Elements of the global Muslim Brotherhood have reacted to the shooting attack against Coptic Christians in southern Egypt earlier this month by claiming that “religious intolerance” was not to blame. For example, global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi stated in a sermon:
Noted Islamic scholar Dr Yousef Al Qaradawi has condemned the attack on a group of church-goers in Southern Egypt and termed the attack as against Islamic principles. In his Friday sermon at Omar Ibn Al Khatab, Dr Al Qaradawi said the assailant is a non-religious man who was avenging on the rape of a 12-year-old Muslim girl by a Christian believer in the Naj Hammadi area. There is culture of revenge and hostility that prevails in the local community. This is due to the ignorance of a section of people and not because of religious intolerance, he said. “We must strongly condemn this incident and work for a culture of religious tolerance. There must be dialogues to ease tension between the people of same country’, he said. Dr Al Qaradawi said he is a persons who has innumerable Christian friends in Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon. He also condemned the burning of a church in Malaysia following a dispute and the unfortunate incidents in Nigeria.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood released a similar statement:
The MP asserted that the Brotherhood not only opposed sectarian prejudice but called for freedom of rights, religious freedom and tolerance. Islam is a religion, which advocates the adherence of open-mindedness, lenience and forbearance. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Imam Hassan al-Banna often took the advice and initiative of his Coptic friends demonstrating that the Movement was based on benefitting the whole community rather than concentrating on a particular group of people regardless of religion. He highlighted that Egypt was a nation where Muslims, Copts and Christians must live as one. Beltagy added Muslim and Christians share a common history and national identity They also share the same ethniticity, race, culture and language Christians are geographically dispersed throughout the country, and Christians, Copts and Muslims must continue living together as neighbours. He claimed that we must as one nation learn to overcome the religious tension which may arise due to sporadic and random individuals who cause religious prejudice and violence referring to recent incidents in Naga’a Hamadi. Beltagy stated that the amendment of the Citizenship article was drafted with the Muslim Brotherhood in mind to create further strife ascertaining that the real solution was in the hands of the ruling regime that opted to take full control leaving no opportunity for other trends and movements to participate in any form of political or social issues. It seemed that the NDP has its heart set on not only monopolizing Egypt but of crushing any body that dared voice its opinion using the Brotherhood as suitable scapegoats when the need arises. The MB MP concluded citing that if the authorities directed their energies correctly Egypt would be a much more agreeable place to live and the real criminals punished rather than innocent people.
A previous post discussed statements by a prize winning Egyptian author and former Shell Oil CEO blaming the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for the deteriorating position of religious minorities in Egypt.