Baroness Caroline Cox statement to the 2 May Demo
May 20th 2011
Dear Friends,We are here today, as non-Egyptians - but as friends of Egyptian people and of the Coptic Church to join with you in sympathy for the suffering of your people and solidarity in your pleas for justice.We rejoiced at the determined yet dignified manner in which the Egyptian people asserted their right to enjoy fundamental freedoms.
We were particularly encouraged by the solidarity and compatriotism demonstrated by all of the country’s creeds and political groups throughout demonstrations against the Mubarak regime, which had allowed many atrocities to be perpetrated against your people, without adequate justice for perpetrators or protection for your communities – problems which we have highlighted in previous demonstrations.
We were profoundly moved to see Muslims and Christians take turns in protecting one another while holding prayers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. We are therefore very sad to have to reconvene for another demonstration, in the new situation, to express our Concerns regarding:
1. the increasing frequency of attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt
2. the danger that these attacks will lead to widespread civil unrest and threaten the future of Egypt as a democracy;
3. the nature of these attacks, which have either been terrorist attacks, or well organized mob attacks by radical Islamist groups, Salafists, who are demanding Egypt become an Islamic state, free of Christians;
4. the clear lack of action on the part of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to provide protection for its citizens or to uphold justice;
5. the policy of enforcing reconciliation meetings on victims of the attacks – which favour the attackers.
We therefore come here today to urge the international community to show strong resolve and tenacity in keeping the emerging Egyptian leadership accountable and we urge the Egyptian authorities to uphold the rule of law and to show resolve in addressing these worrying trends, which have the potential to pull Egypt into further chaos.
We also come to pay our deep respect and tribute to you and to your Coptic communities in Egypt for your faithfulness under persecution, your courage in danger and your fortitude in holding a frontline of Christianity for the world-wide Church and for freedom for all humanity.
Caroline Cox [The Baroness Cox] and the Revd. David Thomas.