Official investigations into the attack against the Copts of the village of al-Karm in Abu-Qurgas, Minya, some 250km south of Cairo, have unequivocally proved the incident of the stripping and beating of the 68-year-old Coptic woman Suad Thabet. Eight suspects, already detained by the police, were implicated in the incident.
The 20 May 2016 attack by a 300-strong Muslim mob against the Copts of al-Karm, which left seven Copt-owned homes and property burned, and involved the brutal assault against Ms Thabet, was waged in the wake of a rumour of an affair between Ms Thabet’s son and a Muslim woman. [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/sectarian/pope-tawadros-rule-of-law-must-prevail/16531/]
President Sisi subsequently issued a statement in which he condemned the attack against the Copts and demanded that justice should be served. He instructed the governor of Minya, in coordination with the Armed Forces, to repair and restore the properties damaged in these clashes within one month at the expense of the State. Repairs already started last week.
A number of local politicians and media figures, however, had led a campaign casting doubts on the veracity of the stripping and beating incident. The mayor of al-Karm, known as Umda Omar; and the writer and independent TV host Muhammad al-Gheiti went so far as to deny it completely, accusing Minya Bishop Anba Makarius of reporting and propagating false information. Anba Makarius’s reply: “Our Lord has taught us not to repay evil with evil. So despite the offence you directed at me, I apologise for any offence that may have been levelled at you or your family. Let us work together to uphold truth, ethics, and the rule of law.”
5 June 2016