Monday, May 9, 2011


Cairo ( - Coptic Christians demonstrated in Cairo on Monday in protest of Muslim-Christian clashes that left 12 dead over the weekend in sectarian violence.  Some of the protesters gathered outside the headquarters for state-run television where a sit-in began on Sunday.  Demonstrators are demanding that Egypt’s Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi step down and that the arsonists who burned two Coptic churches be brought to justice.  State media have reported that 12 people were killed and more than 220 wounded during two days of sectarian clashes that began late Saturday in the poverty-stricken Cairo slum of Imbaba. Medical sources said 65 of the injured were shot. 

The demonstration came as Egyptian security on Monday detained 23 Egyptians, including two blamed for sparking the riots.  Military leaders said Sunday that 190 people detained in connection with the violence will face trial in a military court.  Egypt’s civilian leaders have promised a swift response to the clashes including more security at houses of worship and a new ban on demonstrations outside churches and mosques.  The violence has deepened fear among Christians, who complain of poor police protection and a new tolerance of Muslim extremists, raising the risk of new flashpoints in a country dogged by poverty, soaring prices and a faltering economy.

Hundreds of Egyptians, many of them Coptic Christians, demonstrated on Monday in Cairo to protest Muslim-Christian clashes that left 12 dead and a church burned.  Demonstrators feared that some in Egypt seek to create an Islamic state that would marginalize the Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 % of Egypt’s nearly 80 million population.  There are quarrels between races, religions, countries, and even next door neighbours.  While we live in the bodily concept, seeing the differences between us, we always feel that our group, culture or religion, is the best; and this is the beginning of the disagreement among people. 

There are five great enemies of peace which inhabit all of us: avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. These also take shape in our passions, prejudices, vices, weaknesses, and our intellectual and spiritual ignorance. If these were removed, we would enjoy perpetual peace.  However, these are not qualities found in relations between people.  Rather, they are within ourselves, hampering our ability to relate.  We not only have to work on problems that exist in our relations with others, but also on the problems that exist within us. So our primary enemies are inside us. Thus, in order to grow in our understanding of each other, it is first better to rid ourselves of these internal enemies than to inflict these characteristics out on others. After all, if we want to change the world, the change starts with ourselves.

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

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