In a statement, Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, Vice President of the Evangelical Church in Egypt, and CEOSS General Director, condemned the barbaric crime carried out by ISIS terrorists against 21 Egyptians in Libya. The statement stressed that the criminals who committed this heinous massacre are inhumane and possess no relation to the religion of Islam.
Rev. Dr. Andrea called upon all citizens to stand united behind their political leadership to eradicate terrorism that threatens our peace and security and regain all of the victims’ rights.
Additionally, Dr. Andrea Zaki called on God to accept the souls of the martyrs, and give consolation to the Egyptian people, especially the victims’ families. He also praised the wise and quick decision of President Sisi to conduct military strikes against terrorist locations inside Libyan territory.
Dr. Rev. Andrea visited His Holiness Pope Tawadros, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to offer his condolences to the Pope and Orthodox community. Egypt has been mourning the death of 21 Christians in Libya at the hands of ISIS. President Sisi also visited the Cathedral to offer his condolences to the Pope and issued a declaration of 7-days of Mourning all across Egypt.
Furthermore, CEOSS’ FID responded immediately to this tragic event by holding a conference addressing civil society and its role in fighting terrorism on February 17-18, 2015 in which 170 intermediary religious leaders (Muslims and Christians), community leaders, civil activists and youth leaders, active in the communities of Minia, Assuit, and Cairo attended. The conference, aimed at creating a platform for active Egyptian leaders to discuss and debate the new dimensions of the fight against violence and terrorism and propose and implement practical solutions to combat the phenomenon of terrorism in Egypt. It addressed the role of the different civil society actors, media channels and outlets in exterminating terrorism.
During the conference, participants stressed the importance of national cohesion, and to offer all the support for our armed forces, while moving forward in building our modern democratic state through promoting economic development and social justice.
Participants also highlighted the important role of civil society organization in combating poverty and promoting values of citizenship, equality, tolerance, and co-existence, values that save the society from extremism especially in poor and marginalized communities vulnerable to violence and radicalism.
Participants recommended that the government should monitor the religious discourse in order to stop those who incite violence and terrorism.
Furthermore, media also plays an important role in fighting the war against terrorism. Media professionals should assume a more responsible and committed role and follow ethical standards of media.
These numerous insights and discussion points were disseminated within many media channels as we build on our efforts to play a part in the transformation of societal understanding, enticing ripple effects.