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Church Bomb Kills 21, Wounds 79 in Alexandria, Egypt

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Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- At least 21 people were killed and 79 wounded when a bomb exploded outside a Coptic Christian church in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt since at least 2006.

The blast occurred after midnight as worshipers were leaving a New Year’s service, damaging the church, a nearby mosque and cars on the street, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on its website. “Foreign elements” appear to have been responsible for the blast, the ministry said, adding that it has increased security around churches nationwide “in light of the escalating threats from al-Qaeda to many countries.”

Al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq said in November it would attack Christian targets after it claimed Egypt’s Coptic Church was holding two Christian women who had converted to Islam. The Church has denied this charge. No group has claimed responsibility for today’s blast.

The attack bears the “fingerprints” of al-Qaeda, said Amr El-Shobaki, an expert on Islamist groups at the Cairo-based Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. “It was either successful in planting a cell in Egypt or recruited individuals to carry out a single operation,” he said.

“This will deepen the tension between Muslims and Christians in Egypt, El-Shobaki said in a phone interview. Confrontations between the two communities have increased for several years.

‘Cut Off the Hand’

Analysts have previously said that they didn’t see signs of an organized presence in Egypt by Islamic extremist groups such as al Qaeda, whose top deputy leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, is Egyptian.

Police waged a war with Islamist militants, mainly in southern Egypt, during the 1990s. In 1997, militants killed more than 60 tourists in the ancient city of Luxor, sparking a security crackdown that brought attacks to a halt.

That respite ended with a series of bombings from 2004 to 2006 targeting resorts in the Sinai peninsula, killing more than 100 Egyptian and foreign tourists. The three attacks in Sinai, which police blamed on a previously unknown local group, occurred on the eve of national holidays. More than 20 people died in a 2006 bombing in the resort of Dahab, a year after more than 60 were killed in a similar incident in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The explosion in Alexandria was likely carried out by a suicide bomber who was also killed in the blast, the Interior Ministry said.

“It has been confirmed that the epicenter of the blast wasn’t in one of the cars or the road, which makes it likely that the device was carried by a suicide man who was killed with the rest,” the ministry said.

President Hosni Mubarak, in a televised speech today, vowed to find those responsible for the attack in a televised speech today. “We will cut off the hand of terrorism,” he said.

“You are making a grave mistake if you think that you will be spared the punishment of Egyptians,” Mubarak said, addressing the perpetrators.

Copts

The blast badly damaged other cars on the street, television footage showed. Scores of Copts, encircled by security forces, gathered before the church to protest the attack.

In January 2010, six Christians were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in southern Egypt, and in November police killed a protester during clashes with Copts triggered by a halt to the construction of a church.

Copts account for about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 80 million people. The Coptic Orthodox Church was founded in Alexandria in the first century by Mark, one of the apostles of Jesus. After an Arab army conquered Egypt in the seventh century, Islam gradually became the country’s dominant religion.

Tensions between the two communities, reported in the government-controlled and independent press, have been building for several years. In 2004, Christians in Cairo claimed that the wife of a Coptic priest was forced to convert to Islam. After a riot in which 50 people were injured, the government ordered her returned to her Coptic family. In 2005, Muslims in Alexandria demonstrated against a DVD in which a Coptic youth converts to Islam and then changes his mind.

In late 2008, riots erupted in Ain Shams, a district of Cairo, after Copts renovated a former underwear factory and held mass there.

Egypt, set to hold presidential election in September, relies on tourism as a key source for foreign currency along with foreign direct investment and revenue from the Suez Canal.

Tourism accounts for 13 percent of jobs in the Arab country. The government aims to attract 16 million tourists in 2011, bringing in $14 billion in revenue, Tourism Minister Zoheir Garranah said in an interview in October.

“If there is any negative impact on tourism it will be in the short-term,” Alia Mamdouh, an economist at Cairo-based investment bank CI Capital, said by telephone.

Egypt’s benchmark EGX30 stock index closed 0.9 percent higher on Dec. 30, taking its gains in 2010 to 15 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The market is closed today.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-01/church-bomb-kills-21-wounds-79-in-alexandria-egypt.html


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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Meanwhile in the latest attacks on Islam in America, 3 and a half months ago some pranksters broke into a Mosque in Oregon at 3:30 am in the morning when it was completely vacant and lit a small fire....


India, gun buyback and steamroll.

