Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Egypt: Muslims oppose Coptic church gathering, shout "We're going to knock down the church"
While professing "loyalty to Islam" (e.g., cries of Allah Akbar, no doubt). "Muslims riot over plans for Christian church in Cairo," from the Daily Mail, November 24 (thanks to Robert):
A riot broke out over plans to convert a building in a Cairo suburb into a Christian church on Sunday. Muslims and Christians clashed in Mataria after worshippers arrived for a service at the site of the planned church.[...]
Police in Mataria intervened when large numbers of Muslims and Christians faced off over a building which the Christians want to convert into a church. The police then clashed mainly with the Muslim side, they said.
Indication of which "side" was being the aggressor.
In both cases people threw stones and bottles at the police. Two of the policemen were injured in Aswan and two in Cairo, and the protesters damaged shop fronts in both places, they said.
In the incident in Mataria, the confrontation between Muslims and Christians was the culmination of a long-running dispute over the plan to build a church there.
Residents said Christians had come from other parts of the city for the Sunday service at the building, which is not licensed as a church, and Muslims opposed to a church gathered against them. Some chanted: 'We're going to knock down the church' and shouted slogans of loyalty to Islam, witnesses said.
Relations between Egyptian Muslims and the Christian minority, estimated at up to 10 per cent of the population, are usually peaceful, but unrest breaks out from time to time over new churches, conversions and inter-confessional marriages.