My Take: Egypt’s Christian-Muslim violence threatens its future
Egyptian Christians remove objects from a Cairo church burnt in clashes between Coptic Christians and Muslims.
May 10th, 2011
01:48 PM ET

My Take: Egypt’s Christian-Muslim violence threatens its future

Editor’s Note: Michael Wahid Hanna is a fellow and program officer at The Century Foundation and a former Fulbright scholar in Cairo, Egypt.

By Michael Wahid Hanna, Special to CNN

Egypt’s ongoing transition toward multiparty elections and the establishment of a democratic order is again being threatened by sectarian tension and violence.

Over the weekend, Cairo was the scene of clashes between Coptic Christians and Muslims after an angry mob massed in front of a Coptic church in a working-class neighborhood.

These crowds had gathered, as is often the case, under a false belief that a convert to Islam was being held against her will in the church – a common and recurring motif and flash point for inciting sectarian sentiments. The end result: 12 dead, over 200 hundred wounded and two churches torched.

The attacks were a reminder of Egypt’s very real sectarian divide. How Egypt’s emerging political forces and its transitional leadership deal with this ongoing crisis will go a long way in clarifying how different Egypt really is after the topping of the Mubarak regime.

What is clear is that much more needs to be done to combat Egypt’s corrosive sectarian discourse and the increasing calls for intolerance in the nation.

Sectarian tensions are not new in Egypt. The nation’s Copts, most of them adherents to the Coptic Orthodox Church, represent the Arab world’s largest non-Muslim minority and make up approximately 10% of the country’s population. They are geographically dispersed throughout the country and are not ethnically distinct from other Egyptians.

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Nonetheless, the 20th century has witnessed the gradual receding of Christian participation in Egyptian public life.

During and after the national revolt against the British and the ineffectual King Farouk in 1919, Copts had played a prominent role in Egyptian politics.

This began to recede following the Free Officers Revolt of 1952 that finally deposed the King and brought President Gamal Abdel Nasser and his fellow military officers to power.

Ostensibly a secularist, Nasser’s period of rule nonetheless witnessed the beginnings of Christian alienation and exclusion and ushered in a period of decline in communal relations. Nasser’s tightly-controlled military regime concentrated power in the hands of the Free Officers and excluded Copts, save for a few token appointments.

These trends accelerated under Nasser’s successors, as the Middle East region underwent a religious revival that saw the emergence of Islamist thought as a force within Arab societies.

The Mubarak regime, itself threatened by rising Islamist sentiment, was keen to employ the politics of sectarianism in its efforts to divide and rule Egypt. While posing as the protector of Christians, the regime oversaw the further marginalization of Copts and engaged in the politics of co-option in an effort to stem the threat from Islamist opposition forces. The result was  the further Islamization of Egyptian public life.

As an ignominious coda to his rule, Mubarak’s former Minister of the Interior, Habib al-Adly, now stands accused of having orchestrated a deadly bombing of an Alexandria church last New Year’s Eve.

In distinction to these disturbing trends, the recent Egyptian uprising was marked by serious and self-conscious efforts to once again construct a national politics based on communal solidarity and citizenship. The many iconic scenes from those 18 days of protest included images of Christians and Muslims protecting each other during times of prayer.

With chants and slogans emphasizing the unity of Egypt’s Muslims and Christians, the uprising and the toppling of the Mubarak regime raised expectations of an incoming era of inclusive politics within a civil state.

But there have been multiple episodes of Christian-Muslim violence since then, which means the country’s emerging political forces now have the added responsibility of taking on religious bigotry before this strife destroys the country’s social fabric.

Solutions for these issues can emerge only from within Egyptian society.

At this juncture, much should be expected of Egypt’s newly-empowered Muslim Brotherhood. Repressed and officially banned under Mubarak, the Brotherhood is now the most coherent opposition force in the country and is calling for the emphasis of Islam in Egypt’s politics.

