sorry Bro Egypt is not Pakistan. We don’t tolerate and we hold the government and our people accountable for horrific events against Churches, Mosques and or tourism. So yeah we expect the person who did this to be found and punished.

        • Amad

          January 3, 2011 at 5:27 AM

          By Allah, I hope those who did this crime are caught, the REAL masterminds behind it and are given a punishment that suits their horrific crime. I hope the same thing for all terrorists who deliberately target civilians.

          If these murderers escape the punishment in this duniya, they will surely taste the punishment in the akhira as there is no bigger crime after shirk than to take the life of someone innocent.

        • F

          January 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM

          Someone will definitely be convicted but whether they are the real culprit or not ,we will never know. It’s not hard to torture someone into confession and considering how the Egyptian government operates, I feel sorry for the innocent person that gets rounded up in the frenzy of trying to catch the real criminals.

          Though honestly, it could be any of the following scenarios:

          1. Al-Qaeda attack
          2. Israeli attack
          3. Egyptian government
          4. Other external hands

          Without proper evidence, we’re all just finger pointing.

    • Brother

      January 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

      Hi Mary,

      Are you suggesting the 80 million Muslims in Egypt were aware of the plot beforehand? Please explain your rationale, I am eager to listen. Thanks!

  16. Mansoor Ansari

    January 3, 2011 at 8:33 AM

    Can someone shed some light on the recent tensions between the Christians & Muslims in Egypt. I heard the tension escalated after a Christian girl who converted to Islam was abducted by fellow Christians. Is there any truth to this story?

    • Brother

      January 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

      Just Al Qaeda finding excuses to kill more people. Nothing new there.

      • Mansoor Ansari

        January 4, 2011 at 8:02 AM

        I heard this from frm Egyptians here in US, not AlQaeda. Can someone who has more insight on local events in Egypt or who follows Egyptian media clarify.

    • AnonyMouse

      January 4, 2011 at 5:58 AM

      Yes, I heard about this as well – the wife of a famous Coptic priest in Egypt accepted Islam, but when she went to al-Azhar to formalize the shahaada, the mufti (or someone way up there) was forced by the government to turn her away. She was then taken by those of her former church, who of course attempted to force her to apostacize. The issue is still a hot topic…

      • F

        January 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        True or not, it is not enough for someone to bomb the church. There are other ways to resolving the conflict than violence.

        • ahlam

          January 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

          Its not enough for someone to bomb a mosque and a church that is. Sr. Anonymouse clearly wasn’t imlpying that it was…

  17. Peter Dellaquila

    January 3, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Greetings and thanks in advance for taking a minute out to review some simple comments I thought to share with all of you.

    Seeing that many are taking the approach that one way or another there is blame to spread around for whatever reasons – on either the Muslim of Christian faith… due wholely – or mainly lets say, based upon the actions of those who were responsible for this heinus attack on innocent lives…

    First let me just say, may God bless and protect the families that now grieve for the innocent lives who perished and may he embrace each of them and grant them entry into paradise…

    For those of you who look for debate beyond this, I have a wish for you…

    If your heart be as clean and sound, and built upon the platform of righteousness… then may whatever you wish upon others, be first given to your children, so to taste the lessons you preach, and to be sure that you are as convinced then that your teachings are fair as just…

    With this test, you can follow your heart…

    Furthermore, may your wishes always be given first to you, in 10 fold, and may you prosper and or suffer the same fates you might wish upon others…

    The reality is – Terror is Terror, its unfortunate that terrorism comes mainly from the Muslim side of the equation, adn whats worse that the terrorists seems to have such great PR… Enough that they have managed to convice so many the world over that Muslims as a faith are to blame…

    Its the saddest part of this whole disaster…

    The muslim people all suffer under the actions of a handful…

    It would truely be a blessed day, when those in power who have any sense of responisibility would stand up, single out and deal with these small pockets of terror within their societies, instead of constantly trying to go at this problem as tit for tat… Its getting us all nowhere quick… and further more, keeping the vast muslim populations scrutinized, and under suspect eyes around the world.

    There is no winning this debate…

    The Christians and the Muslims have been at each other since the days of the crusades, and this my friends is a war that will never be resolved with military actions on either side.

    At the end of the day, Only God knows when this will end, however ending this is purely in the hands of mankind.

    Ask yourself, are you willing to give the fate you wish on others to your children?

  18. Safia Farole

    January 3, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Thank you for writing this post sister Hebah. May Allah protect you and your family during the remainder of your stay.

