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The future seemed bright for Egypt as young revolutionaries of different beliefs and ideologies stood together in Tahrir Square last February. They were united as Egyptians against Dictator Hosni Mubarak, and, as a nation, they revolted. But Egypt is already in need of revolution again. Violence and oppression comes from the new rulers just as they did from the Mubarak regime. This time, the rest of the world needs to help.
After the government turned, the military, which refused to harm the protesters during the uprising, took control of the government. Their reign was meant to be brief and transitional. But now, as elections are set to begin, the new parliament may not be in power for as long as two years. Again and again the military grips the power that the people entrusted to them and delays the transfer of power.
A group of Coptic Christians protested the government in front of the state-run news organization Oct. 9. Many Muslims stood alongside the Christians in the march. The military arrived to deal with the protesters, and the streets filled with civilians, troops and blood.
Two hundered were injured, and the two dozen Copts where killed.
Among them was 25-year-old Mina Daniel. He had been a passionate supporter of the recent Arab Spring revolution and a member of the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement.
Journalist and activist Moustafa Mohi said that Daniel believed the revolution “was never about Christian or Muslim demands, but about Egyptian demands.”
Realizing that he had received a fatal wound, Daniel’s final words were, “If I die, I want my funeral to be in Tahrir Square.” He wanted his death, like his life, to be a symbol of freedom and change.
According to The New York Times, the state television implored citizens to head to where security forces and protesters were clashing to “protect the military.”
Protester Tamer Mohamed el Mehy spoke to Sarah Carr of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. She transcribed her interview on Twitter.
“I didn’t see any protesters attacking the army or police, just heard the usual chants,” she said.
“The credit that the military received from the people in Tahrir Square just ran out yesterday,” said leader of the liberal political group El Ghad and potential candidate for Egyptian president, Ayman Nour, in a press conference on the attacks.
Coptic Christians comprise 10 percent of Egypt’s 80 million people. But that number is dropping as Christians flee Egypt en mass, according to a report by the Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organizations.
The study says that nearly 100,000 Copts have left in the past six months. These numbers were documented before the latest splash of violence.
The international community has a responsibility to the Copts in Egypt.
The military is strongly influenced by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood which seeks to promote Islam at all costs.
It is also heavily funded by the US. Many Copts think the wise choice is to flee, but bodies of their brothers continue to gather in the streets.
Religious freedom is still something to be upheld, even when Christianity is the religion that is being repressed. The liberals of Egypt who brought down Mubarak can continue to protest, but they no longer have anyone to protect them.
It has become obvious that the military regime will go to violent lengths to maintain control. So the Copts are leaving.
The Egyptians have fought for too much to go unassisted.
They made it this far on their own, but the power of will and Twitter doesn’t stand as well against guns and jeeps. The massacre will be investigated, but by the military that did the shooting.
These actions against Christians are not just about religion, but freedom and basic human rights.
The international community needs to take this issue out of the Egyptian military hands. Impartial ousiders should launch a new investigation on the injustified violence displayed by the Egyptian military Oct. 9.
The world has seen enough genocide.