Muslims Burn Christian Homes and Businesses in Egypt
The sectarian crisis in the village of Dahshur escalated on August 1 after the burial of the Muslim man who died yesterday in hospital. Hundreds of Muslims torched and looted Coptic businesses and homes despite hundreds of security forces being deployed in the village. Eyewitnesses reported that security forces did not protect most Coptic property -- only the small church of St. George was protected, in addition to some Coptic houses in its neighborhood.
"As 120 families had already fled the village the day before after being terrorized, the businesses and homes were an easy game for the mob to make a complete clean-up of everything that could be looted," said Coptic activist Wagih Jacob. "The security forces were at the scene of the crime while it was taking place and did nothing at all."
After the violence, the family of the deceased Moaz Hasab-Allah said that destroying Coptic property is not enough and that Coptic have to "pay for their son's death" with lives. They did not yet accept condolences for his death, which is a sign that a vendetta is intended. In certain parts of Egypt, when the family of a deceased intends to take revenge, they accept no condolences before the persons responsible are killed.
The sectarian incident which, now called the "shirt sedition," started on July 27 in Dahshur, Badrasheen, 40 km south of Cairo, after the Coptic launderer Sameh Samy inadvertently burned the shirt of his Muslim client Ahmad Ramadan. Although they agreed to meet in the evening to settle the claim, Ramadam did not wait but came back in the afternoon to fight. After some 3000 armed Muslims surrounded the Copt's home and launderette, he locked himself up in his home. As the fight intensified on both sides with Molotov cocktails, the Copt hurled one fire bomb from the roof of his house, which the 25-year-old Moaz, who happened to be passing by. He was taken to hospital, suffering third degree burns. After his death in hospital, Muslim brotherhood clerics and his family vowed to exact revenge, causing 120 terrorized Christian families to flee the village, with only one Christian family remaining behind according to the village priest Takla Abdel-Sayed.
The Coptic launderer, his father and brother, after being assaulted by the mob, were detained by the police on charges of murder and possession of explosives. Five arrest warrants were issued for 5 Muslims who are still at large (AINA 8-1-2012).
The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement today criticizing officials "for not dealing firmly with the events, demanding the speedy arrest of the perpetrators, the provision of security to the village Copts, their return to their homes, and monetary compensation for all those affected." (...)