Families of Minya attack victims crying during their funeral - Hussein Tallal
Sunday – 4 November 2018: At a time when Egypt seeks to regain and expand its regional and international role and to move towards more power; and in conjunction with the launch of its second edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF) in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh bringing together thousands of local and foreign youth, terrorists spoil the scene by attacking a bus carrying worshipers returning from a remote Coptic Christian monastery in upper Egypt on Friday, killing at least seven and wounding another 19 including children.
Despite all the hurt, sadness and anger from this assault, which may lead some to think that Egypt has not recovered yet from terrorism, a deeper look at the nature and more importantly the timing of the incident and reading the situation in light of all what Egypt has went through since the Muslim Brotherhood and former president, Mohammed Morsi, were ousted from power in 2013 – the situation does not remain as dark as it seems.
Since June 2013, the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group targeted the Egyptian Christian community with a number of orchestrated assaults with the ultimate goal of creating an internal religious conflict between Egyptians and thus they bid to overthrow the Egyptian state. The group’s leaders have incited their followers, or sent their operatives, to persecute people in their homes, in shops, in schools, even within the sacred confines of churches throughout the country. According to statistics, since the beginning the Muslim Brotherhood full-scale campaign of terror against civilians, some 42 churches and Christian properties were attacked across Egypt leaving tens of Christian Egyptians killed or injured and destroying or damaging dozens of churches and other valuable buildings.
In 2017 only; more than 74 Christian Egyptians were killed as a result of terrorist attacks in Arish city, Tanta, Alexandria, Helwan and Minya. Unfortunately, 2018 did not end as we hoped – a year free from terrorist attacks, particularly against other Christian brothers and sisters, the Minya attack – the first of its kind against Christians and outside northern Sinai where the Egyptian security forces are fighting terrorism - confirms that Egypt is very close to end its war against terrorism and to eradicating it once and for all.
The nature of the attack reflects hopelessness and despair as the terrorists targeted a group of civilians in an isolated and remote area; and killed them in cold blood. This act reflects the strong security and logistical restrictions imposed by the Egyptian on terrorist groups and their inability to confront the Egyptian army and police; therefore in a very coward move they decided to resort to attacking and killing peaceful civilians in an effort to foment religious divisions among Egyptians.
Egyptians know very well that their social unity disturbs their enemies, and they are aware that these enemies do not wish to see Egypt prosper. Egyptian know very well that there are countries that plan and finance these terrorists to push Egypt towards a vicious cycle of terrorism, division and conflicts, they know very well that their enemies only wish chaos for Egypt. But, they also believe that their unity is the key to help Egypt regain and revive the role it used to have on the regional and international level before all the disturbances that targeted the region. Therefore, they will stand by their home country and support their security forces in face of this dark terrorism as described by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in his opening speech at the WYF on Saturday where all participants stood for a minute of silence for the victims.