Monday, October 10, 2011


Cairo (Reuters) - Egyptian Christians mourned their dead and berated the army on Monday after at least 25 people were killed when troops crushed a protest about an attack on a church in the worst violence since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.  Egypt’s interim Cabinet says it will not allow any group to manipulate national unity or delay its democratic transition.  Armored personnel carriers sped into the crowd late on Sunday to break up the demonstrators. Videos posted on the Internet showed mangled bodies. Activists said corpses had been crushed by the vehicles.  Tension between Muslims and minority Coptic Christians has simmered for years but has worsened since the anti-Mubarak revolt, which has allowed the emergence of Salafist and other strict Islamist groups that the former president had repressed. 

Muslim and Christian activists said much of the anger from Sunday’s violence was focused on the army, which has also come under fire from across the political spectrum for failing to give a clear timetable for handing power to civilians.  Christians, who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s roughly 80 million people, took to the streets after blaming Muslim radicals for partially demolishing a church in Aswan province last week. They also demanded the sacking of the province’s governor for failing to protect the building.  The Health Ministry said 24 people were killed and 272 people wounded, including 253 who were taken to hospital. State media later put the toll at 25 dead, the bulk of them Copts.  European Union ministers expressed alarm and said the authorities had a duty to protect religious minorities.

Protests erupted elsewhere in Egypt.  Egyptian authorities have arrested dozens of people in the capital, Cairo, after clashes between Coptic Christians and police killed 25 people and wounded at least 200 others.   Coptic Christians had been protesting the recent burning of a church when the demonstrations escalated into rioting against military rule.  They say promises by the new rulers to address their concerns and protect them have been ignored and complain of discrimination.  The discriminatory idea of one religion being superior to other religions still exists.

There are two ideologies in the world today: the ideology of one religion or faith, and the ideology of multiple faiths. The believers in one religion feel strongly that their faith is the only one that leads to spiritual evolution and salvation of man.  They would not accept that other religions or faiths could also lead to the same end.  The believers in multiple faiths have a more open-minded approach and feel that mankind may attain spiritual wisdom through many different paths. There are many gradations of attitude, however, in this second category. Some practice tolerant exclusiveness; they tolerate other beliefs but do not wish any more closeness.  Others believe in interfaith dialogue. They maintain a good communication with other faiths. Yet there are those who go beyond that to practice interfaith enrichment: They have a mutual respect for and an interest in learning from other faiths. Inter-religious tolerance is not enough; inter-religious respect is needed.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 55: “Hinduism and Interfaith”
“The Future Trends in Our World”

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