Protest in Sydney over Egypt violence
October 23, 2011
Violence targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt is an "outrage", federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.
Mr Abbott's comments came after sectarian clashes in Cairo have reportedly killed 25 people, mostly Christian Copts, and injured about 300.
"It is an outrage what has happened to your community, it is an outrage which should cry out to heaven for rectification," Mr Abbott told a crowd of over a thousand Coptic Christians in Sydney on Sunday.
"May the people of Egypt come to see the tragedy the other week not just as a crime against Christians but as a crime against Islam too - no true religion can contemplate this kind of horror."
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, who also attended the protest in Sydney's CBD, extended the government's condolences to the Coptic community.
"We stand with you ... we share your grief, we share your upset, we share your concerns," Mr Bowen said.
"All members of the Egyptian community, be they Coptic or non-Coptic, should be able to look to the government of Egypt and the army of Egypt in times of trouble for protection."
The federal government previously said it would consider visa extensions for Egyptians affected by the violence, which is the worst the country has seen since a popular uprising early this year.