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Can the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) now claim it decided not to open fire on Egyptians during the revolution?
Can it make such a claim after what happened on the evening of 9 October?
Or was the SCAF only talking about Egyptian Muslims when it pledged not to shoot at Egyptians? The horrific events that took place on this sad Sunday evening must not pass without identifying the aim behind it, as well as the plan by which it was carried out.
According to Muslim activist eyewitness accounts, which made use of various online social media to expose the reality of what actually happened on the ground, the Copts did not initiate the attack on the armed forces, but rather, the armed forces attacked the Copts with unprecedented brutality.
No one can deny that what took place on 9 October was a major shift with regard to the dynamics of sectarianism in Egypt. For this was the first massacre of Copts at the hands of the Egyptian state, represented by the authorities currently ruling the country – the SCAF, in other words – with the support of state media outlets.
Does anyone believe the standard media discourse and government statements saying this was an attempt by "external forces" to harm Egypt? Doesn’t the fact that the media was conveniently present from the start of these events reveal that this was a laid-out plan and that state media outlets were waiting to mislead the public by claiming the Copts initiated the attack on the armed forces, as well as appealing to citizens to rise up to defend the armed forces against the attacking Copts?
Meanwhile, satellite TV stations broadcast footage of armored vehicles speeding back and forth, running over Copts and crushing them to death, while state media outlets declared the death of two army soldiers, completely ignoring the deaths of over 20 Copts.
Does anyone believe this was a spontaneous scenario and that the appeal to Muslims to support the army against the Copts was not a premeditated plan to push Islamists, not only in the direction of protesting while chanting Islamic slogans, but also to chase Copts through the streets, and to check the identity of those they encounter to determine whether they are Muslim or Christian?
Why are Islamists and Salafis allowed to condemn Christians on TV, while the Muslim activists who took part in the protest to demand equal human rights are not given the same rights? These Muslim activists joined the protest following the series of attacks on churches, the most recent of which was the Marenab Church attack, which the media and authorities went so far as to claim did not occur.
We are now without a doubt witnessing an escalation, which cannot be solely attributed to the state simply aligning with its religious affiliation. We are now facing a scene in which armored vehicles are running over Copts, while the media calls on Muslim citizens to support it against the Copts, who allegedly initiated the attack on the unarmed army soldiers, who were there to protect them.
Will the perpetrators once again get away without punishment, as in all past sectarianism incidents, particularly those following the revolution, especially since the culprit is the ruling authority? Will the dead Copts be buried without a forensic examination, which would expose the crime of converting the victim into the perpetrator in the eyes of the Muslim public?
I'm not asking Christians to raise their voices for the world to hear their cries against the beginnings of an ethnic cleansing and the incitement of civil war against them. Rather, I am calling on the Muslims to do so, especially those whose online accounts of what actually happened expose the authorities’ political agenda.
Can anyone imagine what will happen to Egypt in the coming days? I doubt any of us has an answer to this daunting question. Unfortunately, only the SCAF has the answer. After all, it was the SCAF who wrote the scenario and carried it out, and only they know how their scenario will develop in later stages.
As for those of us who believe that Egypt is for all Egyptians, Muslims and Copts alike, all we know is that this is no longer the case.