As such, there is a heightened responsibility for the group and for the country’s religious authorities to be more proactive in tamping down tensions before they spill over into violence. They should make clear that the corrosive rhetoric of sectarianism will not be an acceptable form of politicking.

This is particularly relevant at a time when the Brotherhood’s ultimate intentions have been questioned by many of its fellow citizens and other observers in the international community. Now is the time for drawing of bright red lines against intolerance, particularly with respect to Islamist forces to the right of the Brotherhood.

At the same time, Egyptian Christians and their brethren in the international Coptic diaspora should refrain from launching incendiary calls for international protection. Such calls only further inflame communal tensions and fuel warped narratives about Copts as a lurking fifth column within the body politic.

Much rides on Egypt’s success, and the ability of the country to sustain an inclusive democracy respecting the rights of minorities will have a profound impact on the possibility for peaceful transition there. It would also provide a powerful model for the rest of the region as the Arab Spring continues to reverberate, with all of its prospects for change.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Michael Wahid Hanna.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Egypt • Interfaith issues • Islam • Opinion

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Carlton

    It's always has been and always will be the same because Islam was born out of rebellion and hatred towards Jesus Christ so they just continue to do what they've always done, hate Jesus Christ and those who follow Jesus Christ, simple!!!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Muneef

      You would have found sura's or verses of Quran speaking of Jesus with disrespect if Muslims are as you said...but rather our Quran spoke highly of Jesus and his Mother...

      May 12, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  2. mehmet

    If a man's endeavour is limited to himself, he is not human being, for human beings are by nature civilized. Man is compelled to consider his fellow humans. His personal life continues through social life. For example, how many hands is he in need of to eat one loaf of bread, and in return for it how many hands does he in effect kiss? And how many factories is he connected to through the clothes that he wears? You make the comparison! Since he cannot survive with only skin like an animal, and is by nature connected to his fellow humans, and is compelled to pay them an immaterial price, by his nature, he maintains civilization. One who confines his view to his personal benefits abandons his humanity, and becomes an iniquitous animal lacking all innocence. If nothing happens as a consequence and he has an authentic excuse, that is an exception !


    May 11, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • JohnR

      You plainly don't understand animals, people, society, religion or civilization.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  3. mehmet

    What I am certain of from my experience of human social life and have learnt from my life-time of study is the following: The thing most worthy of love is love, and the quality most deserving of enmity is enmity. That is, the quality of love and loving, which renders man's social life secure and impels to happiness is the most worthy of love and being loved. And enmity and hostility are. ugly and damaging qualities, which have overturned man's social life and more than anything deserve loathing and enmity and to be shunned.
    The time for enmity and hostility has finished. Two world wars have shown how evil, destructive, and what an awesome wrong is enmity. It has become clear that there is no benefit in it at all. In which case, on condition they are not aggressive, do not let the evils of our enemies attract your enmity. Hell and divine punishment are enough for them.
    Sometimes, man's arrogance and self-worship cause him to be unjustly hostile towards believers without his being aware of it; he supposes himself to be right. But this hostility and enmity is to slight powerful causes of love towards the believers, like belief, Islam, and nationality; it is to reduce their value. It is a lunacy like preferring the insignificant causes of enmity to the causes of love, which are as extensive as a mountain.

    Since love and enmity are contrary to one another, like light and darkness, they cannot truly combine. The causes of whichever are in truth predominant in the heart, its opposite cannot be truly present. For example, if love is truly present, then enmity will be transformed into pity and compassion. This is the position towards the believers. Or, if enmity is truly present in the heart, then love takes on the form of feigned approval, not interferring, and being apparent1y friendly. This may be the position towards unaggressive people of misguidance.

