The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) condemns the recent attack on a church in Egypt, which has led to sectarian clashes leaving 24 people dead.  This attack, though a work of a mischievous minority, is threatening to overshadow the collaborative efforts of all communities in setting a new path towards democracy in Egypt.

Commenting on this, Anas Altikriti, CEO of TCF said ‘People should not be drawn into the trap of sectarian division which will threaten to derail the process of Egypt’s new journey and which will be used by the ruling military council to stifle freedom of expression’.

Egypt and Egyptians are renowned for their indelible and organic sense of tolerance, compassion and social solidarity, and it is incumbent upon religious leaders in Egypt and beyond to exemplify and echo these characteristics through their respective endeavours for mutual understanding and religious tolerance.

Thus there is a need for responsibility to be taken towards initiatives that emphasise that breeding such violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate. Collectively we need to ensure that our youth are given accurate information about other traditions, religions and cultures.  We need to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—

To more effectively address critical issues of religious freedom in Egypt, TCF calls for an organised grass roots response mechanism to be initiated that can address real social concerns whilst condemning all forms of discrimination, intolerance and oppression against ethnic and religious minorities. There is a need to speak out whenever and wherever abuse occurs, whether it be against one’s own religion or government or someone else’s, that is the oppressor or the victim.  It is only with this type of attitude that the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community is possible.

There is no question that crimes committed against Copts in Egypt must be condemned as strongly by all Muslims, as much as are crimes committed against Muslims. Failure to do so will demonstrate intolerable hypocrisy, which Egypt and the new Arab world can ill-afford.