The Muslim villagers of al-Beida in Amriya south of Alexandria waged an attack against the Copts in the village on suspicion that the Copts were turning a house owned by one of their community into a church.
Following Friday noon prayers today, a Muslim mob gathered and, shouting Islamic slogans and cheering against the Copts, headed to a house under construction owned by the Copt Naeem Aziz. On the way they threw stones at Coptic-owned houses in the village. Once at the site of Aziz’s house, they attempted to destroy the building and the construction material that was being used to erect the house. They assaulted and injured Naeem and his brother Moussa, and terrorised the women and children who were at home in a house adjacent to the one under construction. “I was building this house for my sons,” Naeem said. “The mob attacked on rumours that it would be turned into a church.”
The police arrived at the scene, but the mobbing continued. The police evacuated Naeem’s house and nearby Coptic homes, but did not protect them against the mob which broke in and plundered the houses. The mob also attacked a community centre that lies close by and that that belongs to the local church of the Holy Virgin and the Archangel Michael. They assaulted the Coptic men who attempted to defend the centre, damaged the priest’s car which was parked there, and burned a motorcycle.
The mobbing continued to shouts of: “By no means shall there be a church here”; “we’ll bring down the church to the earth”; and “Islamic, Islamic! Egypt will remain Islamic!”
The police caught six Muslims and five Copts, but released the Muslims and are still detaining the Copts: Naeem and Moussa Aziz, Samy Hamed Makanouti, Atef Ishaq Tawadros, and Muallim Hiraql. They have been charged with nothing as yet.
17 June 2016