Egypt: Copts Under Siege, Media Reports "Clashes"

The Age/Jailan Zayan

DPA adds this howler to the story: Clashes between Egypt’s Christian and Muslim populations are rare, but tensions do periodically erupt.

Thanks to Dhumme Dhimmi

Coptic Christians have pelted Muslim shops with stones in a southern Egyptian town where Muslim gunmen killed six Copts after a Christmas Eve mass, a security official said.

The town of Nagaa Hammadi has been on edge since Wednesday night’s shooting, the country’s deadliest sectarian attack in years, in which a policeman was also killed.

A security official said police moved in to contain the violence and restore calm on Friday, and witnesses said access roads to Nagaa Hammadi were sealed off.

Residents in the nearby village of Bahgura said Muslims had set fire to Coptic homes and stores, but a police official denied this.

Earlier in the day police said that the three gunmen who took part in the Christmas attack had surrendered after being surrounded on a nearby farm.

But tensions remained high in Nagaa Hammadi, which also saw protests on Thursday during the funerals for the Christians killed in the attack when Copts clashed with police and pelted police cars with stones before being dispersed.

Muslims who attended the main weekly prayers in the town on Friday left swiftly afterwards and few people were on the streets, which were patrolled by plainclothes police.

“Of course we are scared. Muslims and Christians are scared. Our businesses will close. It will be a disaster for all of us,” Ashraf Mohammed, a Muslim butcher, told AFP.

The interior ministry said the three suspects – including town resident Mohammed el-Kamuni whom the interior ministry earlier identified as el-Kawmi – surrendered on Friday morning after being encircled on the farm.

Even if they are brought to trial, it would be the first time Mohammedans are convicted for murdering Christians….

The suspects all have previous convictions, the ministry added.

Police believe Wednesday night’s attack was related to the alleged rape of a Muslim girl by a Coptic man in the nearby village of Farshut in November.

This is utter BS.  In Egypt, any allegation will bring out the Muslim mob….

Muslim villagers responded to that incident by burning Coptic-owned stores in Farshut and surrounding a police station where the Coptic suspect was held.

Nagaa Hammadi’s Bishop Kirilos said that for the past week some of his parishioners had received threatening phone calls.

The callers said Muslims “will avenge the rape of the girl during the Christmas celebrations,” Kirilos said.

He told AFP he had cut the Christmas Eve mass short because he feared something might happen, and asked priests not to attend because he did not want a large crowd in one place.

A senior Vatican official told the head of the Coptic Church on Friday that Christians must stick together against oppression.

“All Christians must remain united in the face of oppression and seek together the peace that only Christ can give,” Cardinal Walter Kasper told Pope Shenuda III, in a letter released by the Vatican.

Wednesday’s attack, in which six people were also wounded, further stoked feelings of alienation among Copts and was the deadliest since 20 of their number were killed in sectarian clashes in 2000, also in southern Egypt.

Copts, who account for nearly 10 per cent of Egypt’s population of 80 million, are the Middle East’s largest Christian community but complain of routine discrimination and harassment.

They have two ministers in government and several members of parliament, but face restrictions on building churches that must be approved by a presidential decree, and need security and provincial clearance to refurbish existing churches.

A Tale of Two Cities: Copts Call Muslim Hypocrisy over Ground Zero Mosque

thanks to undhimmi

As ever, as Muslims and their left-wing camp followers attack everyday Americans – the overwheming majority of whom agree that it is an act of gross insensitivity for the Cordoba Initiative to construct its ‘Park 51′ mosque and ‘community centre’ near the site of the 9/11 atrocity – it’s one rule for the Ummah and another for everyone else.

The AINA” Eastern Christian site exposes the hypocrites and their fallacious arguments in an excellent piece this morning:

Egyptians, Muslims and Christians alike, are closely watching the controversy associated with the Ground Zero Mosque project, though for different reasons. The Egyptian media is giving this issue full coverage with articles mostly accusing Americans of Islamophobia, and supporting Muslims to hold on to their rights to build a mosque anywhere as guaranteed by the US constitution, regardless of what Americans think.

On the other hand, some influential Muslims rejected the idea of a Mosque near Ground Zero only on grounds that it would backfire on Islam, by connecting it to the 9/11 events. Dr. AbdelMotey Bayoumi, a member of Al Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy, believes it could be a “Zionist conspiracy” to harm Islam.

American-Egyptian Copts were also accused of organizing the rally which is to be staged on 9/11 with Geert Wilders, reported the Egyptian daily “youm7″ on August 20, 2010.

“I cannot believe the double standards of the Egyptian Muslims,” commented Coptic activist Magdy Guindi. “It is obvious that Americans don’t approve of this Mosque being near Ground Zero. Is this not one of the conditions applied to church building in Egypt?”

Much of the on-going sectarian strife in Egypt is related to the ability to build churches. Unlike Muslim citizens, who only need a municipal license to build mosques, the Copts require presidential approval for a church, based on the 1856 Ottoman Hamayoni Decree, in addition to ten humiliating conditions laid down by the Ezaby Pasha Decree of 1934, before being considered for a presidential decree. These include the approval of the neighboring Muslim community.

