Egyptian Chronicles: Counter Revolution : The Return of the sectarian ghosts

Friday, February 25, 2011

Counter Revolution : The Return of the sectarian ghosts

In past 72 hours the ugly ghosts of sectarian tensions returned back to Egypt yet thank God these ghost did not create what they were intended to from a fraction in the Egyptian society after the revolution of January 25.

The counter revolution was crystal clear to us in the past 72 hours with these strange sudden incidents with sectarian nature. A priest was killed in his apartment alone in Asuit “according to some he was killed by another Christian over land dispute while other say that he was killed by a burglar” , a fire at the deserted homes of the Baha’is in Sohag and then next day we find more disturbing news that a church was set on fire at Rafah and  that the army attacked a monastery at Wadi Al Natrun injuring some monks. 

The army denied the news of that Church in Al Arish , already when I checked the videos related to the so-called incident , I found out that they were uploaded on February 16 !!

What happened at Wadi Natrun at the monastery of Saint Pishoy was the peak because we had what some wanted to be portrayed as the clash between the army and the Christians or wanted to be the start of this kind of clash. Based on the comments I saw online I felt that the NDP online department is too damn active.

Now according to what I understand the monks at the monastery built a wall on a state owned land which is illegal. The army came with its weapons to demolish the wall. This is the story in nutshell. A little addition you must know that the Egyptian government and the Egyptian army issued a strong warning for all those who violated the law and built on a state owned land during the security absence.

The monks claim that they built to protect themselves after the withdrawal of the police and that the army knew about. They also claimed that the army used RBJ and live ammunition.The monks stated where their injured from other monks and workers are “Angelo American hospital” The monks complained the army or rather these troops to AFC.

Pope Shnouda said that monks were unwise to build on a state owned land even if it were for protection according to what he had said last Wednesday yet he condemned the use of force.

The army on Facebook addressed the matter in Msg No.13 where it stated that :

  • The army did not lead any aggression against the monastery.
  • The army has no intention to demolish any house of worship in Egypt.
  • The army only demolished the walls that were built on the state owned land.

The Egyptian Christians were angry after all this and some of them went to protest freely at Tahrir square last Wednesday night.

Now to my own personal view I refuse how the army dealt with the matter but let’s agree that we are not dealing with police yet I refuse how the monks took a piece of land that is not theirs regardless of their reasons.

For 18 days there was no single policeman in front of any church or synagogue or mosque and yet there was no a single attack.The sequence of the events shows that someone is missing up in the backyard and this one we know very well : State security.

Today the AFC has issued Msg.18 : The council monitors carefully what is happening from newly founded expressions like counter revolution and attempts to create tensions between Muslims and Christians and that the AFC demands the people to stand like one in front of all these schemes. “The last part was highlighted in yellow”

I do not know how it could be more crystal clear to the whole world.

Youm 7 which is owned by Ashraf Safwat Al Sherif “whose assets are frozen currently in Egypt ” published a strange news that the Church in Egypt had a meeting with other Christian sects to discuss the future of the 2nd article in the constitution with reference to the refusal of the church to this article. In real life Pope Shnouda did not discuss any constitutional article with one and he does not refuse the article. “I will not publish any link anymore to Youm 7 because I have joined the #UnfollowYoum7 Campaign”

There was a protest too on Thursday and thank God the plans of the counter revolution was sabotaged because the chants were not sectarian as much as they were anti-Police , anti-state security and anti-counter revolution chants.

I do not want it to sound to another former regime’s Egyptian unity cliché but at the same time the real rats of the former regime were doing what they are good at , a group of young Egyptians hanged the Egyptian flag between the Two Saints church and the mosque in front of it.

It is not a cliché because i would like to remind you that one of the main suspects behind the bombing that shocked the whole nation in the beginning of the year is Habib Al Adly himself and MOI !!

I see a counter revolution scenario , let’s pay attention for it.


  1. from what i have heard there WERE some incidents of churches attacked during the 18 days. i will look around for reports.
    also, according to the same reports you reference, the monastery applied for permits to build such a wall many times; in the end they built it to protect themselves from attack by baltagayya or whoever, who had attacked before. suddenly the army has all the time in the world to go to a deserted part of Egypt and demolish a wall taking up a few meters of unusable government land, and allegedly injuring monks in the process. Does that not seem like evidence of bias to you? They need time to release political prisoners but they can go take back two metres of wasteland?

  2. Zeinobia,

    This video show the aggression the army used against unarmed monks:

    There are also first-hand reports from people saying that the killing of Fr Dawood Botros was followed by cries of 'Allah Akbar':

    I understand that you're trying really hard to emphasise the unity and progressive nature of the #Jan25 revolution, but it is important to clearly state report sectarian incidents when they happen. A better Egypt devoid of sectarian stife won't come by ignoring the ills - they must be addressed head on.

    I really enjoy reading your blog by the way. You're knowledge of modern Egyptian politics is excellent - keep up the good work.


    Shame on the Egyptian armed forces sending a platoon of armoured infantry against a defenseless monastery - regardless of the wall dispute. Was all this shooting and heavy-handedness necessary? Is this the new Egypt with its promise of respect for all its citizens, due process and the rule of law? Has the army Council seen this footage before issuing their communique #13?

    Until you get your house in order and revise your constitution soon, this and other documented outrages against Egyptian Christians and the weakest among you, does not bode well for Egypt's place in the world and its future.

    Still, it is good to see the occasional sign with the crescent and the cross and the flag between the church and the mosque in Alexandria. A ray of hope perhaps.

    A friend in Canada who would very much love to visit your country.

  4. Egyptians brothers, never trust the army. In fact never trust any army anywhere. Keep aking for freedom and true democracy for your children. Keep protesting for freedom, this time from the army itself, and from the members of the old regime currently still in post, keep asking for freedom from any extreemist and from external forces. Keep asking for a civilian, well balanced, mature, democratic and elected government that can promote and improve the economic and social lot of both the rich and the poor,in an egypt where equality is granted too any citizen from any religious background. This should be done through well thought out economic, social, scientific and Educational reforms that neither the military nor the old regime could understand or deliver no matter what they said. The old regime reform track record is clear so that is that,and the military are only trained in the use of military power, so who should have power in Egypt? it is up to you to decide who should exercise power in Egypt not the Army. Here is a tip, do you know who is the true superpower in a democtartic society and state is? its the people, the old regime learnt it the hard way both in Tunisia and Egypt and the military knew it during the revolutions and fear it right now. So now comes the truth, Gaddaffi is using hard power against his people to survive, but the Egyptian army clever, it is using "soft power" as an opportunity to both survive and more than for future domination, no more said. I have nothing against the army, but we should by now have witness some changes and since we did not, there remain a question mark over the political capacity and efficiency of any army to facilitate reform. Also it is not clear what the true objectives of the army really are. So far we did not detect any transparency since the army put itself in the driving seat, and that is bad news and maybe even a warning. Because in my book if an army put itself in the driving seat either through force or through the use of soft power, then that is a military coup against democracy, hence against the people. What the army should do now is show transparency and show concrete steps towards true democracy. In a world of political mediocracy, scepticism is good.


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