About 40 youth from the Free Egyptians party, Egypt National party and the band Heart of Egypt formed a human chain in front of the Security Directorate in Menya on Friday.
The chain was a response to the cancellation of a concert held by the Heart of Egypt in Menya last week, intended to promote religious tolerance and celebrate national unity.
A Salafi Muslim group disrupted the concert and disseminated flyers in protest of the content of the concert. They regarded it as an attempt to promote Christianity though singing hymns. The concert was cancelled to avoid friction between the protestors and the attendees.
Mohamed Ismail, general secretary of Free Egyptians party in Menya commented on the formation of the chain saying, “it is our right to protect our freedoms and we deem the governor of Menya and the Chief Security officer responsible for the cancellation of the concert.”
“The concert was granted a security permission and a representative from the governorate was present. It did not include any content promoting Christianity or hymns,” he asserted.
He added, “This was not the first concert to be held by the band and the group Hand in Hand that organised the concert is comprised of Muslims and Christians, who work to promote the concept of citizenship and conserving national unity.”
The participants in the chain tapped their mouths rejecting the attempts to silence their voices and demanded that freedom of expression and creativity be guaranteed to all.
Ismail continued, “Our next step will be to hold another concert soon, to ensure that our freedom is inviolable.”
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called for investigations of the Menya incident describing it as “stark assault on society as a whole.”