CAIRO — After Egypt’s worst sectarian violence in months left seven dead the past two days, Egypt’s leading opposition figure Mohamed El Baradei called on the Islamist president Monday to make serious concessions to bring the opposition into decision-making.
Baradei said national reconciliation is the only way out of the country’s myriad problems.
The violence, capped by an unprecedented mob attack on the main cathedral of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, raised new alarm over the escalating turmoil in the country, which has been polarized over the administration of President Mohammed Morsi and Islamists’ political power.
The opposition has blamed months of unrest on attempts by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, to monopolize power, accusing them of squeezing out other voices and failing to find consensus on major national issues, such as an Islamist-backed constitution passed in a December referendum that generated controversy.
Morsi supporters say he has repeatedly invited all parties into dialogue and have accused the opposition of fueling street unrest to undermine the Islamists’ election victories, including that of Morsi.
Morsi denounced Sunday’s violence at the cathedral, saying he considered any attack on the cathedral as an attack against him personally.
He also ordered an immediate investigation into the violence and spoke with the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II.
The Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, depicted the attack as a new part of the attempts to create chaos and destabilize Morsi.
On Monday, the party’s secretary general, Hussein Ibrahim, wrote on his Facebook page comments that whoever thinks that ‘‘igniting sectarian violence can bring down a ruling regime is mistaken. The fire of sedition if ignited in Egypt, God forbid, will burn all.’’