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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 15:13 GMT
Massacre in Luxor
Massacre in Luxor. Thank you for sending us your comments. They will be published here throughout the week.
First I would like to send my condolences to the relatives of the victims. Then to Mr. Steer, I would like to say that incidents like that can happen everywhere regardless of security. I am sure Mr. Steer you cannot forget the day when the IRA attacked the MI5 HQ in the middle of your capital. However people should still travel to London and Luxor, otherwise those terrorists will have won. I am sure that everyone who visited Egypt will have noticed how kind and warm the Egyptians are.
It was the same streak of Islamic fundamentalism which inspired the Luxor slaughter as produced the outrage in New York. Egypt has gone to great lengths to protect tourists since, as recent holidays there have shown; we all must be on guard.
I was quite moved by the program and despite the awful nature of the tragedy was stirred by the response of the families that brought many people of diverse backgrounds together to bear witness and heal the wounds together. It struck me that their shared response and mutual tolerance was far more profound than the misguided intolerance of the attackers.
Allison McK, Scotland
I find it a little unsettling that you chose to publish this article just before the holiday seasons. It strikes too much of trying to warn people against coming to Egypt before this season when Egypt is one of the safest countries in the world especially when compared to other 'civilised' nations where homicide and burglary rates are so much higher. It would be more logical to warn people against visiting NY, USA for example.
God bless all the victims in Luxor. Those terrorists will be punished, God willing.
I always enjoy 'Correspondent' it is truly a world class programme in my opinion and is one of very few programmes which contain such expert, intelligent and informative journalism and reporting of world events. A book is available which is written by a former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University, Cairo and I found it extremely helpful to my understanding of this subject. The book is called Islam and Terrorism by 'Mark A. Gabriel' PhD. (The author had to change his name as the book explains for fear of his life.) It is published by Charisma House and I hope it will prove of help to the relatives on 'Correspondent' (who displayed remarkable grace and dignity in the light of such a dreadful experience) to understand Islamic terrorism better.
There can be no middle ground with people that are willing to murder a 5-year-old. So your lack of condemnation is support. You should be leading the charge to exterminate all terrorists and their support structure. If we don't hang together we will be hung alone. Terrorist don't work. They get their money to exist through supporters. That money can be tracked. Why don't you lead that effort? Who knows, you could save the life of a 5 year old child.
Salah , Egypt
I visited the temple 3 days before the shooting. It was shocking to have come so far and been so close to such a horrible crime. But you can't police every square inch of land all over the world. You have to look at why this happened and not focus on protecting yourself from a vague and random act that may or may not come again. What is making people angry or cold-hearted enough to kill?
Shoko Yamashita's comments tell it all. The violence is sickening. Why?
The reason for the massacre is the same as all the follow up killings. They are cowards! They had an easy target and could not resist the temptation. It is the same now; they blow up hotels where it is obvious that a vast majority of the victims will be innocent. Why can they not say that they are at war, and raise an army and fight all the nations they hate, then everyone would see who the enemy was, and fewer innocents would be killed.
I think this is a bite unfair; most of the questions that the article refer to have been answered by the conclusion of the Swiss committee. The article also forgot to stress that there were no attacks in Egypt since then and also that the Egyptian government had improved the security around the tourist sites. I even heard from some tourists complain about the obvious presence of security.
Although I was not affected directly by this massacre, I think the media is blowing this story out of proportion. Yes people died. In Switzerland, there was a lot of mourning. But that has passed and we have gotten over this loss. Displaying this sort of story today only incites more people to hate "Muslims" because they see them as terrorists. I have a friend who won a free trip to Egypt but he does not want to go because the media keeps on talking about this terrorist attack. This massacre was five years ago. Let it go and let the people live on.
Mohd. F. Mughal, Saudi Arabia
I think this painful accident is more than 5-6 years old. Egypt is extremely sorry, and we do admit it was our mistake that this terrible massacre took place. I really hope that the families of the victims would forgive us. Security mistakes do happen, but this does not mean that the government is involved or the normal kind Egyptian people support or encourage such fanatic accidents. We will never forget you, and may God bless the souls of the victims.
The American people "should" be told of this warning, and taking of precious human life, as it does impact upon today's events. For all we have, we lack global knowledge.
The government of the dictator Mubarak is no better than Saddam's - albeit he is on our side, for now. Until Mubarak stops suppressing religious freedom in Egypt and doesn't allow the Islamist's to participate in the democratic process, as they have successfully done in Turkey and Pakistan, I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before another attack occurs.
I was in Luxor in 1999 and I think I was the sole tourist there! Maybe 100 large tourist vessels lay idle on the Nile and I did not see one depart in the 5 days I spent there. There is great poverty in Egypt and no other bossiness in Luxor beside the tourist trade.
Egypt has one of the highest income disparities in the world: the rich are massively rich, the government is ineffective and corrupt, and the majority poor in areas like Qena! It is tragic that the "fundamentalists" have chosen such terrible, unjust ways to further their cause.
I have the deepest sympathy for those who lost loved ones at Luxor in 1997, as I do for all those affected by recent terrorist outrages. But I wonder why there was so little talk of "root causes" and what all those unfortunate Swiss, Japanese, and British victims did to "deserve" their fate. We must take all of this very seriously, leaving petty nationalisms aside: the kind of people who would murder a 5 year old girl because she was a tourist are the kind of people who could not care less about one's opinion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the Kyoto Treaty, or Big Macs - it is enough that you are not one of them.
Thanks for something in cyberspace worth reading.
It is not possible to make any tourist destination, anywhere in world absolutely safe. There will always be a chance that a determined terrorist will get through. Even here at Disney World, there are multiple security checks, put the possibility exists. In Middle East countries, this possibility is much higher, because governments lack the technology and determination to make tourist destinations safe. It is part of the price you pay when travelling. What happened in Luxor will happen again (Bali, Kenya and Moscow), and again. You must decide how badly you really want to travel, and then throw the dice.
I think it is sickening for this things to happen and the authorities in charge have nothing consoling to offer that it would not repeat itself
What prompted you to bring up this issue 5 years later? I see no new development that could have justified such an article. Being in Italy, I have never read, a few months later, any article on the dramatic incident that caused the death of many tourists when they were hurt by an American plane. This to me just confirms the double standard the so called free media in the so called free world are using when exercising their responsibility of informing us. With all due respect.
What type of a religion are these Islamists following? Jesus says in John.10:10 that satan comes to steal, kill and to destroy, but Jesus came to give us life and life in all its abundance.
In fond memory of Silvia Wilder, my dear friend and the other tourists killed by these fanatics. You will always remain close to everyones heart and in our memories.
I think it's only a matter of time before something similar to what happened in 1997, (akin to events in Bali and Kenya), happens again in Egypt. Though there is a very evident security presence everywhere the alertness and effectiveness of the local armed forces and tourist police I think is questionable. Vehicles travelling in security convoys become overly separated searches and inspections of bags and belongings are not thorough enough, while to me the hundreds of Nile steamers moving up and down the Nile would seem a prime target. I think Egypt's current security arrangements need to be addressed in more detail as a lot of men standing watch with guns may not be enough to stop a determined terrorist with a car or boat packed with explosives.
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