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Hossam Fawzy’s testimony

شهادة حسام فوزي باللغة العربية

To begin with, I wasn’t there from the very first moment, but I arrived when the gunfire started.

The scene consisted of some furious Christians together with some furious Muslims, I being one of them. As usual the Christians expressed their anger timidly, and from time to time a regime thug would break into the protest and slap one of them on the face, thinking that this might scare the others. I rescued the man getting slapped with difficulty after he had already got 5 or 6 of them.

I witnessed with my own eyes armed personnel carriers chasing people and crossing the central island to reach them. I saw glass bottles being thrown from the Maspero building – I was almost injured by one.

I saw thugs dressed in civilian clothes carrying steel batons and attacking protesters with them, not even women were safe from them.

I saw how the state TV influenced people, made them leave their homes to chase away the “dirty” Christians – sometimes even more offensive insults were used – using all the weapons that were once used in the popular committees – except that they were now being against our brothers and partners in the homeland.

I saw army soldiers asking taxi drivers to run over protesters on October Bridge. I saw a passer-by cursing Pope Shenouda and when I intervened I was attacked by one thugs, one using stones and the other a wooden stick, and if it hadn’t it been for someone telling them that I’m Muslim I wouldn’t have been writing what I’m writing now.

I saw narrow minded Muslims totally against acts of worship, and when I got involved in another conversation I was yet again faced with the same response, and this time I was saved by a Christian who whispered in my ear that he was one, and suggested we runaway before they kill us.

I went to Tahrir and found that the army forces are reviving memoirs of January 28th; the very same roughness, brutality, and disrespect for human rights. I won’t go into detail because everyone knows what results from such treatment. It’s time to stop burying our heads in the sand! Christians are being exposed to massive persecution, and what I witnessed in the street made me feel that I could never live with people who consider me lower than they are and less worthy of rights but not duties, and I now support the idea of them asking for international protection.

We should all learn that we are all equal in rights and duties in this country; Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or even atheist. What happened today was something ugly, and it highlighted the ugly side of the government and the people. The government pulled the string of sectarian strife, and the people responded which released the poison of the ignorance which has been filling Muslims’ books since the second Hijri century.

If we want a country where we can live in peace we have to separate between politics and religion, or we open our old books and extract from them the seeds of intolerance and strife.

Bring back to Islam what you have taken away from it, for Islam is innocent of what you have planted in people’s hearts, God knows best.

Published on 10 October at 04:07 AM on the witness’s page on facebook under the title “Maspero as i have seen”.

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