The Christmas Eve Pogrom in Egypt

On January 6 2010, seven Egyptian Coptic Christians were executed in cold blood, and fifteen more were wounded. Two of the wounded died from their grave injuries on the second day after the massacre. This crime took place when three Egyptian terrorists criminals opened fire towards the Coptic worshippers in southern Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi, as they came out of their Church after the celebration of the Coptic Christmas Eve midnight mass at 11.15 PM. According to several eyewitnesses, the intention of the perpetrators had originally been to assassinate Bishop Kirollos, but when the terrorists failed in their mission to hunt down the Bishop, they turned round and started shooting at the Christian congregation instead.

An Egyptian woman looks out of her balcony from her partially burned house after attacks on Christian homes in the village of Bahjora, Qena province. Pic. Credit:AP/ Tara Todras-Whitehill

The Egyptian authorities promptly declared that they arrested the perpetrators of Nag Hammadi crime. They presented names and photos of three well known criminals, who had repeated security crimes at the police. Until here the news about the crime and the criminals was shown in the local and international media.

What the Egyptian authorities stated and did was not just and fair. It was not fair to the truth and to the families of the victims. The terrorist crime is far bigger than what newspapers wrote and what the public heard in the media. The crime is bigger than what the Egyptian authorities said in relation to the arrest of the three criminals. No Egyptian believes the statements of the government. The criminals who were caught by the authorities were known to the government, but these criminals had no own interest in the Coptic massacre, in murdering some young people. They had no interest in religion. All what they were interested in was drugs, eating and drinking, rather than going to the mosque or the church. These criminals were never seen praying anywhere. None of them had interest in religion or political affairs, and the Egyptian Copts are not so naïve to believe the statements of the authorities.“Click on the small pictures to make them bigger”.

From the right: Mohammed Ahmed Hassan Al-Komi, Hindawi Mohammad Hassan, Qureshi Abu Al-Hajjaj Mohammad Ali. Pic. Credit: Coptreal.

In fact, the Egyptian security (secret police) threatened Coptic Bishop Kirollos to change his statements about the Nag Hammadi massacre. Coptic sources stated that Bishop Kirollos received threats against his people and his Church after he told the local media that he had called the police before celebrating Christmas Eve. He asked them to send him some plainclothes police officers in order to protect the celebration of the midnight Christmas mass, after he explained the necessity for the presence of civil police among the celebrators.

Bishop Kirollos stated that he had been told that he would receive a Christmas “present”. He understood this announcement of a “present” as an open threat against him and his community, and on that Christmas day, a car was seen following him, what caused him to call the police several times, but they sent nobody to attend the ceremony. Also, no government or local officials came to extend their Christmas greetings to the Bishop and his community, what was a tradition practiced in all previous years. The Bishop ended the Christmas ceremony earlier than usual this year, but the bullets turned the happiness of the Coptic congregation into bloody sorrow.

The talk within the Egyptian Coptic community is of a premeditated and organized crime. They suspect that the Egyptian authorities, the government, the security system, the Ministry of Justice and members of the national ruling party are behind this terrorist attack. The families of the Coptic victims all suspect that the governor of Nag Hammadi is involved in the crime, and they openly accuse him. The governor is a Christian, but he is an employee of the government, and he defends the absence of his security men at the Coptic Christmas celebration.

According to Copts, the governor said: “I am working on behalf of the Peoples Party and its parliament members, and I took my decisions on their behalf”.

Since the massacre of a Christian Priest together with his wife and daughter and another 13 others during the “Al-Zawye Al-Hammra’a” (english “Red Corner”) massacre back in 1981, 160 crime against Christians, among them assault, theft, setting fire to houses and shops, kidnapping and raping of Christian girls, have been recorded at the police and with the justice authorities, but in none of these cases the court has ruled against a single perpetrator. In Egypt the Coptic girls are kidnapped and declared their loyalty to Islam after marrying Muslims. The Christian are not allowed to build Churches. There is a clear incitement against Christians and their culture at the Islamic mosques.

I heard Copts talking during the TV program “Cairo Today”. The speakers were very angry: they all blamed the Egyptian authorities for the terrorist incident, and also for the deteriorated situation of the Christians in Egypt. They indicated that the responsibility for the Coptic massacre in Nag Hammadi lays squarely at the feet of the Government. The Coptic speakers also stated that the security man who was killed during the massacre had not been present in any official task, but rather that he had been spending the evening together with a friend in the area, and that he was present, and shot, by coincidence.

