Egyptian Activists Mourn Death of Maspero Martyr Mina
Hundreds of mourners attend Tahrir
Square funeral for Mina Daniel, a young
revolutionary who never forgot the
importance of Muslim-Christian unity
By Sarah Raslan, Zeinab El Gundy
October 13, 2011
[photo: http://tinyurl.com/3ws3bhp ]
Egyptian bloggers and activists mourned the loss of a
fellow revolutionary who was killed during Sunday's
Maspero clashes between demonstrators and army and
Hundreds of Egyptians who had never met Mina Daniel -
or, in many cases, had even heard of him before his
death - attended the young man's funeral, chanting, "We
are all Mina Daniel."
According to Daniel's friends, the late activist's will
specified that his funeral be held in Tahrir Square,
the epicentre of Egypt's January revolution. While in
the ambulance, after sustaining fatal injuries,
Daniel's last words to his friends were: "If I die, I
want my funeral to be in Tahrir Square."
And so it was.
On Monday night, thousands of mourners joined the
funeral for 17 victims of the deadly Maspero clashes,
including Daniel, at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo's
Abbassiya district.Following the funeral, hundreds of
mourners, including both Christians and Muslims,
solemnly headed to Tahrir Square bearing Mina's coffin.
"Everyone who died [in the Maspero clashes] are
martyrs," said one of those in attendance. "But Mina is
a special case. He's a real symbol of the revolution."
The 25-year-old activist had been an ardent participant
in Egypt's recent revolution and an active member of
the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement. Daniel was
injured during the infamous "Battle of the Camel" on 2
February, when pro-government thugs attacked unarmed
protesters in Tahrir Square, leaving dozens killed and
"He always smiled," said Ahmed El-Massry, a political
activist and friend of Daniel's. "That's something
everyone will remember about him. If you look at a
picture of his body, you can still see his smile."
"We never differentiated between Muslim and Christian,"
El-Massry added. "I didn't even know he was Christian
until after the revolution."
Journalist and political activist Moustafa Mohi
recalled Daniel's insistence on avoiding sectarian
chants during the 18-day uprising. Rather, said Mohi,
Daniel had promoted chants and slogans stressing
"After the bombing of Alexandria's Two Saints Church in
January, Mina had insisted that Coptic protestors -
despite their anger - avoid sectarianism," Mohi
recalled. "And he always made sure to include Muslim
"For him, it was never about Christian or Muslim
demands, but about Egyptian demands," added Mohi, who
had worked together with Daniel in the Socialist
Popular Alliance Party.
Following his funeral in Tahrir Square, Daniel's coffin
was taken to the Al-Malak Church in 6 October on the
outskirts of Cairo to be prepared for burial.
Like Daniel, mourners at the funeral stressed the
importance of Muslim-Christian unity. "This is not
sectarian division," they chanted. "Muslims and
Christian are one hand."
The funeral was attacked in Cairo's Ghamra district,
where unknown assailants hurled rocks at mourners en
route to Tahrir Square.
A group of Daniel's friends have since established a
page on Facebook dedicated to Daniel's memory. The
group, dubbed "We are all Mina Daniel," currently
boasts more than 6,000 members.
Its founders hope the page will become as well-known
and influential as that devoted to Khaled Said, the
young Alexandrian man killed by police in 2009 whose
death played a role in encouraging the revolution.
"The `We are all Khaled Said' campaign made a
difference in the Egyptian movement for democracy,"
said Mohi. "Similarly, I hope Mina's death will make
the difference that he wanted to achieve in his life."
Daniel's autopsy report has been published online by
his friends. The report attributes the young activist's
death to a bullet wound to the heart.
After Maspero, Political Forces Issue Demands
In the wake of the violent Maspero clashes,
political forces call on ruling military
council to step down, issuing three
recommendations for a new transitional council
By Sarah Raslan
October 13, 2011
After discussing Sunday's deadly clashes in Cairo's
Maspero district, which left at least 25 dead and
hundreds injured, post-revolution political forces on
Wednesday called on the ruling Supreme Council of the
Armed Forces (SCAF) to relinquish executive power to a
"The SCAF has failed to administer the transitional
period and has pushed the situation from bad to worse,"
political forces stated in a press release.
The statement, approved and signed by more than 13
major political parties and groups, went on to cite
three measures to be adopted by a civilian transitional
1. The prosecution of those responsible for the killing
of protestors at Maspero, including Major-General Hamdi
Badeen, head of military police; Aswan Governor
Moustafa El-Sayad; Minister of Information Osama
Haikel; and anyone else involved in harming protestors.
2. The purging of state media outlets of anyone who
participated in deceiving the public and hiding the
truth about recent events at Maspero; the abolition of
the Ministry of Information; and the elimination of
restrictive state regulations governing the media.
3. The resolution of longstanding Coptic grievances by
passing legislation that unifies laws governing the
construction of houses of worship; stiffening penalties
for those found guilty of violating the sanctity of
houses of worship; and the prosecution of those found
guilty of involvement in past attacks on houses of
The tripartite statement was signed by the Free
Egyptian Movement; the Socialist Popular Alliance
Party; the National Front for Justice and Democracy;
the Youth for Justice and Freedom Movement; the
Revolutionary Socialists; the Democratic Workers Party;
the Popular Committees for the Defence of the
Revolution; the Lotus Revolution Coalition; the April 6
Youth Movement (Democratic Front); the Beginning
Movement; and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.
A number of the signatory parties and groups held a
press conference on Thursday afternoon at which several
eyewitnesses to the Maspero clashes delivered their
testimonies of the attack on the Coptic march.
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