Egyptian Christians And Muslims Clash

Lost in discussions concerning Israel and Muslim conflict is the less reported ongoing violence against Christians who live in the Middle East. Half of the pre-2003 Iraqi Christian population has fled the country due to violence by Muslims against them and their churches. Sectarian clashes are also present in Egypt where Coptic Christians continue to encounter violence from the dominant Muslim society. On Saturday, fighting between Coptics and Muslims resulted in the death of a Muslim and injury to several Christians including five monks. A priest claims, after the incident, monks were kidnapped and tortured by the police including being whipped. Last Wednesday in Cairo, four Coptic Christians were gunned down and killed and the fact nothing was stolen from their jewellery shop suggests the deaths were a hate crime.

This latest incident near the Abu Fana monastery is simply only one of many such attacks against monasteries and churches in Egypt. Ironically, Coptic Christianity predates the arrival of the Muslim religion in Egypt.