New York, NY, January 3, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the deadly bombing of an Egyptian Coptic Church as a "heinous act of terrorism," and denounced reports of conspiracy theories alleging Israeli involvement in the attack.
As worshipers emerged from a New Year's midnight Mass at the Saints Church in Alexandria, a suicide bomber reportedly detonated an explosive device that killed 21 people and wounded nearly 100.
Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The bombing of a Coptic Church in Alexandria was a heinous act of terrorism and another deadly example of the threat posed by religiously motivated extremism. This horrific attack comes on the heels of an especially violent year for Egypt's ancient Coptic community. People should never be targeted for violence because of their religious beliefs.
We are appalled by media reports that the Egyptian Bar Association accused Israeli intelligence of carrying out the bombing. Conspiracy theories blaming Israel and Jews for violence, scandals and crises in Egypt are all too common and must be repudiated. We call on President Mubarak and the Egyptian government to publicly declare that such fundamentally incendiary and outlandish accusations have no place in Egypt.
In a letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, ADL welcomed the government's efforts to enhance security around Coptic churches as a necessary step to protect the community.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.