Brotherhood condemns attack on Al-Warraq church

Ahram Online , Monday 21 Oct 2013

Muslim Brotherhood holds Ministry of Interior responsible for not protecting Egyptians whilst being publicly blamed for the attack

Waraa church
Egyptians gather at a Coptic Christian church in the Waraa neighborhood of Cairo late Sunday, 20 October, 2013 after gunmen on motorcycles opened fire at a church wedding ceremony (Photo: AP)

The Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the attack on Al-Warraq Church that resulted in the killing of four victims and the injury of nearly a dozen others, holding the authorities responsible for failing to protect Egyptians.

"We are saddened to see that, far from fulfilling their duty of care, the military-backed authorities continue to turn a blind eye to deliberate acts of arson, vandalism and murder. This is a duty of care that every Egyptian has a right to expect regardless of creed or class," said the Brotherhood press office in London, in a statement issued earlier Monday on its English website ‘Ikhwanweb.’

The Brotherhood transferred its media office to London after a security crack down on its offices and officials in the past two months following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"It is painful to note that Beshay Lotfi, priest of Al-Warraq Church where the attack took place, confirms a total lack of police protection since the 30th of June," the Brotherhood press office added.

The statement reiterated that the Brotherhood deplores all forms of violence and stands in solidarity with victims of violence and oppression everywhere.

In Cairo, Amr Darrag, a leading member of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), deplored the attack on the wedding ceremony on its official Facebook page.

"Despite the fact that there are no details regarding the attack, I strongly condemn the aggression on the church, and I demand a quick investigation to reveal the identity of the perpetrators," said Darrag.

On the official Facebook page of the FJP, the general-secretary of the party, Hussein Ibrahim, released a short statement stressing the party's position regarding all forms of aggression against government institutions, public and private property.

"We will stand with the Egyptian people in peaceful protest until the return of legitimacy," said Ibrahim in his statement on Monday.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy also condemned the attack on the Virgin Church in Al-Warraq, asserting the sanctity of places of worship, state institutions and public and private property.

In a press statement issued on Monday, the Brotherhood-led alliance held the Ministry of Interior responsible for "neglecting the security of Egyptian citizens, while busy stalking peaceful protesters and students inside the university campus," in reference to the clashes between Al-Azhar students and security forces on Sunday.

Despite the statements released by Brotherhood affiliated groups, there is speculation among some Copts that Islamist groups were involved in the attack following intense sectarian rhetoric by some Islamists against Coptic Christians in recent months.

Some Islamist figures in-turn have claimed the 30 June protests against Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, consisted mainly of Copts.

Since the ousting of former president Morsi on 3 July, Islamists have criticised the Egyptian Church and its Pope Tawadrous II for supporting the political road map laid down by the interim authorities.

A wave of attacks against churches and Coptic Christians followed the dispersal of the two pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14 August.

Over 30 churches, 122 shops and 51 houses belonging to Copts were destroyed during the attacks, mainly in Upper Egypt, according to a report published in September by the Egyptian Centre for Public Policy Studies, an independent NGO.

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