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


    » 02/15/2012, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Sharqia: Church and homes set on fire by some 2,000 Muslim extremists



    Clashes in the village of Meet Bashar ended last night after the mediation of some Muslim Brotherhood leaders. For Fr Rafic Greiche, the victory by Islamist parties in the elections has increased anti-Christian attacks.

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - A mob of nearly 2,000 radical Muslims, mainly Salafists, set fire to the Church of St Mary and St Abram in the village of Meet Bashar, in Zagazig, Sharqia province (50 kilometres north-east of Cairo). Since Sunday, the area has been the scene of clashes between Muslim extremists and Christians. Calm returned to the area after mediation by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, who convinced the Salafists to leave the village.

    The violence was caused by the disappearance of Rania Khalil, a Christian teenager who went missing last Sunday. Her father is a convert to Islam. She was found today and is in police custody. She and her mother will be interrogated by police. Salafists believe she was abducted by Christians to prevent her conversion to Islam.

    Since the victory of Islamist parties in Egypt's recent elections, anti-Coptic attacks have increased across the country. The latest occurred on 27 January in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat (el-Ameriya), near Alexandria, said Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church.

    On that occasion, Salafists tried to burn the homes of the village's 62 Coptic families, after some Muslims accused a Christian tailor, Mourad Samy Guirgis, of having "illicit" pictures of a Muslim woman on his mobile phone.

    "Muslim radicals use conversions to Christianity from Islam as a pretext to attack and scare the Coptic community so that it will flee," Fr Greiche explained. "This is happening across Egypt."

    "In Western media, the prevailing idea is that religious clashes between Christians and Muslims happen only in Upper Egypt and Cairo's slums, where people are ignorant. In fact, when it comes to conversion from one religion to another, there is no distinction between rich and poor, educated and uneducated, Upper or Lower Egypt."

    In Muslim society, anyone who converts to Christianity becomes an outcast, Fr Greiche said. By contrast, those who speak out against forced conversions to Islam are not protected by the authorities and in most cases are forced to withdraw their accusations under pressures and threats.

    Things are bound to get worse, the clergyman believes. "Salafists are Egypt's second largest party. After the election, they hold 20 per cent of the seats in parliament. In the next few months, they could use their political power against Christians."

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    See also

    04/03/2013 EGYPT
    Christians and Muslims protest in Cairo against anti-minority violence
    Since January, Salafists and other Muslim radicals have attacked Christians in four locations, setting fire to churches and homes. In Bani Suef, a court sent to prison two minors as well as a woman and her seven children on issues related to religion. In Alexandria, Salafist gunmen kill five men suspected of building a church.

    15/03/2012 EGYPT
    Egypt's parliament describes Israel as the country's "first enemy"
    Lawmakers vote symbolic resolution calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the cancellation of the peace treaty with Israel. The call is a response to Israeli raids in Gaza. Sources tell AsiaNews that such moves exemplify the conceited populism of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists.

    23/01/2012 EGYPT
    For Catholic Church, Islamist victory scares Christians but expresses the will of the people
    The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists get 73 per cent of the seats in the lower house, which meets today for the first time since Mubarak’s fall. The session began this morning with a minute of silence for the martyrs of the Jasmine Revolution. The armed forces remain a problem.

    27/01/2012 EGYPT
    Salafist threats against Christians must stop, says Mahmoud Salem
    Mahmoud Salem, a moderate Muslim and a member of the Free Egyptians Party, filed a suit against Yasser al-Bourhami, a Salafist cleric, accusing him of inciting hatred against Copts. He is also against any outrageous and violent use of Islam. So far, the authorities have ignored other suits filed by members of moderate Islamic parties.

    24/06/2011 EGYPT
    Hundreds of Salafists attack a Coptic church in Upper Egypt
    Armed with sticks, Islamic extremists besieged in the church of Saint George in Bani Ahmed, in the Archdiocese of Minya, for five hours threatening to kill the pastor. The church had already been attacked on March 23. The violence was provoked by an attempt to restore the building.



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