Early on New Year’s Day, a bombing at Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt killed 25 Coptic worshippers. Adel Iskandar, an adjunct faculty member at the Center, and Dina Hussein, a MAAS alumna, provided commentary in the English edition of Al-Masry Al-Youm in response to the attack.
Iskandar describes the mythology of Egyptian interfaith harmony, noting that the symbol of the “crescent and the cross” has long served as the logo of this propagandized utopia. “We, Egyptians of all faiths and stripes, should insist and ensure that the ‘crescent and the cross’ not be evoked to uphold the status quo but rather, per its original and untarnished purpose in the 1919 revolution, to bring everyone together to advance a new path,” he writes.
Hussein points out a growing culture of intolerance in Egyptian society, asserting that recent events have illuminated how both Egyptian Muslims and Christians display racist, sexist, and sectarian rhetoric and behavior. “We ultimately need to engage critically and responsibly with this rhetoric…and to rethink any intolerant phrase, thought, or ideology that crosses our path,” she writes.