Easter in Egypt: One Year Later

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Cartoon by Carlos Latuff depicting the unity between Christians and Muslims during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

I remember last year’s reports on the church bombings in Egypt on Palm Sunday. When I heard the news, my blood curdled. I was reminded on Christmas of the harm Salafism causes when I read on Mada Masr about the church attack. I was filled with rage. I was afraid friends and family might have been hurt. It’s as if Islamist terrorist way of celebrating Christmas and Easter was to kill people and bomb churches. I was fed up of hearing from friends and relatives “Don’t worry: the martyrs are in a better place now,” “Heaven needed another angel,” and words from the Coptic Orthodox Pope such as “The Church needs martyrs.” I have no idea as to why heaven has such a great demand for Egyptians.

However, I remembered something else. In Egyptian newspapers and social media, there were mentions of Muslims leaving candles, message of condolences, and flowers in front of Saint George’s church and Saint-Mark’s cathedral after the Palm Sunday attack in 2017. Should this be surprising?

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Sunday, Bloody Palm Sunday

Note: This is an unreleased article about the terrorist attacks on Palm Sunday 2017 in Egypt. It was meant for newspapers.

Sunday, April 9th 2017. Palm Sunday. A bomb explodes in Mar Guirguis (Saint-George in Arabic) church in Tanta, a few kilometers away from Cairo, while another terrorist blows himself up as two police officers, a male and a female, deny him entry into Saint-Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria. Same old story, business as usual, but what went on social media was a bit different. Why are these bombings somewhat usual and what is different? What are the terrorists’ motivations?

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An example of images shared on social media after the attack. It reads “Do not say ‘I am a Muslim and you are a Christian’ but ‘You are my brother, my blood and my friend’ “. Unknown author

Since 2010, Islamic terrorists bomb churches during the three biggest Christian feasts in Egypt: Christmas, Palm Sunday, and the biggest one of all, Easter. Only major incidents are reported because the minor ones have become so common that they have become routine. The reasons for attacking Saint-Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria are quite clear.

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What do Neo-Nazis and Muslim Extremists Have in Common?

In her Ted Talks Video, Erin Marie Saltman compares neo-Nazi groups and Muslim extremists, and explains how social media can be used to combat them. Yes, that’s right: people join neo-Nazi and Muslim extremists groups for similar reasons! Their members are angry at the world for various reasons, long for utopia, and think the world rejects them for it.

Read moreWhat do Neo-Nazis and Muslim Extremists Have in Common?

ISIS and Anger Marketing

Anger: it’s one of the most powerful emotional triggers. Marketers know it and so do ISIS’s recruiters. Anger is truly powerful: it makes people act without thought, buy without thought, accept without thought. That is exactly what ISIS needs to get people to join their ranks.

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Qatar the Scapegoat

Countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia cut ties with Qatar. The official reason was that this country supports terrorism. There are some who support Islamic terrorism more such as Saudi Arabia but no sanctions have been made against them. Of course, nothing was done against them because Qatar is a convenient scapegoat.

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Copts and Muslims of Egypt: What ISIS can’t Divide

On the first day of Ramadan 2017, ISIS attacked three buses carrying Coptic (native Egyptian Christians) children on a field trip to Saint-Samuel’s monastery near Minya.

ISIS killed children on a field trip. How tough and manly of you, ISIS. God is surely impressed with your devotion and bravery. Your mothers must be so proud of you. Here, you deserve a (poisoned) biscuit.

Read moreCopts and Muslims of Egypt: What ISIS can’t Divide

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