With the years progressing, the dark age of intolerance, violence and savageness deepens its roots in the deserts of Middle East today. Distracted by the dreams of constructing Paris-like streets and New York skyscrapers, the Arab world seems to have neglected the top engineer of conflict: the strife against religious extremism.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi recently commented on the May 20 attack, urging the government to take measures in reinforcing public order and protection of citizens within the rule of law.
Following the rumor of a love affair between a Christian man and a Muslim woman, the Coptic Orthodox Church stated that ‘a group of 300 people carrying weapons went at 8pm on 20 May to attack seven houses owned by Christians, burgling some of them and torching others’. A popular incident is the eviction of Soaad Thabt, the mother of the Christian man, out of her house and stripping her naked.
On Saturday, according to Ahram Online, the interior ministry has said to arrest 14 people so far under the suspicion of involvement in the mob.
Bishop Macarius refuses to resolve the sectarian issue through informal assemblies and inter-faith community meetings, and insists on the necessity of tackling the issue through the application of law.
Amna Nosseir, an MP and an Al-Azhar scholar, told Ahram Online a few weeks ago that she has proposed to alter Article 98 in the House of Representatives. Ishak Ibrahim, the Egyptian Intuitive for Personal Rights, explains that there is no exact definition of ‘contempt of religion’, and this matter is usually left to the judge who is often defendant of his own religion.
As events continue to spiral, resolving religious conflict now rests with the implementation of law. Yet, unknowing the degree of success, it is urgent that the country, and the Arab world in general, to begin developments through the focus on reality as opposed to dreams.