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#1 11-07-2018 04:59:41

Date d'inscription: 07-12-2017
Messages: 905

by Mahmoud Fouly


by Mahmoud Fouly, Wang Xue

CAIRO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- ""This bouquet of roses symbolizes love and peace. I am here to tell my Coptic brothers and sisters that I am really grieved for the lost innocent souls,"" said veiled 30-year-old housewife Nesreen Samir with a bouquet of roses in her hand outside Saint Mark's Cathedral, Egypt's main Orthodox Church, in Cairo's Abbasiya neighborhood.

Accompanied by her husband and little boy, Samir was one of dozens of Egyptians who held a march with flowers and lit candles on Saturday to mourn the victims of last week's suicide bomb attack at Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church adjacent to the cathedral, which left at least 26 dead according to latest official reports.

The blast was the first to target Egypt's Christian minority in at least three years, yet all participants in the march, Muslims and Copts, expressed their feelings of mutual solidarity, love and national unity despite terror attempts and security challenges.

Samir's husband, Mostafa Amin, who works in the tourism sector, stood with a sticker on his chest reading ""I am Saint Peter Church"" to show there are no differences between Muslims and Christians as they are all Egyptians.

""Terrorism has nothing to do with religion. There is no religion that calls for violence but they all call for love and peace. Although such attacks damage tourism, it's not why we're here. We're here to show our unity in the face of terrorism,"" Amin told Xinhua outside the cathedral.

Terrorist attacks have been growing in Egypt since the military removal of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and the later deadly crackdown on his supporters until blacklisting his Muslim Brotherhood group as a terrorist organization.

Most of the attacks over the past three years, which were claimed by a Sinai-based militant group affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, targeted police and military men, while the recent church blast marks a qualitative change in terrorist tactics according to experts.

Lawmaker Mohamed Abu Hamed, who joined the march, said that the country is going through a kind of war against terrorism, stressing ""the will of the Egyptian people will win in the end.""

""A proposal will very soon be presented to the parliament to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to reach quicker and more decisive trials and achieve fast justice and the punishments will be reviewed to be more deterrent,"" the parliamentarian told Xinhua during the march, noting the amendments will not limit freedom as some claim.

""Since the wave of terrorism hit the world, all countries are reviewing their legislations to best combat terrorism, which has nothing to do with freedom that are protected by the constitution and the supervision of the people,"" he explained.

In the background of the march, just behind the wall of the cathedral, construction workers have been moving as fast as in beehive to finish the reparation work of the damaged church within 15 days as President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered, in order to catch the Christmas celebrations with the small church completely renewed.

""They work three 8-hour shifts per day for two days now to finish the job on time,"" said Bavely, one of the scout team of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, who took Xinhua reporters in a tour that stopped at the church door where the interior can be seen but without bothering the reparation workers.

Engy, a 27-year-old Coptic lady, said while lighting a candle during the march that the earnest reconstruction work at the church is great yet the rights of the victims are more important.

""The reparation work will be done as the Two Saints Church in Alexandria was repaired after a deadly blast in late 2010. Getting the rights of our lost brothers and sisters still matters most,"" she told Xinhua.

The mourning scene outside the church concluded with a funeral music march performed by some 40 drummers of a group of church scouts including young men and women in beige and ocean blue uniforms.

""The funeral march is held for the blast victims. Our scouts are from the Catholic church. However, there is no difference between Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Christian. We are all Egyptians,"" scout leader Selim Ashaia told Xinhua during the march.

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