Egypt: Muslim and Christian Elders Work to Promote Interfaith Relations
On May 16, 2011 At 3:01 am
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One of the members of the group Wael Mohamed Saleh and member of the Islamist group Gamaa Islamiyah said that he and other Muslim peacemakers helped to avoid mayhem after a Muslim youth was severely beaten at the funeral of the Christian priest Anba Daoud Boutrous who was stabbed to death in February. He and other Muslim peacemakers had managed to convince an irate Muslim mob not to avenge the beating of the Muslim.
Madgy Maher, a Christian member of the group said that some of the mourners at the funeral of Anba Daoud Boutrous had identified the Muslim at the graveyard by his beard, a sign that he was a Muslim. When the Christian mourners began beating the Muslim, Maher tried to intervene, but the young Muslim was badly beaten.
According to BigNewsNetwork.com the peacemakers men met at a cafe in Assyut to take stock and reflect on the challenges of interfaith relations in Egypt. They agreed that interfaith tension was the fault of the previous goverment playing divide and rule.
Wael Mohamed Saleh of Gamaa Islamiyah lamented that Muslims find it difficult to accept that people of other faith may not recognize the prophet Mohammad. He advises Muslims to keep their belief in their hearts and not speak about it aggressively in public for it only causes hatred.
Another member of the group, Mohamed Bahaa, a member of the Islamist Salafist group that was prominent in the St. Mina Church violence stressed the importance of quick intervention by leaders to forestall irruption of violence.
The group is working to set up mini-committees of leaders of both religions who would be quickly notified at the first sign of trouble and arrive quickly at troubled spots to mediate and avoid crisis.