The terrible bombings in Alexandria on New Year’s eve when many Coptic christians were killed or hurt were very well publicised . But what happened next hardly received any coverage at all. There was widespread fear in Egypt that Christmas, which falls on the 6th and 7th of January, would see further atrocities; but peace reigned.
President Mubarak played a major role by instructing his security forces to protect the christian minority but thousands of private citizens took the peace-keeping into their own hands. Every church found itself surrounded by muslims , many conducting candle-lit vigils, and many leading public figures attended the services in acts of protective solidarity. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the imam of the most important mosque in Cairo, issued a statement to the effect that the muslim majority had a moral obligation to prtect all churches and synagogues.