Engineer Michael Muneer, Chairman of the Security council of  the “Yad be Yad” organization in Egypt (english “hand by hand”), said that while governor of Nag Hammadi declared in public that the security situation in the town was “quiet and stable”, actually Christian shops, houses, fields were burnt, and a woman, Alice Constantine, had died because of a violent confrontation in the town. He added that, while the number of dead Copts increased in Nag Hammadi, the houses and shops of Christians were burnt, the representative of the ruling National Democratic Party, Ibrahim Al-Ghol, stated that the massacre happened “as a natural reaction to the previous attacks on the honor of a Muslim girl”.

Mr. Muneer also stated that the security beat harshly 50 young Christians and arrested them. They were demonstrating in protest of the massacre. In contrast, the police did not arrest the people who burnt the houses, shops, motorcycles and other property of christians. He added “The people who were arrested are mercenaries. They do not have any capacity which shows that they were thinking and planning to commit such a crime. They have nothing to do with the revenge for the honor of a Muslim girl who was harassed some moths ago, as they do not reside in the city where that crime occurred. If they were actually interested in taking revenge, there was a great deal of revenge taken at the time of that problem, but they were not among the revengers”.

Egyptian Coptic Christian look at damaged and burned remains in the majority-Christian-populated area of Bahjora, in Qena. Pic. Credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih.

Mr. Muneer also stated that one of the criminals who were caught has a direct relation to a member of the People’s Council (Egyptian parliament), and that is also known to work for a well-known businessman. He wondered how such a person, who is registered as a dangerous criminal with the police could have a friendship with a member of the ruling party and work with important businessmen. Mr. Muneer concluded his speech demanding that the Attorney General must find out the true motives which led to the occurrence of the massacre, and who was responsible for instigating it.

Dr. Sharif Dos, one of the speakers for the Coptic community in the media, a Member of the Higher Committee for Al-Maadi churches in Cairo, stated that the Nag Hammadi massacre is one among a series of incidents of mass terror against Christians in Egypt.

There are 160 assaults against Christians, such like burning their houses, shops and fields, burning down or vandalizing of Churches after the Friday prayers. At Mosques, the religious preachers regularly incite Muslims against Christians. He added  “The security of Christian venues is never taken seriously, for example, to prevent such crimes as the assaults after the Friday prayers.

He added that, after Nag Hammadi, they will not accept the civil reconciliation law (which makes use of intermediaries) as a solution for this crime. They want to know who the real criminals are, and they expect that the government fully implements the criminal laws.

During a Parliament session, MP Georgette Qlini, who had gone to Nag Hammadi to hear from the victims families, was seriously attacked by her colleagues at the Parliament. They interrupted her speech after they heard the first sentence, in which she exposed the lies of the governor of Nag Hammadi and the facts about the pogroms in the town of Bahjora after the crime, during which many shops and houses of Christians were burnt. Qlini described the horrific situation of the people living there.

She stated that the governor (who had been with the secret police before) said in his reply to her question about why the police had not protected the people after the first shot by the terrorists, taking in consideration that the church yard where the crime occurred is very small (about square 600 meters) and that there had been a big chance to catch the killer. The governor answered that “everyone was confused when they heard the shooting”. Qlini asked the governor, “have you ever been shocked and confused while you were in official tasks, in your previous work as a police officer?”

MP Georgette Qilini demanded the dismissal of the Governor of Qena. MP Ali Atwa, one of the members of the ruling National Democratic Party. He responded by saying “Your talk makes incites trouble, but we are here for Egypt”

MP Georgette Qlini who demanded the dismissal of the Governor of Qena.

MP Qilini answered: What did you say? Do you come here to support the governor, as you were his former colleague in the security? Meaning that the speaker is a former police officer, just like the governor. She added ”I wish that you would support your colleagues in the Parliament in the same way like you support your former colleagues from the police”.

I see this terrorist attack against Copts during the Christmas, and all the attacks before, as shame in the face of President Husni Mubark and his security system, who are not willing or not able to protect their own citizens from terrorism. I conclude my report with my questions below. If you have answers for any of my questions, please be aware to keep silence, otherwise your name will be in the black list of the Egyptian secret police.