  19. Najya

    January 3, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    As an American there is one thing that I can say…. After 9/11 before radicals and fantics started in on the fearmongering there was a brief time that we came together as one nation…. We weren’t from other cultures we weren’t from other religions… We were Americans! It will be Christmas on Friday it is time for Egyptians to come together in peace as Jesus taught. Actions speak louder than words…. So if Egyptians could come together and pray together for peace there would be calm…. Put religion aside have neighbors come together and pray together not at the mosque not at the church in a neutral area prove to the world that what they say about the bitterness between Muslims and Christians is wrong…. Christian Copts need to remember Jesus’ teaching of love thy neighbors as you would love yourself….. Stop the anger and see that the clerics are trying to reach out this is a defining moment to show the real love of Christ on the day of his birth….. God will continue to bless those that turn away from violence and show the love of Christ…..

    • Mansoor Ansari

      January 4, 2011 at 8:04 AM

      God will continue to bless those that turn away from violence and show the love of Christ…..

      I wish Americans can do the same in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine before telling others to what do. Preach what u practice.

      • chemaatah

        January 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        Where exactly does this poster demonstrate any kind of support for the atrocious actions of the United States in foreign lands? This person’s nationality does not give you any right to brand her a hypocrite. She makes some very kind, sensible overtures towards trying to relieve the tensions that have caused horrible eruptions of violence in Egypt. Yet you shove this snide, completely irrelevant statement at her. What does anything happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, et al have to do with Najya and her comments specifically? I think she deserves an apology.

        • Mansoor Ansari

          January 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

          She places the blame on Muslim radicals & fanatics while forgetting that those who are propagating these wars are hardcore Christians. Having spend more than 3 yrs living with evangelical Christians in the same house who talked abt seeing the love of Christ, asking Muslims to shun violence & embrace peace were the biggest supporters of these wars & bombings. They continue to be the biggest supporters of these wars on the national level, just see whr the support for the Republican party & their more insane hybrid Tea party comes frm. These ppl have no right to call other radicals & fanatics.

          • Najya

            January 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM

            I wrote…………..After 9/11 before radicals and (fanatics –correct spelling) fantics started in on the fearmongering there was a brief time that we came together as one nation….

            Mansoor wrote………She places the blame on Muslim radicals & fanatics while forgetting that those who are propagating these wars are hardcore Christians

            Definitions to help you understand the above statement that I made……

            Radical — ( in this sentence used as an adjective not a noun. An adjective is a word that describes in this instance the behavior of someone or something) the definition is —- advocating or based on thorough or complete political or social reform; representing or supporting an extreme section of a political or religious party…

            fanatics — (Used here as a noun and a noun describes a person, place, or thing) — the definition is — a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause

            fearmongering — (also a noun) —the definition is —- the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue

            Now in my sentence I said After 9/11……. (REMOVE —– before radicals and fanatics started in on the fearmongering) there was a brief time that we came together as one nation

            Read the sentence…….. After 9/11 there was a brief time that we came together as one nation………

            Now read the section that I said to remove from the original sentence…… before radicals and fantics started in on the fearmongering No where does that imply Muslims….. You are assuming that I left off the word Muslim and am implying that Muslims are radical and fanatics in the sentence so let’s rewrite the sentence……

            before MUSLIMS started in on the fearmongering Now why would a Muslim be a fearmonger??????

            So using the definiton of a fearmonger let’s rewrite the sentence again and in place of fearmongering I will put the definition of a fearmonger………..

            before MUSLIMS started in on the deliberate arousal of public fear or alarm about 9/11)

            Does that sentence make sense to you?????????????????? So you are saying that Muslims deliberately made the US public fear Muslims because Muslims were the instigators of 9/11?????? Do you see how you misunderstood what I wrote!!!!!!

            The fearmongers who I also called radical and fanatic in their thought process, my friend, are those that wanted the US public to believe that ALL Muslims are terrorists!!!!!!

            It is clear if you understood the English language and the way that the English language sentence structure is set up you would then have read and understood that the radical and fanatics in this sentence are also the fearmongers. So that would be a dichotomy if I meant Muslims were the radicals and fanatics as well as the fearmongers….. (Definition of dichotomy— a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different), .

            Now I have a question for you Mansoor as to why you identify yourself as a radical and a fanatic? You read that into this sentence…. So why when you see, the word radical and fanatic, do you automatically see Muslim and identify yourself as such?????? Maybe you should change your frame of reference and not identify yourself in such a negative light.

