In reaction to the storming of the diocesan headquarters of the Coptic Church in Shubra Al-Kheima the Maspero Youth Union held a vigil on Wednesday.
The vigil was called for by the MYU because of the string of attacks on Copts and their places of worship over the past two years. Evone Mos’ad, a member of MYU, said they were calling on All Egyptians to join in resisting the growing number of Salafi attacks. “We call on all Copts, and moderate Muslims who want Allah and the rule of law to prevail,” she said. “We call all Egyptians to join us.”
Mos’ad said such vigils are necessary because President Mohamed Morsy has so far failed to act in a decisive manner regarding the attack on Copts. “These people,” she said, “are using force, and the president is not doing anything about it.” She said either Morsy agrees with the Salafis using force to oppress the Copts or “is too afraid to do anything about it.”
Mos’ad pointed to the attacks on Copts in Imbaba and their displacement in places such as Dahshur and Amrreya, and the government’s failure to bring anyone to trial as a sign of Morsy’s unwillingness to act. Last year 28 people died in what became known as the Maspero Massacre, a predominantly Coptic march in reaction to the destruction of a church in Aswan by Salafis.
“If there had been laws in place to prevent this, or trials conducted against these people, then we would not see such incidents occurring over and over,” Mos’ad said. The MYU is demanding Monday’s attackers be tried urgently. If their demands are not met, Mos’ad said the MYU will take up further measures.
On Monday, a group of men identified as Salafis stormed the Shubra diocesan headquarters and raised a banner which read “Rahma Mosque.” The attackers remained on the premises until after dawn prayers, but left the banner in place.
In reaction to this attack, several political parties, including the Free Egyptians Party (FEP) and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party strongly condemned the attack.
A statement released by the FEP called on the government to act before the situation escalates or turns violent. The party urged the government to “implement the law in order to preserve the right of citizenship.”