Analyzing the recent death sentence of the man who killed six worshippers outside a Coptic church in Naj‘ Hammādī on Christmas last year, journalist Gamal Nkrumah discusses diverse opinions on the court’s verdict and on Muslim-Christian relations in general.
Copts reacted with satisfaction and relief to Hammām al-Kamūnī’s death sentence, which they view as a precedent that puts an end to the previous tradition of declaring murderers of Copts as being insane or mentally unstable.
Samīr Marqus, chairman of the board of trustees of Al-Misrī Foundation for Citizenship, emphasized Muslim expressions of solidarity with Copts in the aftermath of the Alexandria attacks. He expressed his confidence in improving Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt, provided that the educational system, which still pictures Copts in a very negative way, was reformed.
Former deputy president of the National Council for Human Rights, Ahmad Kamāl ‘Abd al-Majd, calls for a Higher Council for National Unity to deal with Christian-Muslim matters – a suggestion that receives broad support by the Coptic community.
A more critical outlook is given by Nabīl ‘Abd al-Fattāh of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, who criticizes the interference by media, politicians, and human rights activists in inter-religious matters and confessional conflicts, sayiong this only dramatizes and thus worsens the situation.