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Strange But True

Strange but true, only in Egypt

Hazel Heyer, eTN Staff Writer  Dec 23, 2008

Aside from massive sectarian clashes reportedly taking place in the Upper Egyptian village of Tayibba in Samallut, there are other unexpected and bizarre events making headlines.

According to Dr. Cornelis Hulsman, editor of the Arab West Report, there are incidents of sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians in Upper Egypt. He states one example of a horrible story of a Muslim girl who was threatened with rape by Christian boys. She jumped or was thrown out of a moving microbus, leaving her with severe injuries from the fall. She later died.

Then the Al-Dustur reported that a group of Christians attacked a Muslim funeral and prevented the burial. Katia Saqqa of the Al-Dustur said a group of Christian youth attacked the funeral of a Muslim man, Ahmad al-Sharabi, for unknown reasons. Consequently, clashes began and people started stoning each other. The clashes resulted in inflicting deep injury in a woman's head.

The prosecution at Samallut detained five Copts. Al Dustur also reported on Father MusĂ  Dawoud, deputy of Samallut bishop's declarations that the clashes increased the tensions in Samallut province, given that no reconciliation has yet been reached regarding other recent incidents. Some recent sectarian attacks in Samallut resulted in the murder of a Coptic man, Yashu Jamal Nashid. Other strikes between Muslims and Christians are posing grave threat to the area, at large.

In the incident of the burial, the Al-Dustur said that the two young men who allegedly attacked the funeral were Mina Ishaq and Nathan Yaqoub; both are Coptic Christians.

Later, General Jad Jamil of the security section of Minia denied any sectarian clashes and stated that the violence had nothing to do with sectarian strife. He said that the clashes took place because a Coptic man was riding his donkey when the funeral passed.

It is a tradition to dismount an animal when a funeral procession passes. When the man stayed on his donkey, one of the mourners walking in the funeral procession asked him to get off the donkey. Saqqa said that the Muslim man seemed to have asked the man in an unpleasant way that bothered the Copt. However, the paper published that the clashes started after the body was buried which isn’t consistent with what was previously reported, added Saqqa.

Strange but true, only in Egypt
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