According to the article, one year ago Samīr Marqus predicted the consequences of religious tensions in Egypt, which resulted in the Naj‘ Hammādī incident. Political leadership then decided to reinforce the principles of the civil state and equal citizenship, in in order to encourage coexistence.
The author also references an article he wrote one year ago regarding religious tensions and visions for the upcoming decaden in Egypt. In the article, Marqus observed that the "safety level" of religious tensions had been exceeded and that some could not even admit what he sees as the evident deterioration of Muslim-Christian relations over the past 40 years. He discussed three approaches to fixing the problem: treating Copts as a class with specific rights; seprating the population depending on their religious affiliation (sectarian state); or full equality among citizens (a civic state).
Marqus claims that the Naj‘ Hammādī incident proved just how acute religious tensions had become, as well as their interconnectedness to other political and regional interests. According to the author, last year's Christmas shooting was a wake up call for many people who realized that they could no longer live with such a situation.
The editorial says that the most important outcome of Naj‘ Hammādī was political leadership's commitment to the modern civil state, along with its principle of equal citizenship and resolution to combat religious tensions.
Although 2010 opened on a very sobering note, each new incident brought on transformations in thought and behavior; some positively, others negatively.
The result of years of religious tensionis is on the one hand, the trand to drum up Islamic fervour, and on the other, the trend of erecting the bulwarks of a religious community's seclusion. In the middle stands the mainstream trend, which supports the equal citizenship and which the political leadership promised to promote. Of course, it is Egyptians' task to respond effectively to this call.
Marqus claims that the starting point is to renew the Egyptian national partnership and accept diversity and pluralism. In order to do this, the media should first stop provoking the people and start insisting on professionalism and integrity. Next, it is important to take advantage of the principle of freedom of worship. Third, it is necessary to strengthen commitment to the rule of law. Finally, people must be actively engaged in public and political spheres.
According to the writer, by taking these steps it is possible to create a modern civil state on the basis of equal citizenship, equality of opportunity, and the rule of law.