Opposition, MB and NGOs protest in Shubra over Alex attack

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CAIRO: Hundreds of protestors from various opposition groups — including the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) — gathered in Shubra on Saturday night to denounce the attack on Al-Qeddesine Church (The Church of the Two Saints) that occurred in Alexandria earlier that day.

A car exploded in front of Al-Qeddesine Church as worshippers emerged from a New Year’s Mass, killing at least 21 people and injuring 97 others, according to official statements.

Protestors blamed the Egyptian government for failing to provide enough security, while at the same time managing to secure the “Israeli Jews’ celebration as at the Abu Haseira Feast in Damanhour.”

Many of the protestors called for the resignation of Interior Minister Habib El-Adly.

“We are here to say that all [of] Egypt is against terrorism … the reasons [behind terrorist acts], and [the] tyrannical regime that allowed this to happen,” head of Al-Ghad Ayman Nour told Daily News Egypt.

“Today we saw Egypt united, with all [of] its political streams — including the MB — to express anger and sorrow for the 24 martyrs,” said former Al-Wafd MP Ramy Lakah. “We don’t know the reason why they died at the church [or] the reason [behind] the weak security measures.”

Protestors carried a cross, lit candles and chanted slogans that condemned the attack. Their message stressed the importance of a unified Egyptian community, calling upon Egyptians to stand united against “the corrupt regime.”

The protest itself, however, was divided — the participating groups’ chants often overlapped one another.

As more people gradually joined the protest, heavy security cordons prevented the scene from evolving into a mass march in Shubra’s streets. As a result of all the jostling between security officers and protestors, a number of demonstrators fainted.

The participation of the MB was not welcomed by various protestors, many of whom accused the group of condoning the attack on the church.

One protestor attempted to attack former Brotherhood MP Mohamed Al-Beltagy but was prevented from doing so by other protestors in the crowd.

“We are here to say that all Egyptian people were victims of [this] crime,” Al-Beltagy told Daily News Egypt. “[The conflict] is not between Muslims and Christians, but between the Egyptian people, [their] enemies, and those who allowed terrorism to reach [places of] worship.”

“The MB defends the rights of [all] people, whether [it be in] civil, political or religious [affairs],” he added.

Al-Beltagy predicted that the government would crack down on MB members in the near future by utilizing the Emergency Law.

Other groups that participated in the demonstration included Al-Tagammu Party, the Hamdeen Sabahi Support Campaign for Presidency, the Kefaya Movement for Change, the April 6 Youth Movement, the National Front for Peaceful Change, the Youth for Justice and Freedom Movement (Hashd), the Revolutionary Socialist Movement, Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination Movement, Al Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center.

Protestors called for Egyptians to fast on Coptic Christmas, Jan. 7, to close their businesses, and for employees to spend three days at home — starting on Sunday — in order to mourn the victims of the attack on the Alexandria Church.


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