Religious Leaders Condemn Attacks on Christians in Egypt and Nigeria

Religious Leaders Condemn Attacks on Christians in Egypt and Nigeria

January 5, 2011,
Ethics Daily Online

“These bombings are absolutely reprehensible,” said Mohamed Magid, imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Washington, D.C., and president of the Islamic Society of North America.

Muslim and Christian leaders began the new year with a flurry of statements and comments condemning Islamic attacks on Christians in Egypt and Nigeria.

Victory Baptist Church in Maiduguri, Nigeria, was burned and its pastor killed by Islamic extremists on Christmas Eve. Two Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt, was bombed on New Year’s Eve. At least 21 Christians were killed at the Coptic Christian church, and almost 100 others were wounded.

“These bombings are absolutely reprehensible,” said Mohamed Magid, imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Washington, D.C., and president of the Islamic Society of North America.

“ISNA condemns any and all acts of violence against innocent civilians,” he said in a statement on Jan. 3. “The attacks in Egypt and Nigeria are unacceptable and ISNA urges the Egyptian and Nigerian governments to take all measures to prosecute the individuals responsible for these heinous crimes swiftly and to the fullest measure.

“It is a sad day for all people when a simple act of worship or community celebration is marked by violence and innocent deaths,” said Magid.

Magid is an interviewee in the EthicsDaily.com documentary “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims” that aired last year on ABC-TV stations.

“ISNA asks Muslim community members and organizations in Egypt and Nigeria to lend support to the families who lost loved ones during these attacks and urges Muslim Americans to join them in prayer for God to ease the suffering of all those affected by this terrible tragedy,” he said.

In another Jan. 3 statement, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemned the bombing in Alexandria.

“This horrendous act of violence comes only months after fatal attacks and intimidation against the Christian community in Iraq left dozens dead and forced the cancellation of some Christmas celebrations,” said CMEP. “These attacks raise deepening concerns that anti-Christian violence in Iraq and Egypt may be connected.”

CMEP is a coalition of national denominations and organizations that include Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox traditions.

“We condemn these acts of violence perpetrated by extremists in the name of religion. We also call on government authorities and religious leaders in both countries to take all appropriate measures to urgently protect religious minorities. These incidents call for our immediate attention to the continuing and desperate need for strong national and international leadership to help find peaceful and political solutions to ongoing tensions in the region,” said CMEP. SOURCE