Reaching the fourth part of "El -Kosheh" tragedy, we still did not find a concrete answer to the main question, who was behind what was going on in Egypt? In order to understand how an event likes that of January 2, 2000 could happen; one has to speculate about many contributing factors, mainly: – Mubarak and the Egyptian government – Islamic Groups – The presence of a destabilization plan coming from outside the country However, in search for an explanation for those clashes, one has also to take into account the Arab mentality, language and behavior, and the fact that there is one part of the Egyptian population, which has been for over 1400 years, oppressed and discriminated against by the other part. Those who do not perfectly understand the Arab mentality, language and behavior would find the above three points in disagreement with western mentality and /or any other culture different from the Arab one. However, the connection clearly existed, based on the behaviour of the law enforcement commanders and personal factors. The reaction of the local political leaders, along with the leaders in Cairo, had only one goal, which was to cover up the reality. El-Kosheh’s massacre happened in the beginning of 2000, or nearly two years before the disaster of 9/11/2001. At that time, no one in the West was paying any attention to the Copts, or any other of the oppressed minorities in the Middle East or around the world. If I am allowed, I would like to publicly and on behalf of the Copts, and all the religiously discriminated and oppressed people, to thank Ben Laden. In spite of the great sacrifice paid in blood by Washington, New York and Pennsylvania, 9/11/2001 opened the eyes of the Western people, who began to hear and feel the pain of the Copts and others who are suffering equally. As was reported in the third article, the massacre started by the assault carried out by three Arab brothers against a Coptic man and his son, the owners of a textile store. The attack took place around 4:00PM of the New Millennium Eve. For the record, Copts were preparing to celebrate the New Year and their Christmas; Muslims were in their holy month of Ramadan. It was holiday season, and everyone was supposed to be happy and at peace with oneself, his neighbors, and his friends, but above all close to his Creator whoever his Creator is. The opposite occurred, two men were assaulted, a store was destroyed, the police watched without intervening, in addition to 150 men arriving from nowhere, carrying war weaponry and most of all hate. When the sun set that day, the situation in general was boiling, due to what was reported before, so the Copts being angry and frustrated at what happened, destroyed a few illegal stalls belonging to Muslims. The 150 armed men, whom no one knew where they originally appeared from, destroyed several proprieties owned by Copts and Muslims. At around 6:00PM same evening, a police commander called “Atef Rabeah” arrived together with another high ranking officer from the county, they went directly to Angel Michael’s Church, and they asked the priest, Father Gabriel and other priests to instruct the Copts to remain in their homes. The priests followed the instructions, and told the Copts to stay at home. The majority of Copts had their homes in the east side of town. By 8:00PM, there were no Copts in the streets of “El-Kosheh”. Meanwhile, people noticed the presence of a great number of policemen. On the other hand, the police allowed the Arabs to go about freely, allowing them to destroy and loot Coptic stores. This event took place between 11:00PM on Friday until the first hours of Saturday morning, January 1st, 2000. On the morning of the first day of the third Millennium, the town of “El-Kosheh” was honored by having a visit from the county police director general “Mustafa Ismael”, inspector “Saied Abu Al Maaly” Egyptian secret service, along with high ranking police officers. People noticed the massive presence of thousand of law enforcement agents and officers, in addition to Special Forces. The officers visited the scene of the events, took reports of the damage, visited and questioned the three injured Copts. For the record, upon the arrival of the head police officer and the county political leaders, a meeting took place with the Coptic priests. As told by Father Gabriel, I quote, “We asked them, how all that damage could happen in the presence of the law enforcement officers and agents? The reply came from Mr. Said Abu El Maaly” inspector of Special Forces,” SO WHAT”, the meeting was over in the afternoon. Leaving Port Said Street, the same Special Forces inspector, shouted loudly “From now on nothing negative is to happen, I mean it” In the afternoon of Saturday 01/01/2000, the Copts tell of a rumor about a strange meeting held, which included several Mayors from neighboring towns, along with the Special Forces’ inspector. The rumors quoted a very dangerous sentence said by the inspector to those present at that meeting “how dare you watch the destruction of your Muslim brothers’ businesses and you do not react”. Rumors also indicated that representatives from a town called “Al Balabish” said that its Muslim inhabitants were on bad terms with the Muslims of “El-Kosheh”. They walk away from that meeting to avoid clashes between them, there were eighteen people present from that town, and all left the meeting prior of its end. The “Al Ahram” government newspaper, confirmed in its issue dated January 4th, 2000 that in “El-Kosheh” and neighboring towns, there were false rumors that Copts had poisoned the drinking water, and requested the inhabitants not to drink. Furthermore, the same rumor circulated in other towns, in addition to one claiming that Copts are killing Muslims inside Mosques. Another testimony by Father Gabriel told that a police agent called “Abd El Fatah Bateek”, along with a friend called “Yosry Abd El Nazer” left “El-Kosheh” dressed in torn clothes in a car to the nearby towns, claiming that Copts attacked them. The same information was reported by Governor Colonel “Ahmed Abd El-Aziz” on his arrival at 3:00AM on Monday, after the massacre took place, confirming in a meeting with Bishops Samuel and Sarabamon and other police officers and political leaders, that while approaching town, he heart an announcement coming from the Mosque’s microphone repeating the rumors reported by “Al Ahram” newspaper, and he ordered his driver to stop, and reprimanded that Imam. This information was confirmed by the same Governor in different public and press meetings, one of them could be found in January 24th, 2000 ne interrogation held at the headquarters of Special Forces, together with Bishop Marcus. Based upon the Governor’s information and testimony, his reaction leaves a big question mark; instead of ordering that Imam to stop and reprimand him, it would have been better had he ordered his officers to arrest him!!!!!Or why he did not investigate who was behind all of that????? At this point, we are in the evening of Saturday January 1st, 2000, and it seemed that everything was ready for the first but not the last massacre against the Egyptian Copts.
That Massacre was committed on the following day, and will be our topic in the next article