The attacks by some Egyptian Muslims on their fellow Egyptian Christian citizens is deplorable for the simple fact that the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, would have condemned any violence towards Christians and people of non-Muslim faiths.
The Coptic Church is the West's last link to an early form of Christianity, and to a tradition of eremitical life that has all but disappeared from the modern world. Copts remind us of what Egypt means as a repository of all that the West holds dear in terms of thought, culture and civilization.
During the peak of euphoria in Tahrir Square, many Egyptian Christians set aside their grievances with the Muslim majority. A long-forming pattern of anti-Christian violence has since increased across the country.
As Egypt experiences rapid and complicated transition from the Mubarak regime to the formation of a new government, the ultimate goal must remain the protection of equal rights for all citizens of Egypt.
Recent history in Rwanda and Yugoslavia has taught us that certain kinds of social tensions can erupt into extensive violence very quickly. Let's not wait for this to happen to Christian copts in Egypt.