It is common to hear of the suffering of Coptic Christians in Egypt at the hands of Salafist and extremist Islamists, however, most recently, it has been police endorsed gangs. In attacks on the 10th of October, 24 were left dead, and hundreds others were hurt.
The type of persecution suffered by this Christian minority is increasing. Though some claim claim that the prior government at least protected Copts from harsher Salafist persecution, this too gives this Government undue credit in its negligence toward the constant persecution of Copts in recent decades.
Certainly the new years eve attack of 2010 was one horror for which police claimed too little responsibility. Throughout the Tahrir protests too, there werekillings, and, perhaps in more than one instant, churches were burnt.
However, it’s the constant mention of ‘sectarian’ tension which is so confusing in the coverage of these tragedies.
“What is taking place are not clashes between Muslims and Christians but attempts to provoke chaos and dissent,” wrote Prime Minister Essam Sharif on his Facebook page. He is urging people not to give in to so called ‘sectarian strife’
The phrase ‘Sectarian tension’ connotes the picture that two equally matched parties seek to kill each-other, that they share the culpability for their crimes.
The death of copts is a tragedy, nothing other than cruel murder, a deliberate victimisation of a minority group.
This is terrorism, and Copts should not be made culpable for such horrendous tragedies.