    Indeed, the causes of love, like belief, Islam, nationality, and humanity, are strong and luminous chains and immaterial fortresses. One sort of the causes of enmity towards the believers are private matters, which are like small stones. In which case, to nourish true enmity tawards a Muslim is a great error; it is like scorning the causes of love, which are as immense as a mountain,

    IN SHORT: Love, brotherhood, and affection are the temperament of Islam, they bond it. The people of enmity resemble a spoilt child who wants to cry, and so looks for an excuse to do so, and something as insignificant as a fly's wing becomes the pretext. And they resemble an unfair, pessimistic person who so long as it is 'possible to distrust, never thinks favourably. He covers ten good deeds with one bad deed. Fairness and favourable thinking, which mark the Islamic character, reject this.


    May 11, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • civiloutside

      When the conclusions reached at the end of your post appears in an article about how a Muslim mob rioted outside a church causing a dozen deaths and a couple hundred injuries over the mistaken belief that the church was holding a convert against her will, one has to suspect a case of rose-colored-glasses wrt one's own people. It's fairly clear that "enmity" is no more rejected by the "Islamic character" than it is by the character if any other group.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  4. myklds

    Muslim belief is tolerated and very well respected in Christian Countries. And while they'll continue to persecute and even kill Christians in their countries, we otherwise continue to to tolerate and respect them in ours, until the day they learn to do the same.

    May 11, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • JohnR

      Wrong. Muslim AND Christian and assorted other beliefs are tolerated in SECULAR societies.

      May 11, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • wipe0ut


      You terribly had it wrong, Unlike Arab (Muslim) counties and Spain, Rome, U.S. etc. as Christians Countries, there is no Country an Atheist.

      Atheism may have been significant in Russia but yet, "there's no Atheist in foxholes". So how bloated ego and thick skin you have to make such claim.

      May 12, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  5. Maria

    An the world will not pay atention and the kill will continue

    May 11, 2011 at 3:33 am |
  6. Mark from Middle River

    I highly doubt it but let us say that the church burnings going on just because of missionaries? Are those in the Middle East that afraid of losing members to Christianity that they have to kill and burn down churches?

    I ask these questions because one day Stephan Pathoro might be out of the CNN office and images of more burned churches might make the front page. Over there is their problems and over there is where they need to find their solutions. What do we say to the folks over here that want to go on Mosque torching sprees? I say this because after seeing the twin towers come crashing down and Muslim Americans dying along with other Americans,... it seems that the Muslims from over there do not care one way or another about the Muslims here if they live or die.

    So the mosque burnings here, what would you say to the gang of people with the torches marching towards the Mosque.... I do not think that they will accept the "they are doing it over there because of Christian missionaries" argument and I doubt that they will follow a link or read something that you read the other week. What would you say to them and America to de-escalate the matter.

    May 11, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  7. nabi18


    May 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  8. T-party

    I wish all religious folks lived on one side of the planet so they could ki-ll each other off and leave us compasionate ,Humanist,logical,open minded folks alone.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Magic


      Unfortunately, there would still be aggression and violence - over water, land, oil, power etc., but the absence of religious jingoism would be a major thorn removed from the side of peace.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Adelina

      @T-party: ??? You are already butchering unborn humans by millions. The worst, most selfish murderers you are(atheists, agnostics, secularists, etc) that the world has ever known.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Adelina

      Secular Americans are so stupid and ignorant on history they learned nothing from watching Soviets, Mao China or N. Korea. Fools repeat foolishness on their own soil.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  9. Adelina

    Muslims' doctrines against infidels hold no future for anyone.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  10. Lindie

    It does not appear possible that these two religions, Islam and Christianity, will ever co exist with each other strictly by man's efforts.
    That should prove to every human being in this world that man on his own is incapable of establishing a lasting peace or freedom upon the whole world. The only man who ever claimed this ability was a Nazarene by the name of Jesus Christ. However, he left certain men to advanced his teachings and bring about peace and joy to the whole world by following those teaching. It is evident by the state of global affairs that many of us have failed to follow this path. Now, it remains to be seem if the final chapter of human history will end with the return of such a man as he so promised.