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Meanwhile in the latest attacks on Islam in America, 3 and a half months ago some pranksters broke into a Mosque in Oregon at 3:30 am in the morning when it was completely vacant and lit a small fire....

Body count for body count, my money is on radical Islam.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

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Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast, Say Eyewitnesses

After the blast, traumatized Copts were angered by chants of "Allah Akbar" from Muslims and began hurling stones at the mosque. Immediately security forces which were absent during the car blast and the ensuing events, appeared and starting shooting tear gas at the Copts, and they in turn hurled stones at them, said an eyewitness. Fifteen Copts were rounded up from their homes by the authorities.

http://www.aina.org/news/20110101232613.htm


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

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Meanwhile in the latest attacks on Islam in America, 3 and a half months ago some pranksters broke into a Mosque in Oregon at 3:30 am in the morning when it was completely vacant and lit a small fire....

If there was a thread on it, I'm sure there was far more outrage.


David & Lalai

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Some have to be spoonfed re Muslim condemnation of terrorism, since they can't find it on their own, so . . .

Grand Mufti condemns church attack

NAEEM AL-HAKIM

JEDDAH: Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Aal Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, issued a statement Sunday condemning the attack on the church in Alexandria, Egypt, describing it as a “criminal act” and has no relation to Islam.

“This is an unacceptable act in Islam as our religion forbids aggression in all its forms, and this bloodshed and unjust slaughter of innocent people is not approved by religion or reason”, the Grand Mufti said in a statement. “Islam is not a religion of bombings and does not allow targeting non-Muslim’s places of worship. What happened is a sad and regrettable act”.

He added that the incident was designed to “incite conflict among Muslims, raise anger against them, lead them away from their priorities, attack the national unity of Egypt, and provoke crises and conflict”.

He said the incident should not be used as an opportunity to malign Islam and Muslims.

“What happened is a sinful and atrocious act that has nothing to do with Islam,” he said.

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Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- At least 21 people were killed and 79 wounded when a bomb exploded outside a Coptic Christian church in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt since at least 2006.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-01/church-bomb-kills-21-wounds-79-in-alexandria-egypt.html

That is completely wrong.

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Al-Qaradawi: Perpetrators of Alexandria 's Blast Criminals Are Blood-Assassins and Non-Muslims

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), vehemently denounced the suicide attack, which happened during New Year's Eve outside the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church on Saturday, killing 21 people and wounding 80 others.

Monday, January 3,2011 11:25

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), vehemently denounced the suicide attack, which happened during New Year's Eve outside the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church on Saturday, killing 21 people and wounding 80 others.

Al-Qaradawi stressed that "the perpetrators of this crime are criminals, assassins and non-Muslims because Islam asserts the sanctity of human life and strongly prohibits aggression against it. Islam does not condone the killing of the innocent civilians of any nation or nationality except for a prescribed penalty. Murdering the civilians of any nationality by a group, individual or even nations at random, especially if they are celebrating in a place of worship could never be viewed as jihad and is undoubtedly against the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah".

The Qur'an, along with other divine scriptures, states that [Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind] (Al-Ma'idah: 32)

Islam considers killing others as one of the gravest of sins in the sight of Allah. This heinous sin and abominable crime leads to Allah's curse in this world and His severe punishment in the Hereafter.

The International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS) is appalled to see the bloody incidents that left behind great numbers of innocent civilian casualties who were killed in cold blood without any sin committed on their part.

The ethical constitution of legitimate warfare in Islam dictates that it is prohibited to kill anyone except those who are engaged in fighting. In this legitimate war, fighting is restricted to face-to-face confrontation between Muslims and the army of the aggressors. Upon seeing a woman killed in the battlefield, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) renounced the act and forbade killing women, children, the aged, monks in their hermitages, farmers in their lands, and traders. All of these are protected, so how could it be permissible to kill people who worship Allah in a religious event? This is never permitted by Islam.

Al-Qaradawi alluded to the possibility that there are foreign hands behind the deadly suicide bombing in order to ignite sectarian strife in Egypt . It is inconceivable that Egyptians were behind it and sedition is a danger we will not allow to happen. In fact, I condemn these hideous acts as it is absolutely unlawful.

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Al-Qaradawi alluded to the possibility that there are foreign hands behind the deadly suicide bombing in order to ignite sectarian strife in Egypt . It is inconceivable that Egyptians were behind it and sedition is a danger we will not allow to happen. In fact, I condemn these hideous acts as it is absolutely unlawful.

