ASIA NEWS REPORT
The second case in less than a week. The attack took
place yesterday in el-Marashda, predominantly Christian, in the province of
Quena (Upper Egypt). Muslims burned at least six homes of Coptic Christians and
tried to demolish the local church. Wrath unleashed at the alleged rape of a
Muslim girl by a Christian. Village Iman calls on youth to protect Christian
Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More attacks against the Coptic minority in
Upper Egypt. A thousand Muslims attacked the predominantly Christian village of
el-Marashda (province of Quena, Upper Egypt). Incited by outside religious
authorities, extremists burned down homes and shops and tried to demolish the
local church. The attack, which took place yesterday, was interrupted by the
arrival of the police, who arrested 10 Muslims. Since yesterday evening, a crowd
of radical Islamic hav eblocked access to the city, to prevent the police from
taking those arrested away. The police responded by firing tear gas. For safety,
the authorities ordered the Christian population not to leave their homes and
the local parish has canceled the celebrations for the Coptic Orthodox epiphany.
In solidarity with christian community, the Iman of the village calls on muslim
youth to protect Christian shops.
Anba Kyrollos, Coptic Orthodox bishop
of Nag Hammadi, said the group of extremists, including many Salafis, attacked
the village in revenge for a Christian accused of abusing a Muslim girl of 6.
The rumors about the pedophilia case had emerged in recent days, sparking
tension between the two communities, but police investigations have cleared the
man. The girl did not suffer any kind of violence. The Salafis have attacked the
Christian village all the same, in spite of outcome of the inquiry.
sources say that the representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities,
met this morning for a reconciliation. However, the police continue to patrol
the town for fear of attacks.
Yesterday's was the second attack in less
than a week. On
15 January, hundreds of Islamists demolished a building owned by the Coptic
Orthodox Church of St. George Taymah in the diocese of the Fayyum (Egypt central
133 km south of Cairo).
After the fall of President Mubarak and the rise
to power of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, attacks against churches
and Christian buildings have increased. In the poorest areas of the country, but
also in the capital, cuts to public security and the army have left them
powerless in the face of these attacks instigated by Salafis. With their money
and their promises, the extremists urge residents to drive Christians out to
take over their lands, taking advantage of the absence of a clear law that
regulates the construction of religious buildings.
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