Founder of ASSIST Ministries
ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT (ANS) -- A mob of over 3000 Muslims have just attacked Copts in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat (el-Ameriya), Alexandria, Egypt. Coptic homes and shops were looted before being set ablaze. Two Copts and a Muslim were injured.
Mary Abdelmassih, writing for the Assyrian International News Agency (www.aina.org) said that the violence started after a rumor was spread that a Coptic man had an allegedly intimate photo of a Muslim woman on his mobile phone. The Coptic man, Mourad Samy Guirgis, surrendered to the police for his protection.
According to eyewitnesses, the perpetrators were bearded men in white gowns. “They were Salafists, and some of were from The Muslim Brotherhood,” according to one witness. It was reported that terrorized women and children who lost their homes were in the streets without any place to go.
Father Boktor Nashed from St. George's Church in el-Nahdah, said that a meeting between Muslim and Christian representatives was supposed to take place in the evening in Kobry-el-Sharbat. But, by 3 P.M. a Muslim mob looted and torched the home of Mourad Samy Guirgis, as well as the home of his family and three homes of Coptic neighbors. A number of Coptic-owned shops and businesses were also looted and torched.
“We contacted security forces, but they arrived very, very late,” said Father Nashad. The fire brigade was prevented from going into the village by the Muslims and the fires were left to burn themselves out. “Those who lost their home, left the village,” said Father Nashed.
Coptic activist Mariam Ragy, who was covering the violence in Kobry-el-Sharbat, said it took the army 1 hour to drive 2 kilometers to the village. “This happens every time. They wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear.” She said that she spoke to many Copts from the village this evening who said that although their homes were not attacked, Muslims stood in the street asking them to come to their homes to hide. “They believed that this was a new trick to make them leave, so that Muslims would loot and torch their homes while they were away,” said Ragy.
Abdelmassih said that the Governor of Alexandria visited al-Nahda, near Kobry-el-Sharbat, this evening and told elYoum 7 newspaper that the two Copts and one Muslim who were injured were transported to hospital. He said that the family of the Muslim girl whose image was on the Copt's mobile phone wanted revenge from the Coptic man. They broke into his home and torched a furniture factory located in the same building.
Joseph Malak, a lawyer for the Coptic Church in Alexandria, said it is too early to count injuries to Copts or losses to their property.
Mr. Mina Girguis, of the Maspero Youth Union in Alexandria, said that “collective punishment of Copts for someone else's mistake, which is yet to be determined, is completely unacceptable.” He believes that the reason for this violence is fabricated, and the military is behind it. “They are trying to divert the attention from the second revolution which is taking place now.”
The Middle East journalist went on to say that Father Nashed denied that Islamists were present, only ordinary village Muslims, and could not give an explanation as why people who have lived together amicably for years could commit such violence. “Maybe because of lack of security, they think that they can do as they please,” he said.
He added that the nearly 65 Coptic families were ordered to stay indoors and not to open their shops and businesses tomorrow. He added that security forces did not arrest any of the perpetrators, “on the contrary, they were begging the mob to go home.”
“By midnight the violence had subsided,” concluded Abdelmassih.
|Dan Wooding, 71, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books, one of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.|
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