The Pope’s visit to Egypt was preceded by a critical and hostile campaign. People affiliated with political groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are behind these campaigns which were aided by ISIS attacks on two Coptic churches earlier this month.
The Pope insisted on visiting Egypt as scheduled despite all threats. Meanwhile, Al-Azhar sheikh also defied threats made against him and against his institution and publicly received his guest.
Actually, the message which extremists want to send through this hateful campaign and through explosions is not directed against the Pope or against Egypt’s Copts but against the Egyptian authority and Arab governments which support it.
The underlying message the extremists seek to convey is that they are the decision-makers and will confront any foreign relations with entities that are opposed to them.
During the current times of religion-based tensions, the world will benefit if people who call for co-existence rather than bigotry dominate the arena. We need people who spread the spirit of tolerance in places where there are tensions or possibilities for conflicts, like in France whose majority is a Christian Catholics and where there is a large Muslim community.Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Muslim Brotherhood members who are criticizing the pope’s visit used to brag that they are civilized people who believe in co-existence with the Christian West. During closed-door meetings, they used to clear themselves from what they described as “underdeveloped” Gulf governments that restrain the followers of other religions. When the Muslim Brotherhood government collapsed, they opted for politically sabotaging others and so they launched hostile campaigns against Al-Azhar and Copts in Egypt, and their followers stirred up an uproar over the Pope’s visit.