Averted a bloodbath
Sir-- After the killings in Maspero, Pope Shenouda called for restraint. Otherwise, if he had told Copts to rise to the challenge, there could have been a much worse bloodbath -- maybe even a civil war.
Cared for Palestinians
Sir-- I am an American Muslim who once lived in Egypt. I can honestly say that Pope Shenouda was loved and respected by all. He cared more for the Palestinian issue than most Muslim politicians. He had the wisdom to always call for peace even when religious fanatics attacked Coptic churches. He was a very wise man and I would like to offer my deepest condolences to all Egyptians and specifically to my Coptic Christian brothers and sisters.
Sir-- Coptic Christianity is one of, if not the, oldest sect of Christianity that exists today. Coptics are the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians as is the Coptic language. Coptics never forced their religion on anyone nor are we affiliated with any of the corruption that breeds in the Vatican. We are simple, humble, hospitable, and most importantly respectful people who ask of nothing more than to just be treated equally in the land of our ancestors. I ask, after the passing of Pope Shenouda, is that so much to ask for?
As he did for John Paul
Sir-- This man was a great religious leader of millions of Egyptian Christians for many years. And I know that to Egypt it is a great loss. When Pope John Paul II passed away in April of 2005, Pope Shenouda sent his deepest condolences to Catholic mourners offering the support of members of his church. I believe that we should do the same now.
Good for the MB
Sir-- A good man who tried hard all his life to live in peace in a poor and violent corner of the world where his faith was in the minority. All the same, it was good to see that the Muslim Brotherhood went to the funeral and expressed condolences.
Bill De Mering
Choosing a successor
Sir-- The succession will be interesting to watch. Shenouda was a Mubarak man, and was greatly disliked by the younger generation of Copts because of his ultra-conservative positions on social issues. It will be a real behind-the-scenes battle to choose his successor.
Never to improve
Sir-- You wrote 'The Afghan dust is settling' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 19-25 January) presumably well before the recent event of an Afghan officer killing and wounding many French occupying forces. Sarkozy is all upset, saying that this is not fair, and he will bring French forces home early.
It is probably the case, nowadays, that nation states, once broken into pieces, cannot be restored. Nations rest on the state having a monopoly on violence, or at least more violence capability than criminals or rebels. In our current world, with the availability of weapons and communications, it is very hard for a national government to have that advantage. Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan soonÒê¦ once a nation is broken it cannot easily go back together again. The moral is, do not destroy a nation in order to make it better. It will never become better.