Coptic Orthodox Bishop of New York writes to the New York Times saying al-Sisi government’s strikes against ISIS are uniting Egypt against a common foe
“Egypt’s Crisis Across the Border” (editorial, Feb. 20) suggests that rather than launching discrete airstrikes to disrupt ISIS operations in Libya in response to the execution of as many as 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, Egypt should work “to reinforce” the United Nations negotiations you describe as “a long shot.”
The establishment of a Libyan national unity government is a critical objective in the fight against terrorism; anyone desiring peace undoubtedly wishes to secure this through diplomatic means. Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians (not to mention Libyans) remain vulnerable. The Egyptian government’s action has had a tremendous effect domestically, particularly as to relations between Muslim and Christian communities in the Arab world’s most populous country. The Coptic community, though devastated, is comforted that its government and neighbors are united in protecting their countrymen regardless of faith.
This is an important development in a region where sectarian divisions have fueled violence and migration for generations, and marks what we hope is the beginning of a new era of religious tolerance in the Middle East.
Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox
Diocese of New York and New England
Stony Point, N.Y.