· Muslims and Christians in Egypt condemn the killing of 21Coptic faithful in Libya ·
The barbarity shocked not only the Egyptian Christian community, but the more numerous Muslim authorities have also harshly condemned the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian Egyptians who had had been held hostage for weeks by Libyan jihadists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State. Video of the execution was broadcast on the internet throughout the day on Sunday.
A reaction was immediately forthcoming from Al-Azhar University, the oldest Sunni Islamic learning centre, which called the executions “barbaric”. Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's highest Islamic authority, offered his condolences to families of the victims, while stating that “the assassins deserve Allah's curse”, and asking Arab countries and the international community to seriously oppose these criminals.
On behalf of Catholics, Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak of Alexandria for Copts, in a statement broadcast by the Fides News Agency, urged that the tragic death of these Coptic Orthodox brothers — whom he called “martyrs who gave their lives for their faith” — be looked at with a gaze illuminating by religion. He considered it important that, in the face of the bloodthirsty barbarity of the jihadists, a surge of unification was being seen throughout the country. “This tragic event”, Fr Hani Bakhoum Kiroulosremarked, “is uniting the entire country, Christians and Muslims. If they were aiming to divide us, their plan failed”.
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