“Muslim clerics and Islamists easily persuade Muslims that a church is equivalent to slandering Islam, so they take advantage of this “Muslim approval” condition,” said Guindi.

Even after obtaining licenses for a church, Muslims still attack Christians and demolish or burn their churches.
A rumor that Christians are meeting to pray is enough reason for Muslim neighbors to carry out acts of violence against them. On various occasions, it only takes Muslims to protest against the building of a church for State Security to stop the works, under the pretext that it is causing “sectarian strife.”

In 2005 President Mubarak issued a decree, which delegated authority to the country’s 26 governors to grant permits to Christians to expand or rebuild existing churches. Instead of making matters easier, many local officials intentionally delay or refuse to process applications without “supporting documents” that are virtually impossible to obtain. State Security often block them from using permits that have been issued on “security concerns.”

Last month a problem arose between the Governor of Minya and Anba Agathon, the Bishop of the diocese of Maghagha and Edwah, which is still unresolved, despite mediation efforts by Coptic Pope Shenouda III.

The Governor suddenly suspended the license obtained for the renewal of the 1934 diocese in Maghagha, including the church, after it was demolished, as agreed with the governor. The pretext for the suspension was because the 45 square meters of rooms where the Bishop lives were not demolished as well. Although the Bishop confirmed that the governor agreed verbally to the Bishop staying in his dwelling until new rooms are built on the new site, the governor now insists that the Bishop “should find somewhere else to sleep.”

Since March 16, 2010, after the demolition of the old church, the Bishop and the congregation have been celebrating mass in a linen tent erected on the courtyard where the new church is planned, under the summer heat exceeding 45C. The Diocese of Maghagha serves 250,000 Copts.

Realizing that the governor has tricked them into getting them to demolished the old church first, Bishop Agathon, 75 clergy and nearly 150,000 Copts from parishes all over the Diocese of Maghagha and Edwah have staged a three day sit-in in Maghagha tent church from July 25, 2010, protesting against the intransigence of the Governor of Minya. They wanted to travel to Cairo to continue their sit-in at the Coptic Patriarchate in Cairo, after presenting a petition signed by 160,000 Copts from the Diocese to President Mubarak. It was reported that the Pope, who was undergoing medical treatment in the U.S., asked the Bishop to wait until his return.

Most Copts interviewed on the issue of the Ground Zero Mosque thought that even if Moslems had the right to build a mosque, it should be somewhere else, to save the victims families any pain. Others thought the Muslim attitude was typical “They go to a country and want to take it over, making the best of democratic rights to their advantage, but when it comes to Islamic countries, matters are different, and they forget about the rights of others,” commented one young Coptic girl.

“Let Muslims experience the rage and frustration we have been going through for centuries, every time we want to build or repair a dilapidating church in our own country,” commented Coptic activist Mina Hanna, in what sounded like Schadenfreude. “It would be interesting to see what happens if the West decided to treat Muslims like Christians in Egypt.”

A quick glance at stories under the ‘Religious Persecution’ tag of this blog will reveal everything you need to know about Islamic attitudes to other faiths.

Yet once again, it is non-Muslim Westerners that are being accused of intolerance, not only by Muslms, but by their own liberal politicians and media; few of whom have the remotest clue (or do but don’t say anything) about Muslim religious intolerance.

How can it be ‘Islamophobic’ to complain about the highly insensitive siting of just one more mosque in a country already filled with mosques; when Christians unfortunate enough to live in Muslim-majority countries find it virtually impossible to build ANY new places of worship?

Lets see some Churches in Istanbul, some Synagogues in Saudi Arabia and some Hindu Temples in Pakistan before Muslims can play the ‘intolerance’ card with us.

Let’s see some reciprocity.

And the likely outcome of that?

3 thoughts on “Egypt: Copts Under Siege, Media Reports "Clashes"”

  1. No one is currently suggesting that ALL muslims are bad; that they fly jets into buildings, bomb nightclubs, buses, and so forth. The current situation at hand is that Muslims are attacking and killing Christians in their homes and in churches in Egypt (this has been the case for many years, but the worst has occured today and in the past few days). Why? If you were to attempt to find out what is the current population of Christians in Egypt today, most sources will tell you that Egypt holds the biggest population of Christians in the Middle East of nearly 10% of the total population of 80 million. But this is based on old records. This “10%” is extremely inaccurate. For the past few years, Muslims in Egypt have been secretly converting to Christianity and more recently more and more have been OPENLY (without secrecy) also converting to Christianity. It is now evident that the majority are the Christians and this doesn’t even put into consideration the thousands who have secretly converted and continue to do so. Subjectively speaking, I believe this is to be the reason behind the attacks. A desperate and pathetic attempt to scare the Christians and would-be Christians. Aside from the mass conversions, on the eve of the Coptic Orthadox Christmas (January 6th), thousands of Egyptians (both Muslim and Christians) witness the appearance of the Mother Mary, as her image hovered over the crowd and infront a large Cathedral. The next day, She made another appearance. This time, Her appearance was so large that she could be seen in the sky from miles away.

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