(…) the mere act of getting to know each other is often enough to put a stop to prejudices and fear.
In places where such stereotypes are an issue, demonstrating harmonious collaboration between people of different religions can shift attitudes.
For example, Salafyo Costa organised a Salafi-Copt football match last year. “Participants were wary at first, but ended up as friends, thanks to football,” says Tolba.“Now we know that it’s wrong to be afraid of each other. We lost our prejudices.” explains Victor.
Muslims – Salafi or otherwise – and Copts from Salafyo Costa also operate regular medical caravans, to provide simple medical attention in places where Salafis normally wouldn’t ask a Copt for help and where Copts wouldn’t trust a Salafi.Together, the group provided medical supplies to a flooded village near Zagazig in the governorate of Sharqiya last January.
And last Friday, Salafyo Costa went to a village with a large Coptic population in the governorate of Minya, south of Cairo, suffering from instances of interreligious tension. “People who benefit from the help of our caravans in villages are often surprised to see Salafis and Copts working hand in hand. It is a useful image and changes their mind-set,” says Tolba.Salafyo Costa gathers people who would not normally interact. They demonstrate together in support of the revolution’s demands, to free activists held in detention, and for other common interests.
There is mistrust and fear of the other in Egypt, but beyond the prejudices there are nuances and opportunities to build an Egypt where everyone can coexist, whether Muslim or Copt.
And for those of you that never heard about Neturei Karta… they are these guys:
I don’t have much more to ad about Salafyo Costa… it’s the first time I heard about them. If someone can add extra knowledge, I’ll be pleased to share here!