Copts in the district of Rod al-Farag in Shubra, a middle-class Cairo suburb with a sizeable Coptic population, were terrified when a few days ago they discovered strange signs sprayed on the doors of the buildings where they lived.
Even though the signs exposed nothing about the identity of who sprayed them or what they indicated, they called to mind incidents in the recent history of Egypt when Coptic homes were marked with crosses in preparation for attacks against them by Islamists. In the 1970s, this took place in the overcrowded Greater Cairo district of Imbaba, Giza, but the potential attacks were foiled by the police who conducted a massive offensive against the Islamists in the district.
The police investigated the recent incident in Shubra and, through CCTV cameras identified some five teenagers who together had formed a musical ensemble and who sprayed the signs which represented the slogan of the ensemble on the walls of buildings in Rod al-Farag. It turned out the signs were sprayed not exclusively on Coptic doorways, but also on homes of Muslims and on walls of such places as public car parks.
The police confirmed that the teenagers were in no way connected to any terrorist group, and had sprayed their slogan as some form of publicity for their ensemble. They are being prosecuted.
3 July 2017