An Egyptian television host recently said she “understood” Muslims carrying out suicide bombings in Israel, since Israel is “the enemy”, but rejected Muslims doing the same to Christians and fellow Muslims.
The host, Rola Kharsa, made the comments on a program which aired on Egypt’s Sada Al-Balad TV on August 30. The remarks were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“I can understand this when it happens in Israel. We were raised to believe that Israel is the enemy. I do not condone it, but I can understand it, because all our lives we considered the Muslims to be the enemies of the Israelis,” she said.
“If one believes that he is liberating the Arab world, or Jerusalem – you can somehow say that there is logic here, but not when someone kills a Muslim or a Christian – fellow citizen – who has done nothing wrong. Why would I blow myself up and kill him?” continued Kharsa.
Egypt, and particularly the Sinai Peninsula, has been the target of endless terrorist attacks, particularly since the military ousted former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July of 2013.
Most of these attacks have been claimed by the Salafist Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis group. The group has claimed, among other attacks, the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai.
Coptic Christians who live in Egypt have been constantly targeted by terrorists as well.
Anti-Christian violence has seriously escalated in the aftermath of the removal of Morsi, whose supporters have been accused of scapegoating the Coptic community, after its leader, Pope Tawadros II, came out in support of the move by the army to oust Morsi.
A number of Christians have been murdered, and scores of churches and Christian-owned houses and businesses have been torched, ransacked and vandalized in the weeks since Morsi’s removal.