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Egypt presidential aide blames Christians for cathedral attack, sparks fury

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/10/Egypt-presidential-aide-blames-Christians-for-cathedral-attack-sparks-fury.html Egypt presidential
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12 9:30 AM
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      Egypt presidential aide blames
      Christians for cathedral attack, sparks fury
      Wednesday, 10
      April 2013
      [photo] A Coptic Christian sits on a desk near the gate
      inside Cairo's main Coptic cathedral, following Sunday's clashes with Muslims,
      April 8, 2013. (Reuters)
       
      Al Arabiya -
      A statement on Tuesday by an Egyptian presidential aide accusing Christian
      Copts of being the cause of Monday’s clashes near Cairo’s Abbasiya Cathedral has
      caused public outrage.
      Issam al-Hadad, the president’s assistant on foreign affairs, published the
      statement on Facebook, saying that during a funeral of Christians on Monday,
      some angry mourners attacked passing cars.
       
      This led some people near the cathedral to open fire and throw rocks, which
      escalated into an exchange of gunfire, he added.
       
      Clashes broke out on Monday between Muslims and Christians during a funeral
      of four Christians killed in sectarian violence the day before in the town of
      al-Khsoos. Monday’s clashes killed two and injured 89, security officials
      said.
      Presidency repudiates statement
      A meeting was held Tuesday between presidential and cathedral delegates
      to discuss the recent clashes, during which the presidential delegation
      repudiated Hadad’s statement, saying it only expressed his personal opinion.
       
      “Issuing statements that are then denied by the presidency clearly shows
      confusion in presidential performance,” said Egyptian journalist Abdullah
      al-Sinawi.
       
      Hadad’s statement shows the sectarianism that Egypt is experiencing under
      Muslim Brotherhood rule, Sinawi said, adding that the aide should have kept
      silent until results of an investigation are announced.
      Adding fuel to the fire?
      Hadad’s statement is irresponsible, and the Brotherhood and government do not
      consider the country’s interests in their calculations, said Margaret Azar,
      secretary general of the Free Egyptians Party.
       
      The Brotherhood is seeking to fuel sectarian strife, Azar said.
       
      Hadad’s statement may push extremists to once again attack Copts and the
      cathedral, so he must be punished, she added.
       
      It is unacceptable for a prominent official such as Hadad to issue such a
      statement, then have someone else tell the people that it only represents his
      opinions, Azar said.
      Hadad’s statement only adds fuel to the fire, former MP Mustafa Bakri wrote
      on Twitter

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