Muslims and Christians Clash following Churches Attacks in Alexandria, Egypt
Does the Egyptian Government believe that Egyptian Copts' allegiance is to other countries as the President claimed that all Shiites in Middle East countries allegiance is to IRAN? And, hence they do not need their citizenship rights in their homeland.
If yesterday's attacker is mentally sick, are all those who went out today for clashes with Copts mentally ill? There is a problem and must be addressed. The government and the civil society must work to end the Coptic persecution in Egypt to avoid potential civil war with this growing hatred among Muslims and Copts in Egypt. We should stop burying our heads in the sand.
Today, following yesterday's attacks on churches in Alexandria, clashes erupted between Muslims and Copts in the street after the funeral of the victim who was killed yesterday.
(Reuters) - Witnesses said police fired tear gas on Saturday to stop clashes in Alexandria between Muslims and Christians angered by the killing of an elderly Copt a day earlier by a Muslim.
Two cars were torched, shop windows were smashed and police arrested 15 people.
Hundreds of Christians turned out for the funeral of the 67-year-old man. His assailant wounded five other people in the knife attack on worshippers in two churches.
Thirty people were wounded in Saturday's fighting, medical and police sources said. Rocks and sticks were used in the clashes, which the state news agency MENA said started after the funeral.
Tensions between Egypt's Christians and Muslims occasionally boil over into violence. In 1999, 22 people where killed in sectarian strife in the southern village of Kosheh.
An Interior Ministry source said the 25-year-old man who carried out Friday's attack said he was taking revenge for insults to the Prophet Mohammad, apparently a reference to cartoons of the Prophet published mainly in European newspapers. The authorities said the attacker was mentally ill.
But Christian demonstrators in Alexandria said the authorities were trying to make excuses for what some Copts saw as increasing attacks on Christians.
"We want justice. Christ is the winner," they chanted as they marched through the city on Egypt's northern coast.
"Why can't we live in peace?" read a banner held by mourners at the funeral. "No to oppression," read another.
Three people died in Alexandria in clashes with the police in October during protests by Muslims over a church play which they said was offensive to Islam.
Coptic Christians comprise between 5 and 10 percent of Egypt's 73 million people, most of whom are Sunni Muslim.