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The latest atrocity was the cold blooded murder of four people, two of which were children, in a drive by shooting.
It was evening and the occasion was a happy one. It was a wedding – a Christian wedding, in church. The church was located in a highly populated lower middle class sector of Cairo. After the wedding ceremony is over, it is traditional for the bride and groom to leave the church to stand by the door and the guests and family would stream out wishing them luck and shaking their hands or giving them hugs and kisses. Before that happens, usually the children attending the wedding would fly out the door to see the happy couple coming out of the church. Also the closest members of the couple’s family would be waiting out there to receive the congratulations of family and friends.
That was the situation in front of the church, where the mother of the groom, the bride’s cousin and two of her nieces and a nephew were out there waiting for the happy couple to come out. The little girls, an eight year old and a 12 year old, all dressed to the nines in white, fluttered around looking like little angels. The boy, a 5 year old, the brother of the 8 year old girl, was there as well. A small group of other members of the family, and friends were all there as well.
Suddenly the happy sounds were drowned by two loud noises. The first was that of a motorcycle, the second, the terrifying sound of an automatic gun being fired. Then the screams broke out. Those who were fatally struck dropped to the ground on pools of blood. Those who were wounded were screaming in agony. The two young motorcyclists, dressed in black, disappeared down the road, leaving carnage behind them.
The wedding party turned into a funeral in an instant. Two young girls riddled with bullets, one had 13 bullets that tore up her poor little 8 year old body, the other had 5 bullets. The cousin, a 46 year old husband and father, and the mother of the groom, a 64 year old woman were also struck by several bullets. Most of those wounds were in the torso. Shots to kill. The five year old boy is in critical condition while writing this article.
The feelings of shock wore out quickly and turned into grief and fury. What right have people with a political agenda to rob little children and peaceful citizens of their lives in such a painful and barbaric way. The added factor of the victims being Christians whipped that anger into fury by Muslim Egyptians. The number and methods of murder of Christians over decades, but especially since the 25 January 2011, have accumulated into such a feeling of frustrated anger within the community as a whole; more so by the Muslim Egyptians,. The escalating violence against Christians since the January 2011 revolution, has created a feeling of deep frustrated anger within the community.
No matter how much logic you use that these criminal acts have nothing to do with religion, on a visceral level however erroneous the sentiment, Egyptian Muslims feel a sense of guilt towards Egyptian Christians. I have Muslim friends calling me up and apologizing. This, of course, is ridiculous. These are CRIMINAL acts, not sectarian violence. To the MB, targeting Christians was a double bonus of aiming for escalating sectarian violence as well as getting rid of their traditional enemy.
Though this is the latest incident of violence by a rogue, terrorist group against peaceful Egyptians, the fact that they were specifically targeted as Christians has solidified the front of all Egyptians, Christians and Muslims, against this barbaric, terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Many a voice had been raised that had the rule of law been applied decades ago, had justice prevailed and the guilty part duly punished, things would not have reached such a sad state of affairs. Now these terrorists kill with impunity, fearing neither retaliation, nor even the law. If the current Government Representatives do not shape up and start applying the rule of law, they will get the surprise of their lives when the people rise up against them. A third revolution.
All that we have been asking for is the chance to live a decent life, earn an honest living, have the basics of our needs fulfilled. Egypt is very rich with its people and its untapped resources. We have been ruled for so long by an apathetic ruler like Mubarak, or aided by greedy individuals like his son Gamal and his group, then finally by a member of a cult – Morsi who added treason to greed. We are close to reaching a boiling point. If the Government does not take strong measures to control the downward spiraling security situation, it might not get a second chance at staying on. True there is a slight improvement in tourism, but these terrorist acts against the predominantly peaceful community of Christian Egyptians has the effect of scaring both tourists and investors. It is a catch 22 sort of situation with no easy answers, but the majority of the people expect more resolute measures by the Government to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated.
NOTE: After this article was written, a fifth victim dies, a 17 year old Muslim boy who was attending the wedding of his friend’s relatives. So total count of the dead is 5, and counting.