A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Senior Brotherhood Figures will Attend Coptic Christmas Services.

Coptic Pope Shenouda III
I already noted that the Muslim Brotherhood has said it will help protect Coptic churches in Egypt on Christmas (tomorrow night is Christmas Eve in the Eastern churches). Now, according to the Brotherhood's English language website, the Chairman and Secretary-General of the Freedom and Justice Party (the Brotherhood's political arm), and the Deputy Chairman of the Brotherhood itself will attend the Christmas liturgy at the Coptic cathedral. Whatever one thinks of the Brotherhood's overall program, this shows, I think, an astute political ear.

Pope Shenouda III, meanwhile, is talking about dialogue with Islamists. Though he will doubtless be criticized by the Coptic diaspora, that's also a sign of a realistic assessment of a changed reality.