Monday, February 14, 2011

diary of hope?

Recent events in Egypt offer hope of a better future, hopefully.

2010. The people of Egypt live another year under the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarek, pro-western, but corrupt. So many people living in poverty while the ruling elite enrich themselves (Abram Online newspaper described "a political landscape governed by limited pluralism and that favours the rich"); police brutality; and a history of Muslim atrocities against the minority Coptic christians.

January 1. A bomb explosion in front of a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria leaves 21 dead and 79 injured.

January 6. In a show of support many intellectuals, activists, prominent citizens and ordinary people promise to form a 'human shield' around Coptic churches and even attend the Coptic Christmas Eve mass (Copts celebrate Christmas on a different date to western christians).

January 7. Egyptian Muslims followed through on their promise and turned out in large numbers at christian Christmas Eve services in an unprecedented show of solidarity, tolerance and national unity. We hear much in the west about the evils of Islamic fundamentalism, but this action by Egyptian Muslims shows great courage and deep respect for human life and peace.

January 11. Hosni Mubarek resigns as President, and the military takes over, promising free elections within 6 months.

We can only hope, and those of us who believe in prayer can pray, that the Egyptian people achieve the political freedom, an end to exploitation by the elite, and greater inter-faith harmony, that it seems the majority desperately want.

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