During an interfaith gathering spearheaded by Muslim, Coptic Orthodox and Catholic leaders that was held at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, President el-Sisi denied the thinking that Muslims make up the majority in Egypt and Christians are among the minorities. The Egyptian president said all the country’s citizens should be treated equally, Agenzia Fides relays.
Sisi’s comments come as hundreds of Christians fled El-Arish, fearing for their lives after the Islamic State launched a spate of deadly attacks targeting their community. The Egyptian president has since ordered security officials to do everything to help the fleeing believers resettle.
Despite Sisi’s reassuring words, Amnesty International has accused his administration of “consistently failing” to protect the Coptic Christians. Bishop Angaelos, who heads the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, also released a statement lamenting the killing of Christians in Egypt for no apparent reason except for their faith.
“From the terrorist bombing on St Peter’s Coptic Church in Cairo that claimed the lives of twenty nine mainly women and children, to the murders of individuals across the country since, the one common denominator is that these innocent children, women and men have had their lives brutally and tragically ended for no other reason except that they are Christians,” Bishop Angaelos said.
Meanwhile, Al-Azhar Mosque’s Grand Imam, Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, recently said Islam is open to a pluralistic environment. In previous declarations, he said Muslims and non-Muslims are equal when it comes to rights and duties, Breitbart reports.
In addition, el-Tayeb said Islam should not be automatically linked with terrorism. Doing this, according to the Grand Imam, paves the way for branding all faiths as terrorism and supports the thinking that religion must be pushed out of the public square.