Friday, March 11, 2011


SECTARIAN CLASH IN EGYPT - Thirteen people died in overnight clashes between Christians and Muslims in the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in Egypt since last month’s ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, officials reported Wednesday.  The religious rioting stirred fears among some political and civic leaders that the country’s post-revolutionary unity could be rapidly deteriorating.  The Health Ministry said about 140 people were injured in the fighting. The clashes broke out after about 2,000 Coptic Christians blocked a main highway south of Cairo as part of protests to demand the rebuilding of a village church that was torched in earlier sectarian violence between Copts and Muslims which left two dead. The bloodshed reportedly resulted from a feud between the families of a Christian man and a Muslim woman who were having a relationship.
All those killed Tuesday were Christians. The worst casualties were inflicted by gunfire and molotov cocktails.  Security and hospital officials said all 13 fatalities were caused by gunshot wounds, but it was not immediately clear who was firing or how many people from each side were shot during the clashes, which lasted about four hours.  The deaths led to pleas for tolerance from religious and civic leaders.  But protests continued to sow havoc in downtown Cairo.  “I call upon Muslims and Christians to avoid incitement and to place more weight on national love,” Amr Khaled, an Islamic cleric, said in a television program. “No to sectarian strife.”

The year began with religious violence: 21 people died when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up as Copt worshipers left a church after midnight on New Year's Day in Alexandria.  Muslims, mostly Sunnis, account for about 90 %, whereas Copts and other Christians make up about 10 % of Egypt's population of more than 80 million people.  The religious intolerance is the great enemy of truth, which always make people believe that Absolute Truth is nowhere except in his old religious book.

As we look back through history, there have been so many fights and wars between people of different cultures. There have been divisions drawn between Hindus and Muslims, Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Arabs, blacks and whites - the focal points of fierce battles.  In this way, due to some feeling of patriotism to a country, idea, concept, or race, one may think that a certain group of people are “my people,” or “my group or class,” based on the relationship with the body and family and national traditions.  However, as long as there is this feeling that those related to this body are “my kinsmen, my blood relatives, my countrymen,” that everyone else is a foreigner, or inferior, that I do not care for those people; then there cannot be unity or peace in the world.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Toward World Peace: Seeing the Unity Between Us All” -

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