Coptic man, Muslim woman spark sectarian tension

24-05-2016 08:11 PM

Nour Seifein


 The village of al-Karam in Abu-Qurqas in Minya some 250km south of Cairo, was the scene of a recent attack against Copts.

Two Coptic men: Attiya Ayad Farag, 58, and his son Ayad Farag, a 30-year-old labourer, sustained superficial injuries. Seven homes, four belonging to Copts and three to Muslims, as well as a plastics warehouse belonging to a Copt were burned.

The violence erupted in the wake of the spread of a rumour about an affair between the 31-year-old Copt Danial Attiya and a Muslim woman in her early thirties from the local clan of Abu-Hgab. Attiya works in the business of animal feed and at the same time sale of electric home appliances. He is married and has four daughters. Abu-Hgab’s husband divorced her.

Islam bans Muslim women from marrying or having romances with Christian men, but Muslim men may marry Christian women. This explains why affairs between Muslim women and Christian men invariably lead to incendiary situations.

Once the rumour spread, scores of Muslims gathered in front of the Attiya home and set his house on fire. The violence spread to other Coptic houses, and many Copts were also attacked. Attiya himself had hurried to move outside the village, taking his family along. His parents, however, remained behind. According to eyewitnesses, they were both attacked by the Muslim mob. The father, Attiya Farag, and anther of his son, Ayad, were injured.  

The police has detained five suspects pending investigation, and has heightened security in the village which is, so far, calm.


Watani International

24 May 2016

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