    May 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • John

      Islam and Christianity? More like Islam and any other religion.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  11. Mark from Middle River

    Muneef, a year or so ago France began the push for the baning of the full face covering veils and the Muslims in the middle east went nuts and burned down a few churches in middle eastern countries. What do you see should be the reply from Christian's in this country to seeing churches burned in Muslim countries?

    May 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mark from Middle River.

      Don't think that any burning is related to the vail issue but rather maybe the missionaries trying to convert poor Muslims by offering them money...
      But any way isn't burning or vandalizing mosques in America,Europe,Israel already existing? So what we can go on burning each others houses of prayers,we can go on killing each other to end as Muslims and Christians until we disappear both of us leaving earth to atheists and pagans while we end up both in Hell for having burned and killed each others being believers?! Isn't that a good deal ?

      May 11, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  12. Muneef

    A very important Christian missionary converted to Islam and became a major herald for Islam, he was a very active missionary and was very knowledgeable about the Bible. This man likes mathematics so much, that's why he likes logic. One day, he decided to read the Qur'an to try to find any mistakes that he might take advantage of while inviting Muslims to convert to Christianity. He expected the Qur'an to be an old book written 14 centuries ago, a book that talks about the desert and so on. He was amazed from what he found.

    May 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Reality

      From someone else who read the koran:

      Sir Salman Rushdie in his book "Satanic Verses", p. 376, paperback issue – for those 1.5 billion Muslims to read as they are forbidden to purchase or read said book:

      One of the passages that prompted the crazy Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa against Sir Rushdie:

      Mahound = Mohammed
      Gibreel = Gabriel

      "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

      Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

      It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

      Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

      He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

      And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

      This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

      May 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • JohnR

      Muneef, anyone who was a christian missionary was a god besotten idiot from the get go, eh?

      May 11, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  13. Muneef

    Funny story;

    Two little boys, ages 5 and 7, are excessively mischievous.
    They are always getting into trouble and their parents know if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved.

    The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually.

    The mother sent the 5 year old in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Do you know where God is, son?"

    The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open.So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?!
    Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE is GOD?!"

    The boy screamed & bolted from the room, ran directly home & dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?"

    The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time!" "GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!"

    May 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  14. Muneef

    The truth seen is that there is a plan to divid each country that has Islam and Christians into two countries one each...We seen that in Sudan and still going on to catchup with each African and MidEastern country or eatern countries...

    Beside that signs are clear that Christian Africans are being supported and armed to drive out those Afro Arab nationals and African Muslims...the shake that MidEast at the moment is having is only meant to process this division which is ploted now in Egypt in preparation for it....

    May 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Catherine


      " In a.d. 632, EGYPT, PALESTINE, SYRIA, ASIA MINOR, NORTH AFRICA, SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, and THE ISLANDS OF SICILY, SARDINIA, AND CORSICA WERE ALL CHRISTIAN TERRITORIES. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities — not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

      By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.(6) Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

      What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed — though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbours. Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest.

      The attacks continued, punctuated from time to time by Christian attempts to push back. Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus and began to island-hop across from North Africa toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth.

      In the hundred years between 850 and 950, Benedictine monks were driven out of ancient monasteries, the Papal States were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases were established along the coast of northern Italy and southern France, from which attacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defence of the territory around them.

      Read the rest of history…

      Also remember almost from the very beginning of Islam, there were wars upon wars between Christians and Moslems. We remember the Crusade wars, seven major and several minor, which lasted for centuries. This is the story of the Battle of Lepanto, which marked the end of the Crusades and was a turning point in the history of Christianity.

      I was ordered to fight the people until they say ‘there is no god but Allah, and his prophet is Muhammad'." Muhammad 632,
      Osama bin Laden said this in 2001.

