The Copts of the town of al-Wasta in Beni Sweif have been appealing to the security authorities for protection on Friday, since the town Muslims have been threatening to renew their violence against the Copts following Friday noon prayers.
The attempted attack yesterday by the Wasta Muslims against the Mar-Girgis church in Wasta and against the town Copts was thwarted at the hands of the Muslim elders of the town, who were able to persuade the assailants that the Church had nothing to do with the disappearance of the young Muslim woman Rana al-Shazli almost a month ago. Shazli, who is a student at Beni Sweif University had sent her parents a letter saying she had left because of domestic problems which they well knew about, had married a Muslim, and left the country.
Shazli’s father, however, together with the Salafis in Wasta, insisted that she had been victim of black magic by Fr Maqar of Mar-Girgis’s; that hse had converted to Christianity and was smuggled outside the country. No amount of persuasion by Fr Maqar could convince them this was not true.
Yesterday, Shazli’s parents received another letter from her, which she posted online, in which she expaliend that she had while in secondary school been a victim of sexual abuse by her uncle. The family knew and, earler this year, tried to talk her into a marriage to someone she did not wish to marry. This, Shazli wrote, was what drove her to run away. She is now outside the country, she wrote, married to a Muslim, and expecting her first baby.
20 March 2013