  • Who is the head of the sedition and terrorism in Egypt? Is it the Egyptian government and its racist regime, which sheds Egyptian blood, or perhaps the mercenary criminals who were arrested in the wake of the Coptic massacre in Nag Hammadi on January 6, 2010?
  • Who are the real terrorist and criminals? Is it Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his ruling party, or the criminal bullies who were paid by people belonging to the Egyptian ruling party, or is it the Egyptian secret police, who threatened Bishop Kirollos and demanded that he change his testimonies about the horrific crime against his own people, or is it the governor of Nag Hammadi?
  • Where were the Egyptian security men, who were seen heavily armed when protecting the Israeli Jews during their stays and mass prayers in Egypt last month? Were they at the Rafah border together with the CIA experts, building and protecting the genocide wall in order to protect the income and power of Mubarak in Egypt? Is the security of Israelis more important than the security of the Egyptian people?
  • What is the difference between the followers of the American Zionist terrorist Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque on February 25, 1994, and the corrupt Egyptian ruling party, who hires criminal thugs to assassinate the innocent Christians worshipping God at Christmas Eve mass in Nag Hammadi on January 6, 2010?
  • Where were the Egyptian intelligence officers who could have hindered the Nag Hammadi massacre, why were they unable to detail enough personnel to protect the Copts, when Egypt is known as a police state ruled by the secret service, where there are police at every street corner? Were they all busy spying on the opponents of the succession to his father of Mr. Jamal Mubarak, or were they busy providing security for Shlomo, Ehud, Itzik …?
  • Did the Egyptian security establishment, the military, police, and intelligence organizations, all fail to protect the Copts of Egypt, or is the blood of Egyptians cheap for all criminals and the terrorists when they support of the Mubarak regime?
  • Does the Egyptian ruling party bully its weak citizens? Why has Egypt become giant the scene of crime, poverty, illiteracy, extremism and racism under the ruling regime, after it was a state of science, civilization and culture where the problems between different groups and minorities were few and far in between?
  • Were the security people of Hosni Mubarak all busy with the shooting of Ahmad Shaba’an by friendly fire of his Egyptian friends at the border of Genocide at the entrance of Gaza?
  • Did the Egyptian government ask that Israel hand them over the terrorists who murdered in cold blood 16 Egyptian soldiers and wounded ten others in the past five years, while they were protecting the security of the Israeli border ?
  • Why did Hosni Mubarak not say a word when the soldiers Subhi al-Najjar, age 21, Mohamed Abdel Fattah, aged 22, and Amer Abu Bakr Amer, aged 22, all three belonging to his Central Security, were murdered by Israeli tank fire on the morning of Thursday, September 18 2004?
  • Why did the Mubarak regime not say one word when Ahmed Issa was shot near the border in Sinai, or when the soldier Milad Ahmed Hamida was shot, or when the policeman Gharib Mohamed Ahmed was shot in the heart, or when the Egyptian citizen Ayed Suleiman Musa, age 32, was shot near the Kfar Salem crossing on May 21 2008?

6 comments to The Christmas Eve Pogrom in Egypt

  • Ms. Salam, thank you for showing the truth here. The other side of this coin is the Christian Zionists of America and the West who have NO understanding of Islam nor of the Apostasy of Zionist “Israel” from the true God nor of the suffering of Palestinians and all Arabs throughout the region because of Zionism and Arab quislings who give into American Fascist and Israeli Zionist pressures. These Christian Zionists are not Christians and are used by the Zionists for their evil agenda of oppressing innocent Muslim and Christian Arab people. At the same time, the Zionists and the traitors in police states like Egypt cause and foster strife and bloodshed between Muslim and Christian. This is utterly depraved and evil. Christian and Muslim should be the staunchest of allies against the Zionist oppression. Pitting the two against one another is typical Zionist subversion. We must resist this completely.

    My friend, a Coptic Christian priest, told me when I asked him, that it is due to the power of the authorities in Egypt that persecution occurs against the Coptic Church there.

    Corrupt authorities always do a great deal of harm. I pray that both Christian and Muslim unite against the oppression and corruption as many already do.

    Thank you as always for your forthright and courageous reporting.


  • Jamal Elightio

    [redacted] terrorist cowards.

  • Rabbit

    The Egyptians have been lying too long with the Zionist dogs, and now has a severe case of the same fleas which infest them.

  • Dahmane

    This massacre has a deeper motive & we will see possibly further similar crimes in other Muslim states. These types of crimes happened in Iraq already with the same motive putting Muslims against Christians to mainly overlook Zionist crimes. I agree fully with Steve above that Muslims and Christians should unite against the Zionist killing machine & Satanic worshipers. Muslim & Christians worship the same God and so do the Jews. So why aren’t we reaching out to one another to form a coalition before its’ too late? We are all brothers and sisters for God sake and let’s focus on our future and the future of our children to save humanity from disaster.

  • yahia ali mohamed

    i think that is not true …the relationship between moslims and christian in egypt is better than any country ….and i live in egypt and in cairo …near the old church …nut may be the problem not for the religion but only for the houner …that is in uper egypt …if an christian man love and make an relationship withan mosliman girle or vice versa …this is only the problem and we all in egypt know this satuation …that is all and not else

  • farrseco

    that is onluy for houner and not for religion

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