      He followed through what Mohammad wrote in the Quran. All Muslims who calls themselves good Muslims follow these teachings. This is traditional Islam. There is no such thing as moderate Islam.

      Please do not say it is a misinterpretation. Kill means kill in any language. To lie means to tell lies. Below are quotes with references from the Quran. You will see Osama and good Muslims shouting Allah, Akbha as they go on rampages of destruction and murder just repeating Quranic verses.

      "Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another" Quran 48:29

      Muslim (1:33) – the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah

      Bukhari (8:387) – Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah

      Quran (2:191-193) – "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

      In the world where ever there is murder, unrest, unjust wars, religious persecution, kidnapping, beheading good Muslims commit these crimes.

      After they kill Infidels they then turn on one another as they have done for the past 1400 years. Look at Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sudan, areas of African, areas of the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Philippines, Iran and (Saudi Arabia – only Muslims allowed). etc. etc. etc. There never will be peace as long as there is Islam. Soon they will be crying for Sharia law to be imposed on all non Muslim citizens in Egypt.

      We in the West need to learn their language and the language of the qurqn in its purest form.

      Islam is not only a religion; it is an ideology, a way of life, a political agenda of conquest and subjugation.

      Let’s not play games of denial for political gain. Let’s not fool/blind ourselves and others with our stupid and misguided political correctness, phony niceness and ignorant sophistry. To cure cancer one has to get to the root and cut it out otherwise the patient will die.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  15. Colin

    As an atheist, one can only sit back in utter amazement as silly Muslims and silly Christians fight and kill on another over whose sky-fairy can beat up whose sky-fairy. One cannot help but feel like a wizened adult watching silly children fight over pixies in the backyard.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Artist

      Like watching cavemen. I can understand the ME because they have never left the dark ages. But there is no excuse for the West. It seems we just barely got past believing in dragons.

      May 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • Magic

      Yes, if these kids can't play nice with their imaginary superheroes, someone with a whit of sense and maturity needs to send them for a giant time-out.

      Perhaps atheists/agnostics are the only ones who can step in and break up the fight.

      May 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • TCB

      Oh please. Atheists think they're so enlightened and never the source of violence. It's always those religious morons. Well,
      since the Russian Revolution, atheist communists have been responsible for more murders and genocide than Christians and Muslims combined! So spare me your egotistical nonsense.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      For upon every crime look for the woman behind it.

      May 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Say what...? You might want to explain that one a bit before the 'women-folk' on this blog come after ya' !! 😯

      Just lookin' out for you -Muneef.


      May 11, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Muneef

      Sorry friend I meant to say that all this conflict in Egypt between Muslims and Christians even before the change of government is over a Christian Woman who declared coverting into becoming a Muslim but the Church is not letting her go or holding her...Few extremes took that as an opportunity to arise conflicts between both religious populations.... Seems more Christian females converting to Muslims....but not sure if it is because the Muslim man can marry more than one and can divorce any time, while a Christian can marry one only and can not divorce or remarry...too many ties...

      May 11, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Catherine

      Muneef: " For upon every crime look for the woman behind it."

      Muneef, For once you are soooo right and telling the truth.

      in the year 610, Muhammad received his religious call. He was about 40. When he received his first revelation, he was terrified that it had come from demons, or Jinn. But, HIS WIFE KHADIJAH assured him that the revelation was from God, or Allah.

      A greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat WOMAN KHADIJAN BEHIND A greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat MAN MOHAMMAD

      May 12, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    Religious violence in the middle east?!
    SHOCKING, I tell you – absolutely shocking.

    May 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  17. Muhammod

    When this uprising began I knew it would lead to the slaughter of Christians. The followers of Islam need a strongman to keep them in line. This is why they keep their woman covered, like animals they have no self control. The best thing that could happen is that something comes along and sees Islam for the cancer that it is and cuts it out of humanity.

