Local Copt reflects on Christian-Muslim relations in post-revolution Egypt

May 25, 2011

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(Getty Images/Sean Gallup)
Coptic Christians in Egypt have long fought discrimination by the Muslim majority.

Coptic Christians make up an estimated 10 percent of the Egyptian population.  For years, they endured discrimination and sectarian violence. The government of former President Hosni Mubarak often blocked the construction of Coptic churches. 

But the images at Tahrir Square earlier this year painted a different picture. Muslims stood side-by-side with Copts in their struggle for political and social change.

Since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, that unity has shown signs of fraying. Two Coptic churches in Cairo were recently attacked, killing 15. This month, Copts have taken to the streets to demonstrate for their rights.

Cameel Halim, chairman of the Chicago-based Coptic Assembly of America, discusses Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt.