Egyptians march against sectarianism

News article, posted 04.11.2013, from Egypt, in:
Ayat Al-Tawy
Egyptians march against sectarianism (Photo: Al Ahram)

Hundreds of people marched in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday to condemn sectarianism and call for unity between Muslims and Christians.

The march began at Al-Fath Mosque in downtown Cairo and ended at St Mark's Cathedral, the headquarters of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, in the Abbasiya district.

Two people were killed and at least 90 injured on Sunday when unknown assailants attacked mourners outside St Mark's Cathedral where a funeral service was being held for four Copts killed on Saturday in sectarian violence in Qalioubiya, north of Cairo.

It was one of the worst flare-ups of sectarian violence since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

At Tuesday's protest, angry crowds condemned President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's Islamist-led government, the Muslim Brotherhood and the interior ministry.

"The people want the downfall of the regime," the crowds chanted.

Some protesters held a copy of the Quran in one hand and a cross in the other.

Others chanted, "Cross and crescent are one, mosque and church are one."

"The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party hired thugs to attack the cathedral [on Sunday] with the help of the Central Security Forces," claimed Lilyan Saber of the Maspero Youth Movement.

Several political forces and public figures have blamed the interior ministry for the violence on Sunday, with some calling for the dismissal of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.

Karima El-Hefnawy, a leading member of the opposition National Salvation Front, attributed recent sectarian violence to the "inflammatory climate" which the Islamist-led government had allowed to grow.


[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]