          • chemaatah

            January 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM

            She did no such thing. Read her post from today. It was clear from the beginning though what she was saying.

            Additionally, while I sympathize with having to be surrounded by wretched, warmongering hypocritical Christians, that doesn’t let you off the hook. The challenge for you is to move past that, and not let that awful experience prejudice all of your interactions with people who share the same religious beliefs as the people you lived with, but do NOT share the same hypocritical beliefs about how Muslims should behave, or support evil warmongering. It was quite clear in her post that she was not slinging mud at Muslims, but rather criticizing the same people that you so adamantly oppose. But you’re so caught up in your own personal anecdotal experience with hypocrisy that you’re dead set in believing that you see it in places where it simply isn’t. That’s something to work on, on a personal level.

      • Najya

        January 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        To Mansoor my comments were directed at human to human interaction…. Not governments and their actions because as we all know Governments around the world do and say things that do not neccesarily or completely reflect the people living in the country.

        I wish Americans can do the same in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine before telling others to what do. Preach what u practice. Don’t you mean that we Americans should practice what we preach?

        Since the government doesn’t preach this it would be difficult for them to practice this belief therefore that is was why I posted what I did. We as people need to have the common decency that our governments can’t or won’t have or show. Correct?

        My years in Egypt have shown me that there is a great distrust from all Egyptians toward their government. We have the same issues of distrust here in the United States but if you read the first part of my post on 9/11 we as a “people” came together neighbor helping neighbor.

        This horrible event could have been a pivotal turning point between Christians and Muslims bringing people together not based on religion but as Egyptians. Egyptians could have looked past their government. And if as it has been reported that people get along well together in this neighborhood, Muslims living next door to Christians, then those neighbors could have come to the aid of those that needed help. But as was witnessed both sides have such deepseeded anger and distrust towards each other that both lashed out at each other.

        The religious leaders the Grand Mufti and the Pope tried to reach out to each other but the people could only see anger. Hence my suggestion that everyone come together and pray to God together thereby building a stronger bridge with each other.

        Americans are by NO means perfect we have MANY social, religious, and economical issues but when times of strife and unrest hit this country we put those issues aside, although brief, and consider ourselves Americans first. Which is all that I was suggesting that Egyptians would entertain.

        When we strip away everything and see not what makes us different but what makes us similiar we have more invested in seeing each other through different eyes. And that is what Jesus meant by treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself…..

        Thank you Chemaatah for your comments I appreciate them thank you for seeing that my comments come from a good place.

        • Mansoor Ansari

          January 4, 2011 at 2:23 PM

          Americans are by NO means perfect we have MANY social, religious, and economical issues but when times of strife and unrest hit this country we put those issues aside, although brief, and consider ourselves Americans first. Which is all that I was suggesting that Egyptians would entertain.

          I would suggest the same to Muslims, at times of strife & unrest, we should put aside differences and consider ourselves Muslims first and then Egyptians, Americans, Saudis, etc…

          • Najya

            January 5, 2011 at 1:22 PM

            I wrote……….Americans are by NO means perfect we have MANY social, religious, and economical issues but when times of strife and unrest hit this country we put those issues aside, although brief, and consider ourselves Americans first. Which is all that I was suggesting that Egyptians would entertain.

            Your response………..I would suggest the same to Muslims, at times of strife & unrest, we should put aside differences and consider ourselves Muslims first and then Egyptians, Americans, Saudis, etc…

            My sentence suggests that a country comes together regardless of their race, religion, or national origin….

            Your’s suggests that Muslims unite based on religion not on country of origin does that show brotherly love? Muslim to Muslim not Egyptian to Egyptian……

            And with a statement such as this can you see why there would be fear, distrust and anger towards the Muslim community in Egypt from the Coptic Christians?

            Your statement sadly moves this discussion to a us against them mentality…….

            Keep it pure —- all Egyptians coming together for the good of the country…….

            Or is your true belief that Coptic Christians have no place in Egypt??????

          • chemaatah

            January 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

            Hey Najya, actually I see it a little differently than how you’re reading it. I think that a call for Muslims to come together first regardless of national differences can still be inclusive. Being a Muslim requires treating fellow human beings with compassion and respect, even if they’re not Muslim. It requires rejecting senseless, horrific violence against innocent men, women and children who have never hurt you, or anyone else. And it requires those things regardless of whether those innocent people are Egyptian, Canadian, or Thai. It means everyone. Not just uniting over the cause of what happened in Egypt, but over the wrong things that are happening to fellow human beings anywhere in the world. That’s just how I see it anyways. And from that perspective, it shouldn’t be a source of fear, distrust, or anger from anyone.

