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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Alexandria on Sectarian Fire

Around 3000 Muslim protesters surrounded a church in Alexandria to protest a church play that they deemed as "offensive to Islam." Police cordoned off the building to protect it from the angry crowd.

According to Al Jazeera English website, the play "features a poor Christian university student who converts to Islam when a group of Muslim men promise him much-needed money. When he becomes disenchanted with his decision, the men threaten him with physical violence to prevent him from returning to his original faith."

The news of this play was reported in a low circulation tabloid known for its anti-Christian slant. Protesters were distributing copies of the article and DVDs of the play in order to fan the flame of rage.

I heard that this play was 2 years old and it was banned by the Christian leadership in Cairo. I saw parts of the play and it was indeed very offensive and disturbing. If anyone is to blame then it has to be the Alexandrian local church pastor who allowed such a play in his church.

This incident raises 2 issues. First, why did the tabloid mention this play today even though it was banned by the Christian clergy 2 years ago? And why didn't they mention that the play was in fact banned? These idiots will do anything just to sell their sorry excuse of a newspaper even at the expense of tearing the already torn social fabric of Egypt.

Second, what happened in Alexandria only proves the terrible state our "national harmony" is in. There is tremendous hatred and misunderstanding between the 2 camps. Our social fabric has torn apart and I don't believe it can be mended in my lifetime. Christians are responding to the hate they see on Egypt's newsstands and witness in the government institutions with their own hate within the walls of their church and the anonymity of the internet.

I am very depressed. Egypt was not like that. My grandparents and my parents told me so.

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