Don't worry for us, but rejoice for us, says Egyptian Bible Society leader

The General Director of the Bible Society of Egypt is positive about the demonstrations that have led to the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ramez Atallah thanked people for their concern but insisted that the vast majority of the protests had been peaceful and "festive" in mood.

He said he did not feel unsafe in spite of the large crowds and lack of police or army presence.

"On the contrary, we all felt very proud to be Egyptians and to be among so many wonderful compatriots from Christians to conservative, Muslim, veiled women," he said.

"The concern, enthusiasm, passion and love for our country which we all shared was exhilarating and made us all the more loyal to our great nation."

Atallah criticised the Muslim Brotherhood for hijacking the 2011 revolution and bringing in an "autocratic one-party rule".

"Their attempt to impose political Islam on Egypt is one of the major causes of the present very widespread revolt," he said.

Atallah said the deaths of some protesters was "very sad and regrettable", and expressed concern that militant Muslims were threatening to retaliate against the protesters.

However, he insisted the stand against Morsi had been right.

"So instead of worrying for us, rejoice with us for the remarkable events happening in our country," he said.

"Pray that the unprecedented unity expressed between all Egyptians who reject the forceful imposition of political Islam will result in a new Egypt where people with different persuasions can live alongside one another in harmony. This is the Egypt I remember from my youth and the Egypt most Egyptians yearn for."