Egyptians didn't take this attack in the way Mubarak expected - as sullen victims. Nor in the way many westerners thought they would - excited in their sectarian hatred.
Instead, they rose up. Groups of Muslims independent of the government called for a national unity day on Coptic Christmas - Jan. 7th. Muslim men and women in their hundreds of thousands attended Christian mass to protect the worshippers on the holy day.
For many, this was the first time they had taken a public, civic action. They looked around themselves and saw "I'm not alone."
I'm not alone as a decent person in Egypt. I'm not alone as a Muslim who wants my Christian (or Jewish or secular) neighbors to live undisturbed. I'm not alone as someone who wants more for my country than the hatred and fear that the Mubarak/Suleiman regime brought us.
Without Jan. 7th, Jan. 25th does not happen. People needed that sense of validation. That sense that "it's not just me. There are many others like me, and together, we can end this."
The Mubarak/Suleiman regime did have a sense of what was coming, and they tried to defuse the crisis and the anger, announcing on Jan. 23rd that they had found the culprits - the favored boogie-man of the regime "Gaza extremists."
Minister Accuses Gaza Militants
Ah yes, the regime could pose as defender of its Coptic minority, as protector of Israel, and as promoter of unity in the seething cauldron of evil terrorist groups - the picture they liked to paint of the Middle East.
A day later, they realized they'd left something out - we also need to show our American sponsors we're helping them. So the new release of information went a little further:
Al Qaeda Attacks Coptic Church
The attacks on Coptic churches had been ongoing, and the Alexandria bombing was only the latest. Then came the democracy uprising of Tahrir. The back and forth, the violence, the drama, the fear, the uprush of emotions.
Only yesterday, Sunday, was there a day of calm, when people could take stock. Some began to think back and wonder - what happened with that string of attacks on churches. How come it stopped. And some thought, strange, the coincidence, it stopped just when the secret police started to have other, larger things to worry about!
Today, in the final horror that will also be the final chapter for the Mubarak/Suleiman regime, and also for the secret police/security state that we've sponsored, the General Prosecutor's office announced it is probing the involvement of Interior Minister el-Adly. Prisoners who escaped during the chaos fled directly to the British embassy and poured out the details of el-Adly's plot. The right hand man of Suleiman and Mubarak was the author of this horrible crime, this attempt to set Muslims and Christians against each other and blame it on Palestinians, so the regime could pose as defender of all that is good and just.
Here it is in al Arabiya. Read and weep for the crimes we bought and paid for with our military aid to this awful, cynical, inhuman regime.
(and now the investigation is confirmed in the Daily News of Egypt)
I'd like to ask you to call President Obama at 202 456-1111, and ask him to cut off the Mubarak/Suleiman regime, and stand up for the spirit of Tahrir, of Muslims and Christians coming together to support one another in peace.