    May 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      Guess the most animal of all is who uses Islamic name and calls Muslims animals....! You do not have half the honor muslims have.... Those so called animals are cleaner than any ape since the wash their private parts with water and not only with paper tissues....beside that they cleanse them selves five times a day for prayers....guess animals do not do as much....tell you what you are lesser human than those you call animals....guess we are even now.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • Reality

      More on the treatment of females in Islam:

      "Islam’s widespread practice of amputating the cli-to-ris and sometimes part or even all of the vul-va from the ge-n-ita-lia of Muslim women, affirmed in a had-ith by Mohammed himself, most likely also traces back to the founder’s deliberate abuse of se-x to lure pagan males into his cu-lt. The more the male s-ex drive is purposefully aro-used, the more the female s-ex urge may have to be proportionately suppressed, lest org-iastic he-ll begin to spread.

      Consider then what frequently happens when even a modestly clothed young Western woman walks alone in broad daylight down a street in, for example, a non-Westernized area of a city in Pakistan. Muslim men around her can see her face, hair and neck—maybe even her ankles. Some of them perceive that much exposure as intent on her part to a-rouse them. The fact that she is not accompanied by a male relative confirms their susp-icions. Knowing that she, a Western woman, has not been subjected to that cruel amputation which Islam forces upon millions of Muslim women, some males may even imagine that she must feel s-exual desire for them.

      They tend also to perceive themselves as not responsible to exercise decent social restraint. Rather she is responsible not to tempt them! Whatever lewd thing Muslim men around her say, do or feel as a result is regarded as her fault alone. . . .
      During a major upheaval in Indonesia in the late 1990s, s-ex-crazed Muslim men gang-ra-ped dozens of Chinese women in shops, homes and even in the streets, shouting in Arabic, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!)*

      May 11, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  18. sadiesadie

    I was with you until you said "At the same time, Egytian Christians and their brethren in the international coptic diaspora should refraim from launching incindiary calls for international protection. Such calls only further inflame communal tensions..."
    To me this is the equivalent of telling a victim of bullying to stop telling adults because it is only going to make the bully angrier and fuel harsher bullying.
    I am sorry but when 10% of any population in any country is being targeted and attacked, we as the world should not be sitting back shushing them, we should be protecting them. Just as we would the victim of a high school bully.

    May 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      so you agreed with him until things went your way.. Surprising to say the least

      May 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      But WOULD we? No doubt we should .. but would we. We've found it convenient to ignore Manzanar (brought to us FDR and Earl Warren), a number of atrocities versus red-men, .. Katherine Genovese (icon case),

      May 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Methusalem2000

      I think the Copts should either fight for their own separate state, like South Sudan, or leave Egypt for ever.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  19. Reality

    Putting an end to all the foolishness on both sides:

    All followers of religion to include Michael Wahid Hannaare actually "Mythians" considering the mythical foundations of the major religions i.e. there was no Abraham, no Moses, no Noah, no Easter, no virgin birth and no Gabriel and therefore no angelic revelations to Mary or Mohammed.

    May 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • T-party

      @ Reality as usual you are correct. Religion creates walls, creates division, creates hatred. all over an imaginary God.

      May 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      T-party and Reality, I can say the same thing about the two of you, as well as other non-believers on this site. Non-believers create walls against believers, non-believers have created major division in civilized society. I can't say I hate any of you but I can say you've given me a major headache all over your big ego posts of babble believing yourselves to be mini-gods without realizes any consequences to the outcomes of your nonsense.


      May 11, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • doctore0

      The problem there is RELIGION.
      Islam/Christianity/Judaism - bible/koran; There are tools to create maniacs willing to attack the other tribes...

      I know this, you know this, we all know that religion is a tool of war/domination/scams.

      He who respects religion, disrespects humanity.

      May 11, 2011 at 6:08 am |
  20. Zainab

    For a better take on the Egypt 'sectarian' crisis, take Raymond Ibrahim's analysis.

    May 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.