Monday 9 May 2011

The violence in Egypt must be challenged

Clashes between Christians and Muslims in Egypt reveal the huge tensions and power vacuum left by Mubaraks departure. During the protests that rocked the country I remember seeing pictures of Christians and Muslims embracing and holding Bibles and Korans aloft. It seemed that plurality and unity were being sought alongside political freedom.

But now violence is occurring, and the Egyptian state are not doing enough to counter these threats to democracy. The British government has said it is concerned with stability in Egypt, but that appears to have been more about selling weapons to them, keeping holiday resorts open and the crossing to Gaza closed.

With attention on Libya and Syria, it is important that we do not ignore the continued struggles for another way of governing in both Egypt and Tunisia. Recent violence against religious minorities, human rights groups and trade unionists have shown that those struggles are a long way from over. We must support those working on new agenda's of hope and unity, not 'business as usual.'

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