New religious clashes in Egypt
On Friday I received an e-mail with a link to this post on the freecopts blog: Another episode of terrorizing Christians has just taken place in Egypt. In a small village called Kafr Salama near Menya El Kamh' in the governorate of Sharkeya (north east of Cairo) some Muslims, mainly young men belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group , attacked the houses, shops and properties of Christians. This took place after a fight between a Christian and a Muslim in the village, during which the father of the latter dropped dead after going into a diabetic coma when he watched the fight. Things quickly escalated after the rumor spread that "Christians killed Muslims." The naive Christians, knowing the tension was only the result of a normal fight, did not believe things would get any worse. However, members of the Muslim Brotherhood began sending messages to neighboring villages asking for their assistance. Subsequently hundreds of Muslims gathered from different villages, attacking the houses, shops and belongings of Christians. So far, seven houses and one farm have been completely burned, and many houses have been destroyed. The Christian young man who was involved in the initial fight was massacred by the mob of Muslims. Furthermore, the numerous police vans that rushed into the village have been so far unsuccessful in protecting the Christians, most of whom have fled the village. The few Christian families that remain are currently stranded in their houses, awaiting attack by the Muslims, unless protection arrives in due time. Hundreds of Muslims from neighboring villages, screaming "Islam is the solution," are still flooding Kafr Salama and threatening to burn and kill whatever crosses their way. Now, I didn't post on it back then because A) I was taking a break and B) I had no way of knowing if this was actually true or mere hearsay. Given that not a single News outlet broke the story, and that it was on a blog that isn't the least impartial or unbiased, I figured it may be just a rumor. I was wrong. The Lawyer in our Company comes originally from Minyah el Kamh and visits his village there weekly. Before I even got to ask him about it, he greeted me with a smile asking me if I have heard what "my loved ones" have done now. By "My loved ones" he meant christians, cause, you know, I am the one who usually defends them in my company. I told him that I didn't hear anything, so he proceeded to tell me this aforementioned story, only he added some new information that made it even more distrubing. Apparently after the old Muslim guy died and all of those clashes occured, the government started negotiations with the villagers, to see what would get them to stop the riots. The villagers said that since one of the Muslim elders died, that it's only fair to kill one of the christian elders, an eye for an eye is all. They said that it's probably better and more peacefull to kill just one elder than whatever masscares that can take place if this conflict continued. And the government apparently agreed to their logic, authorizing them to kill one prominent christian elder to even out the death of the muslim one that died. Ohh yeah! The interesting twist , however, is that after getting that ok, the muslim elders gatherd with eachotehr and then decided that they won't take their revenge after all. That what they did was enough for now and that it's better just to keep the peace. He said all of that to me in a tone that suggested "See, not all muslims are bloodthirsty reactionaries. We have more common sense than that!" Fine, Ok, kudos for the muslims there for choosing not to go ahead with the government sanctioned murder, but..but what in the name of god is the government doing by agreeing to let the villagers carry out their own justice with their sanction? What the Fu*k is that all about? Look, I get it. It's the pragmatic thing to do. One dead and conflict ends versus god knows how many others in an ongoing conflict. Fine. But it's the government's job to protect its citizens, especially if they are innocent and done nothing wrong except being a prominent member of a religious minority. The fact that they wouldn't stop such a murder, let alone sanction it, means that it's failing even at its most basic function. We are living in a police state that can't police its own citizens anymore. While this maybe a good sign that the regime may be at its last throes, I fear and shudder at the anarchy that will be unleashed the moment it crumbles.