May 8, 2011

More Christian-Muslim Violence in Egypt

Ryan JonesBy Ryan Jones
Israel Today

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A Muslim mob surrounded and burned a church in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Saturday, killing at least 10 people and wounding nearly 200 more.

The confrontation was sparked by a rumor among Muslims that the Coptic Christians at the Saint Mena Church in the Cairo neighborhood of Imbaba were holding against her will a woman who wished to convert to Islam.

The mob began hurling firebombs at the church and reportedly opened fire on the Christians. Some reports suggested the Christians responded in kind by returning fire.

Security forces eventually broke up the Muslim mob using tear gas, and firefighters were called in to hose down the scorched church building.

Israel Today reported last month that Christians have begun to flee Egypt following the ouster of former dictator Hosni Mubarak and the rise of more radical Islamic elements within the country.

Dozens of Christians have been killed in sectarian violence with Muslims since Mubarak's downfall. And groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have been taking an increasingly visible role in forming Egypt's next government.

Coptic leaders have complained that they are being left out of the decision-making process, raising fears that the Egypt of tomorrow will be far less free and democratic than even the Egypt of Mubarak.

Related Links

Egyptian Copts, reeling from violence, want protection - CNN
Egypt in crisis talks after Muslim mobs attack Christian churches -
Brotherhood to radicalise Egypt - The Australian
Death toll in sectarian clash in Cairo rises to 12 - Xinhua
Egypt to Use 'Iron Hand' for Security After Deadly Sectarian Violence - Voice of America