          • Najya

            January 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM

            Mansoor this entire statement was written not in reference to Muslims but to Christians that are reading this sight…….

            Christian Copts need to remember Jesus’ teaching of love thy neighbors as you would love yourself….. Stop the anger and see that the clerics are trying to reach out this is a defining moment to show the real love of Christ on the day of his birth….. God will continue to bless those that turn away from violence and show the love of Christ…..

            I am making it very clear that their response of anger is WRONG and unproductive!!!! And yes hypocritical on their part because their (Copts) conduct is exactly what they lament the Muslims are doing to them….. My reprimand here to the Copts if they are going to act in a violent way then how do they expect God to protect and bless them as a community…..

            I don’t know if you have heard the phrase…… Two wrongs don’t make a right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            And Chemaatah I agree with you that now is a time of prayer but I think you misunderstood my point. Yes Muslims need to pray with Muslims and Christians with Chrisitans but for there to be less tension between the two communities also coming together is important to show solidarity as Egyptians. Sadly Mansoor’s opinion doesn’t come from a unifiying ideal but as a separatist viewpoint as is witnessed by his anger from his experience with a few Evangelical Christians. Being separate is what causes the feelings of fear and distrust because you are unsure as to what the other will do…….

  20. Muslim

    January 4, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    Assalamalikum

    In case anyone wants to know the background of this recent attack, here it is. Two ex-Christian women who converted to Islam in Egypt are being held hostage by the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III(if news is correct). They are held Coptic monastery prison of Ain Shams, where the monks subject them brutal tortures so that they renounce Islam.

    A group in Iraq calling themselves, “The Islamic State of Iraq” gave a 48-hour ultimatum on Nov. 1 to the head of the Coptic Church of Egypt, demanding the release of the Muslim women Wafaa Constantine and Camilia Shehata, and the other sisters, who converted to Islam, but suffered for it with imprisonment and tortures from the Copts.

    Obviously they haven’t released the 2 Muslim sisters. Obviously we dont know who did it but just a brief overview of the recent events that might have led to this.

    PS: Im not saying I agree with this attack, just providing some background for anyone interested.

    • Mansoor Ansari

      January 5, 2011 at 9:10 AM

      I heard the same frm some of my Egyptian friends… were these kidnappings covered by MSM?

      • Muslim

        January 7, 2011 at 8:04 AM

        Assalamualikum

        Whats MSM?

        • Mansoor Ansari

          January 7, 2011 at 10:55 AM

          Main Stream Media

  21. lost

    January 4, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    i’M SORRY THAT THE WORLD HAS COMES TO THIS PEOPLE EVEN HERE AGRUING BACK AND FORTH ON SOMETHING LIKE THIS THE FACT IS. THE PEOPLE WHO DID THIS HAVE NO RELGION IT WASN’T JUST CHRISTANS ATTACK IT WAS ALSO MUSLIM. ALL THROUGH THIS LIFE SPAM OF THIS WORLD PEOPLE BEEN KILLING OTHER IN THE NAME OF GOD. THE TRUTH IS GOD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THESE ACTS. I’M AN AMERICAN MUSLIM. MY FAMILY IS CHRISTIAN. IN NO BIBLE QU’AN OR EVEN THE TORAH DOES IT SAY TO TAKE ANOTHERS LIFE. WE ARE SUPPOSE TO LOVE AND CARE FOR ONE OTHER TO HELP ONE ANOTHER. NOT SPREAD HATE. THESE ATTACKS ARE NOT TO DESTROY A COUNTRY. I WITNESS THE BOMBING ON 9-11 I READ COUNTLESS ACCOUNT OF BOMBING IN OTHER PLACES BY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. THEY DO NOT IT TO DESTROY A COUNTRY THEY DO IT TO DIVIDE IT WITH HATE AND SO FAR IT WORKING LOOK AT WHAT YOU WROTE. JUST READ IT GUYS. YOU SEE WHAT I AM SAYING. WHAT THEY SET OUT TO DO IS WORKING. HATE IS BEING SPREAD WHY? THE THING EVERYONE IS FORGETTING IS NO MATTER WHAT RELGION YOU BELIEVE OR WHAT NAME YOU CALL HIM THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND THAT ALL RELGIOUS PATHS LEAD TO HIM. SO INSTEAD OF LOOKING AT THE PERSON NEXT YOU AND HATING ON THEM START REAIZING THE REAL MONSTERS ARE ALIVE AND THEY LOOK LIKE ME AND YOU. THEY SAY THAT THEY BELIEVE AND WORSHIP GOD. IT IS A DECEPTION TO HIDE THE FACT THEY HAVE NO HEART AND THEY LOVE TO SEE PEOPLE IN PAIN. I WILL NOT SPREAD HATE ALL I HAVE IS LOVE TO GIVE AND TO DO WHAT I CAN TO HELP PEOPLE AROUND ME NO MATTER WHAT RACE OR RELGION BECAUSE IN THE END WHEN MY LIFE IS OVER I WANT TO KNOW I TRIED TO MAKE THIS PLACE BETTER THAN WHEN I CAME INTO IT.

