The article itself lists a number of attacks on Coptic churches by Muslim neighbours, because the Copts are praying without permit. It's actually talking about the Udayssat incident which happened in October, and there'd been at least one other attack after that (Ezzbat Wassif).
Imagine, if you will all of you who live anywhere in the world where "human rights" aren't dirty words, imagine a Muslim community in your area. There's enough of them to warrant building a mosque so they won't have to travel to another town to pray. They do have the right to worship after all. Your mayor gives a statement to a newspaper reporter saying "There's no need!! There's a Buddhist temple down the road, why don't they pray there?!"
Well the papers would have a field day with "racist bigot", condemn this "anti-Islamic" sentiment. The PM or president would have to say "we love Muslims and we respect Islam". The mayor would have to apologise, or at least he would be asked to.
Here's what Mr Odayssi said:
"Anyway, a Christian is Christian. We Muslims worship in any mosque, why can't they worship in some other church? There's another church, an Anglican one not far away. Why can't they worship there?"
Is this man serious??? Was he trying to antagonise the Copts or is he really that ignorant??? Now I know that Anglicans and Orthodox aren't as different as Muslims and Buddhists are. It is true we are all Christians. But there are indeed differences in the ways we celebrate mass, there are differences, minor as they may be, in our denominations.
Until such time that the Anglican church and the Orthodox church sort this out, we are each entitled to worship in our churches. As a Coptic orthodox I have attended many Anglican and Catholic services both in Egypt and here in Australia. But that was my decision, I made that decision of my own free will. It's not for anyone, least of all a man like Odayssi who clearly has NO idea about my faith to make that call on my behalf or indeed on behalf of the whole Coptic community of Udayssat, to make that call for us.
It is my humble opinion that Mr Odaysi is playing dumb (not that this should be a long road for him to travel). He is probably taking a stab at provoking the Orthodox Copts to say "no we don't want to pray in the Anglican church. We want our church" To which the Anglicans would say "AAAAnd what's wrong with OUR church??". Maybe he could divide up the little Christian community.
I sincerely hope I am wrong. I hope this is just me being a bit paranoid. I hope he is just ignorant and doesn't really comprehend what he is saying. Because I hope nobody should have it in them to be so devious. But then again, when you are talking about the son of the man who burnt that very same church back in the 60's, who knows!!