Could be.

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Al-Qaradawi stressed that "the perpetrators of this crime are criminals, assassins and non-Muslims because Islam asserts the sanctity of human life and strongly prohibits aggression against it. Islam does not condone the killing of the innocent civilians of any nation or nationality except for a prescribed penalty. Murdering the civilians of any nationality by a group, individual or even nations at random, especially if they are celebrating in a place of worship could never be viewed as jihad and is undoubtedly against the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah".

Al-Qaradawi alluded to the possibility that there are foreign hands behind the deadly suicide bombing in order to ignite sectarian strife in Egypt . It is inconceivable that Egyptians were behind it and sedition is a danger we will not allow to happen. In fact, I condemn these hideous acts as it is absolutely unlawful.

These statements of condemnation may as well be written on the epitaph of the Coptic Church in Egypt. The bombers could care less about what some Muslim scholar says as if they are excommunicated from Islam (is that even possible in Islam?).

Mubarak may use his iron fist to crack down on terrorism as he did with Muslim terrorists threatening the state but how long is he going to be around and does the government really give a damn protecting about a minority group that isn't allowed to build a church without presidential assent?


David & Lalai

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Greencard Received Date: July 3, 2009

Lifting of Conditions : March 18, 2011

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These statements of condemnation may as well be written on the epitaph of the Coptic Church in Egypt. The bombers could care less about what some Muslim scholar says as if they are excommunicated from Islam (is that even possible in Islam?).

Mubarak may use his iron fist to crack down on terrorism as he did with Muslim terrorists threatening the state but how long is he going to be around and does the government really give a damn protecting about a minority group that isn't allowed to build a church without presidential assent?

There is no disputing that Egypt, along with other Muslim states, do much more than give lip service to opposing terrorists and even potential terrorists. Their jails are full of them, but that's another story the current intellectually lazy right wing agenda isn't interested in.

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And now this - Muslims offering to help protect the potential targets.

Aftermath of Alexandria Blast

European Police Protect Coptic Churches / dpa

The bomb attack against a Coptic church in Egypt, along with a list of targets found on a radical Muslim website, have led police in several European countries to guard Coptic churches ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations on Friday. Moderate Muslims have offered to help.

Police were protecting Coptic churches around Europe on Tuesday after direct warnings of possible terrorist attacks and an explosion at a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt, which killed 21 people on Saturday. Copts celebrate Christmas this January 6 and 7.

"We will show a stronger presence in front of Coptic churches, particularly during the Coptic Christmas on Thursday and Friday," a spokeswoman for police in Hanover, Germany, where one church was threatened, told

SPIEGEL ONLINE.

A list of Coptic targets in Europe surfaced about two weeks ago on the website Shumukh al-Islam, which is associated with al-Qaida. The site called for bomb attacks against a number of Coptic targets on Jan. 7, including churches in the Netherlands, France, Austria, Britain and Germany.

The al-Qiddisin Church in Alexandria, where a suspected suicide bomber set off a car bomb early on New Year's Day, also appeared on the list. A spokesman from the German federal police agency said warnings about the list had been issued in Germany before Dec. 25 -- but the Alexandria blast was a "proof of danger."

Muslims Offer to Help

Muslim groups in the Netherlands have offered to help protect Coptic churches there "from threats by al-Qaida," according to a joint statement by the three largest Dutch Muslim organizations. "Muslims have to do this, above all, because al-Qaida claims to act in the name of Islam," the statement said.

The head pastor at Amsterdam's Coptic church said the offer had been verified and that Copts in the Netherlands were grateful.

Coptic Christians represent an African branch of the Orthodox Church. They're prevalent in Egypt, but they trace their origins to Abyssinia -- what's now, roughly, Ethiopia. They're a distinct minority in Europe. Some 6,000 Copts live in Germany, 6,000 in the Netherlands, and 45,000 in France. Until recently they rarely made headlines as a group.

"We're afraid," said the Coptic deacon George Abdel Seed from the St. Athanasius Church in the western German city of Bitburg, according to the German Press Agency on Tuesday. "Everyone's living in great fear."

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Thank you for posting that, puppy. Of course Muslims will help to protect non-Muslim places of worship, as we have done on many occasions. I, personally, have cleaned up behind vandalism done to synogogues, and assisted in the legal prosecution of Muslims who have violated the rights and property of non-Muslims. We are fellow human beings first, as are we all.

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