29 June 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 05/20/2013, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Egypt, more attacks on Coptic Orthodox community, two churches set on fire



    The two attacks targeted the church of St. Mary in a suburb of Alexandria and that of the small village of Menpal in Upper Egypt. In subsequent clashes one person died following a heart attack.

    Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptian Coptic community faces a new escalation of attacks by Islamists. On 17 May, two churches were attacked with Molotov cocktails in the district of Dakhela, west of Alexandria, Egypt, and Menpal in Upper Egypt.

    In Alexandria over 20 thousand Muslims attacked the church of St. Mary setting fire to the entrance of the building and shattering windows. A man died of a heart attack in the attack. In response to the violence, hundreds of Copts left their homes to create a human wall around the building. According to witnesses some Islamists armed with pistols and knives fired on the crowd, causing some injuries.

    At the origin of the clashes is a dispute between two neighbors. Basem Ramzy Michael, a Coptic Christian, is reported to have behaved inappropriately towards the sister of Alloshy Hamada, a Muslim with a criminal record. In a short time the dispute between the two erupted into a sectarian clash.

    A similar incident occurred last May 13, in the village of Menbal, Matay district, north of the province of Minya, where a Muslim mob stormed the church called the Tadros el-Mashreki and assaulted one person inside. The assailants threw stones at the building, looted Christian shops nearby and burned cars. The Coptic minority has been threatened with expulsion from the village. Once again the violence was sparked by a trivial quarrel between two young people. Some young Muslims are reported to have made advances to a group of Coptic girls, as they entered the church. Irritated at having been ignored the group waited for the young Christian girls to leave the Church and threw bags filled with urine at them. The young people were rescued by some Christians peers who have started a heated argument with Muslims. As in other cases, the news spread across the village. In a short time a crowd of Islamists rallied in front of the church, forcing young people to take refuge inside.

    Ehab Ramzy, a Coptic Christian, prosecutor in the province and former member of parliament, said Menbal has a Muslim majority, while Manshiet Menbal, 10 kilometers away, has Coptic majority. "The Christians of the two villages - he explains - have nothing to do with the fight that took place in Manshiet Menbal. The young people were attacked just because they are Christian." Two young Muslim men were arrested by police in Menbal. In the coming days there will be a reconciliation meeting between the two communities. "Now - he adds - the security forces are trying to arrest some young Copts. They have become a bargaining chip to seek reconciliation."

    AsiaNews sources underline that the attacks against the Coptic community are now a daily occurrence and are being ignored by the police, who because of the climate of chaos, let communities resolve disputes among themselves, although this can result in dead or wounded. The most serious incident took place on April 7 in front of the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, where a group of Islamists attacked funerals of four Christians killed in sectarian clashes that took place on April 5 in the district of Khosous, on the outskirts of the capital, with stones and Molotov cocktails. The assault, which took place before the eyes of the police, left two dead and over 80 injured. A church building caught fire.

     

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    See also

    02/08/2012 EGYPT
    Cairo, 100 Coptic families flee after clashes between Christians and Muslims
    Clashes occurred in Dahshur, a village 40 km south of Cairo. Tensions triggered by a dispute between a Copt and a Muslim, leaving one person dead. Dozens of Christian homes burned and the local church damaged, defended by some Muslim families. Police inertia unveiled in a video.

    18/03/2010 EGYPT
    Egyptian police arrest 13 Copts, victims of attack by Islamic extremists
    Four minors between 13 and 17, also stopped but later released. A detention order of 15 days issued for Christians and Muslims. Charged with damaging public property, arson and assault. Association for Human Rights promotes an international conference.

    25/11/2010 EGYPT
    Two Copts killed in the battle for the "church of the Pyramids"
    Thousands of Christian protesters surrounded the governorate in Giza to protest against the blockade of the construction of the only church in the area. Strong reaction of the security forces. Fundamentalist Muslims are opposed to the churches’ completion and put pressure on local authorities.

    02/11/2013 EGYPT - ISLAM
    Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood violence targets Church of Virgin Mary in Zaytoun
    Islamists tear down banners and spray insults against the patriarch, Copts and the Armed on its walls. An attempt to storm the building is stopped. The church is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims because of an apparition of the Virgin Mary

    23/10/2013 EGYPT
    Cairo, police fled before the attack on the church of the Virgin Mary
    For the Administrative Director of the parish, the security forces fled up a side street instead of defending the faithful . Yesterday the funeral of the four victims of the shooting.



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