• 09:24
  • Sunday ,09 January 2011

Viewpoint with James Zogby: Michael Meunier, Laura Murpy, Shane D’Aprile

TV Reports


Sunday ,09 January 2011

Viewpoint with James Zogby: Michael Meunier, Laura Murpy, Shane D’Aprile

Michael Meunier, Founder and Chairman of the U.S. Copts Association, discussed the recent attack on a church in Egypt which occurred on New Year's Eve resulting in the death of 21 people. The attack targeted Coptic Christians at prayer, causing unrest in the country and bringing tensions between Egyptian Christians and Muslims back to forefront of national and international focus. Ahead of today’s Orthodox Christmas celebrations, security in and around Egypt’s Coptic neighborhoods was increased. "In Egypt in particular…I think there is a higher level of security so far", said Mr. Meunier. He did, however, beg the question why there higher levels of security were not in place prior to the attacks. "Nothing was done" to prevent attacks on identified church and other targets, he said, despite receiving what he called "credible" threats from Al Qaeda in Iraq to do so weeks before New Year’s Eve.

False accusations against the Coptic Church which stirred up animosity in the Muslim community, coupled with the apathy of the Egyptian government to investigate the validity of such claims were "weapons that inflamed the fanatics", according to Mr. Meunier. Despite the attacks, Mr. Meunuir believes that Egyptians have rallied behind a common cause and have isolated the terrorist groups responsible for the attacks. "The important part now is [that] the Egyptian government listens to the will of the people…that they take a measured action to remedy the situation”, he said.