  22. adel

    January 4, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    You all need to read the story of Camilia Shehata and Wafaa constantine. Both were wives to coptic priests. Both were curious about islaam and later converted to ISLAAM. Then after their conversion, were somehow returned back by force to the Church (led by Pope SHENOUDAH (evil). After they were returned to the Church, they could have been killed by their church members and/or families…only Allah knows what happened to them. Coptic families in egypt do kill and/or torture their family members when they convert to islam…

    THE ONLY THING THAT THE egyp MUSLIMS HAD ASKED FOR WAS TO RELEASE THE 2 WOMEN AND LET THEM PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE THEIR CONVERSION (if they converted by their own free will.) Then Baba Shenouda stated “I will never do that and you all can demonstrate as much as you can! I will do nothing about it)

    FYI………….. IT IS A DAILY OCCURENCE THAT MANY COPTIC CHRISTIANS CONVERT TO ISLAM, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, BY AND ONLY BY THEIR OWN FREE WILL. The christian cmmty knows it, but it is hard for ’em to accept it.

    These women were married to coptic priests and lived in a tight christian community…now, what does that say? It is a “slap in the face” to all the copts.

    it was is nver about christian VS muslim as the media (as always) likes to put it. Egyptians of all religions lived peacefully together and many still do….So stop w/the islamaphobia, b/c it certainly doesn’t stop christians from converting to islaam. Also more women convert to islam than men do. Since islam is protrayed as an “oppressive religion to women” then why do many single, christian women from around the world convert to islaam? Look at deutschland, holland, england, franc,norway,sweden,etc… Here are the rights muslim women are granted by Allah:

    1. right to inheritance- no one can touch a women’s inheritance no matter what
    2. right to keep her maiden name- changing a women’s last name upon marriage was an old roman tradition adopted by christianity. It meant that the woman is property of her husband
    3. right of getting a dowery from her husband to be, she can ask for anything (as long as it’s w/in his means)
    4. right to keep her own money in the bank, not to be shared with her husband nor any other man in the family. Whatever she earns, she keeps
    5. the right to be spent on- she is NOT OBLIGATED to pay ONE RED CENT on any bills, mortgages, food, clothing, etc…it is her husbands’ duty to provide for her and her children. If she chooses to work, then the abouve right still applies. She, again, keeps here own money for her own self—-no one has the right to her money…
    6. the right to divorce…and BTW there is no such thing as hubby saying “i divorce you 3x’s” and after the divorce the ex husband has to maintain her livelihood to a certain extent (read sura al talaq and sura al mai’idah)
    7. her word on who to marry and not her male relatives…she also refuses proposals. there is NO SUCH THING AS ARRANGED MARRIAGES EVEN IF YOU ARE PAKISTANI, INDIAN, ASIAN, ARAB, ETC….

    these are just a few rights that women enjoy every day….remember that 22,000 ppl convert to islam in usa and 75% of them are women.

    1 more thing, historically both christians and jews lived in SECURITY, PEACE, AND FREELY PRACTISED THEIR RELIGION UNDER muslim goverence….read the history of the golden era of islam. Rember at 600 AD the catholic church was debating if women had souls!!! This was the time when islam gave women their rights

    • Mantiki

      January 5, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      It is difficult to be certain of the truth of facts reported from any country. We are mostly aware that what is reported in the USA and other Western democracies is often filtered by right wing media owners. Yet at least we (in the “West”) are exposed and have access to a broad range of journalistic voices and social commentators, unlike many militeristic states, communist states and dictatorships. Sadly, the mortality rate amongst journalists is rising worldwide in places like Russia and in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      So when I read reports that women converts to Islam are the root cause of this bombing I wonder whether this is true or simply an unvalidated rumour used to stir up trouble by the Brotherhood or by Al-Qaeda. If it is true, the violence is still inexcusable but I would support an investigation into the Coptic Church and its (deranged and evil looking) Pope.

