Leading Egyptian Political Figures Condemn Attacks on St. Mark's Cathedral

In the wake of the unprovoked attack on mourners during a funeral service at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral, numerous leading political figures have come out and denounced such acts of violence and blamed complicit security forces for choosing who does and does not get protection under Egyptian law.

"What happened yesterday in El-Khosos City in Qaliubiya [Greater Cairo Governorate], and today in front of the St. Mark Cathedral in Abbasiya, is an unfortunate tragedy that points to the failure of the society and the state to deal with citizenship issues and protecting citizens' lives," Amr Moussa, a former presidential candidate, said in a statement.

Others denounced the rise in sectarian violence that has been fostered under Egyptian President Mahmoud Morsi, which is predominantly targeting Coptic Christians.

"What is happening in front of the cathedral is a crime and a fall for the rule of law … what's happening is the result of escalating sectarian strife caused by extremism that violates Copts' rights," Dr. Amr Hamzawi, chairman of the Free Egypt Party, told Mideast Christian News.

There are several reports suggesting that Egyptian police were aiding the attackers, who were seen by witnesses throwing stones and discharging live rounds towards Coptic Christians at the cathedral.

"The attacks on those mourning at the Khosos martyrs' funeral and the injury of so many people, without resolving the issue, is a weakness and complicity of security forces," Sayed Abdel Aal, head of the Assembly Party, told MCN.

"What is occurring in front of the cathedral is a national catastrophe with the approval of the Ministry of Interior and the backing of the ruling regime," Abdel Aal continued. "They promote sectarian strife and support it in order to distract people from the political crisis with a sectarian one."

"When people who use racial slur against Christians are being rewarded with a place in the constitutional committee, and when the person who tore the Bible is granted bail, then there's no reason to be astonished at what's happening," popular satirist Bassem Youssef recently stated.

Used with permission from MidEast Christian News (MCN). Read more from MCN by clicking here.