Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sectarian clashes erupt over expansion of Coptic monastery

Egypt’s Coptic Christian community was up in arms Sunday after a feud over the expansion of a monastery turned into bloody sectarian clashes, Al Jazeera reported the same day.

According to Father Dumadius, who witnessed the May 31 attack in the village of Deir Abu Fana, at least 60 armed men stormed the monastery, burning and destroying property.

Protestors took to the streets in the nearby town of Mallawi on Sunday, calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to intervene and help quell tensions.

The clashes – prompted by local Muslim claims of illegal expansion on state property – left one Muslim resident dead and several Copts wounded. Three monks were kidnapped in the incident, and although they have now been released, all were in the hospital on Sunday. According to the article, the monks allege they were “tortured, tied up and beaten” by their abductors.

Last week also saw two separate attacks against Coptic jewelry stores that left four employees dead in Cairo and $28,000 worth of merchandise stolen in Alexandria. While it is unclear whether the incidents were sectarian in nature, one Coptic parliamentarian spoke out after the attacks, saying that not enough was being done to protect the Christian community.

For the full article, click here.


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