In Solidarity with Egyptian Copts Amid Palm Sunday Bombings

We stand in solidarity with the global Coptic community and the greater community of Egypt in remembering Copts, as well as non-Copts, who lost their lives or loved ones in the tragic events which took place in Alexandria and Tanta on Palm Sunday.

As a collective committed to centering the voices and diverse experiences of individuals and communities from the SWANA (SouthWest Asia and North Africa) region, we condemn the vicious attacks carried out against the Coptic community and the Egyptian people. The Coptic community, while a minority in the region, is an ancient and integral component of the ethnic and religious mosaic of Egypt and the greater SWANA region. As a religious minority, Copts historically have been disproportionately affected by greater regional and religious conflicts.

We recognize and emphasize that terrorism knows no religion and, as a community comprised of multiple faith backgrounds, we oppose any attempt to use these events as a means of justifying,  perpetuating or promoting Islamophobia. To allow this issue to be read as a dehistoricized clash between Christianity and Islam would be a disgrace to the long history of coexistence of Christian and Muslim Egyptians, and an injustice to the memory of the Muslims who died defending their Christian siblings including three female Muslim government employees who died during the attacks: Nagwa El-Haggar, Asmaa Hussein and Omneya Roshdy. Additionally, such a narrative erases the political implications and context of the persecution of Copts in Egypt as a minority religious community, as well as the political project of racialized Islamophobia. As a racialized project, we recognize that Islamophobic backlash resulting from events like this objectify our mourning and pain as a tool to further the dehumanization of our peoples with material repercussions for Muslim and non-Muslim SWANA peoples alike, including the Coptic community.

Sophia Armen