      Similarly I read that yesterday a Pakistani Governor was killed by one of his Muslim bodyguards for calling for the pardon of a christian woman sentenced to death for blasphamy against the Prophet. The assassin was showered with rose petals!!!! as he was brought into custody and has drawn wide support from Pakistani Muslims! From what I have also read, the case against this Christian woman was based on the hearsay of her accusers (Muslim women) who claim she spat on the walls of a Mosque. Now I understand that there is widespread corruption in government in Pakistan so if the governor was guilty of other terrible acts, I might feel some measure of sympathy for his assassin. But to murder him for calling for mercy is appalling.

      Religious intolerance is a disease! All religions must earn respect and should tolerate diversity AND criticism where warranted. Although I have a strong relationship with God, I firmly believe that people ought to be able to express their criticism on any subject including religion. As long as they do not use violence or coercion, they ought to be able to express their views including through the use of humour, derision and disrespect.

      • adel

        January 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        As salam alaykoum wa rahmat allah,
        agree w/your comments mantiki. It seems like the general public need to understand the Egyptian society in order to get a better picture of why this act of terrrorism happened, although this is strictly forbidden in Islaam! Some egyptians even state that the Isreali’s did it! just like the man eating sharks at the Red Sea were implanted there by the “mossad.” What the hell?

        Anyhow, we seriously need to be sincere in our dua’a and ask Allah for Siratul Mustaqeem lil kulli muslimoon.

        Lastly, no one will ever know what happened to Camilia Shehata and Wafaa Constantine. Many egyptian christians do convert out of their faith to get a divorce and then they go back to their former faith. Some convert to diff’t branches of Protestantism just for this reason. On the other hand, as mentioned previously, they do convert to islam and do go to Al Azhar and say the Shahada(i.e. Ishaar), but their lives are full of challenges b/c their families do disown them or try to kill them. It is a taboo in the egyptian christian family to have converts to islam.

        You can watch you tube videos of Egyptian converts (in arabic). But you won’t find true videos of Camilia and Wafaa….there are imposters though.

        Shenouda wanted southern egypt to seced from the rest of the country. Sadat at the time took care of this though. And mubarak can’t do a darn thing to Shenouda, he stands up to him without fearing him. Seriously, what kind of “religious” man is Shenouda? Observe his face, evil shows up all over it. He too is gonna return to Allah soon (hope mubarak does too, so he can do the country a favour)

    • Mantiki

      January 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM

      By the way, thanks for the reference Adel. There is an article referring to the two women at http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/new/blogs/aswany/On_the_Dangers_of_Positive_Discrimination

      The Coptic Church comes out looking very dodgy! On the other hand, the comments following the article cloud the issue somewhat including (suspect in my view) allegations that their conversion to Islam was forced or (in Camelia’s case) used as an excuse to cover her simple decision to flee from marriage.

      All the more reason to condemn reactive violence when the truth is obscure. Much as we pour scorn on journalists and the media, we need to protect their ability to dig deep and search widely for the facts and to to speak the truth loudly without fear.

  23. Najya

    January 8, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    When people can come together and mourn together the healing can begin slowly and with reservation but at least it can begin……

    Very moving article…. Now the Christians in Egypt need to have faith that their Muslim brothers and sisters are in solidarity with them and take the olive branch that is being extended……

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_EGYPT_CHURCH_ATTACK?SITE=DCUSN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

  24. Monica

    January 9, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    So just because the governor said that this attack was not directed at any religious group we all must believe him? Rubbish. Government corruption. This attack by Muslim extremists was directed at the Copts or maybe this attack on New Year’s Day were it is known that hundreds of Copts would be gathered is an insanely ridiculous coincidence. The blood of the Copts stain the floor and the walls of the church up to the second story. People are in agony. Eighty plus Copts life will never be the same due to limbs lost and amputation. Do not for get the injured and do not take away from this heinous crime by saying it was not directed towards anyone. The Muslims are not to blame but the extremists are.

    And the Copts are always being discriminated against. Jobs, the building of churches, and even when they come to buy something at the market place. They are a minority and they are always being attacked but they have never killed back. God bless them, the Church of the Martyrs.

  25. Monica

    January 9, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    *lost of limbs and burns

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