Egypt's parliament denounces Coptic church incidents
Egypt, Politics, 4/17/2006
The attack launched by a deranged man against a number of Alexandria churches dominated the People's Assembly's session Sunday April, 16th. Outbursts of anger were seen expressed by members, from the majority and opposition, Muslims and Copts over scenes of blind extremism in Alexandria.
Parliament members decried the incident as contradicting Islam, a religion which calls for respecting other beliefs.
The parliament called on Egyptians to act in order to maintain national unity and bring the culprit to justice.
People's Assembly Speaker Ahmed Fathi Srour said that Copts were not a minority but were part of Egypt's fabric.
He said no chance should be given to any person seeking to stir sedition between Muslims and Copts.
He said Copts have always been in harmony with Muslims at all times stressing that these acts should be firmly confronted.
On his part, Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils Mofid Shehab said it is not in anybody's interest to exaggerate what has taken place.
He expressed confidence that the investigations would uncover the motives and dimensions of the incident adding that there is no room for tampering with national unity.
Meanwhile, the People's Assembly on Sunday April 16th announced the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate Friday's attacks on three churches in Alexandria.
The investigative panel is to include members of the parliamentary committees of religious affairs, defense, public security, human rights, information and agriculture.
On the other hand, it has been reported that Mahmoud Salah Eddin, the deranged culprit, will remain in prison for another 45 days pending investigation. Earlier, Salah Eddin has been medically examined for mental illness.
It has been reported yesterday Sunday April 16th that Mostafa al-Sayed Mashal, a Muslim citizen, was killed in the clashes which erupted during the funeral procession of the 78-year-old Coptic victim of the assault.
Chairman of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Butrous Ghali, currently in Paris, condemned on Sunday the attacks asserting that they run against the spirit of tolerance entrenched in all divine religions.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Kamal Abul Magd, NCHR deputy chairman, visited the injured in the Alexandria attacks.
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