Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Egypt: Inter-faith relationship sparks killings and church burning ~ Christian man + Muslim woman

Still dhimmis after all these years ~ Muslims believe Christians are unclean and so unfit to marry their daughters. But a Muslim man of course can marry a Christian ~ thereby forcibly making the children Muslim. Bragging rights!!

In one case in Egypt 2008, two sisters, aged 30 +, married with children, it was discovered that their father had converted to Islam ~ when they were children [for a quickie divorce as the Copt church does not issue them] ~ but concealed his conversion ~ were imprisoned for 3 years each, their marriages annulled and their children and future grandchildren all declared Muslim by an Egyptian judge. No compulsion in Islam ~ only exists in the West!

Dhimmi status ~ for those people Muhammad did not kill and refused to convert ~ and only if they were Christian or Jewish ~ were forced to living under a subjugated status ~ or protected [as in mafia-like] citizenship. Were made to pay jizya or protection tax [racket] ~ to ensure their safety in lands under Islamic control. For many years, if a non-Muslim could no longer afford to pay, they were enslaved. The collection of the jizya tax was only stopped after western colonization [along with Muslim taking of slaves]. In Pakistan tribal regions the tax is now being collected and the Turkish government recently was toying with the idea of reinstating ~ its collection as was done during the Ottoman years [to ensure Christians and Muslim live in harmony]. In India ~ Muslim rulers found it profitable to rule over non-Muslims and so grew extremely wealthy on the collection of the jizya ~ it acted as a strong incentive to ward off pressure to forcibly convert one's subjects. See Koran 9:29.

Witnesses said the mob chanted "Allahu Akbar" and vowed to conduct their morning prayers on the church plot after razing it.

CAIRO: Violence erupted in a Cairo on Saturday over a relationship between a Coptic Christian man and a Muslim woman. Such a relationship is forbidden by tradition in Egypt as well as by Islam, which says Muslim women must marry Muslim men so their children are also Muslim.

The clash took place in the village of Sol, in Helwan Governorate in southern Cairo.

The woman’s father was killed on Friday by his cousin because the father did not kill his daughter to protect the family’s honor, reported state news agency MENA. The son of the deceased man then killed his father’s cousin in revenge.

Saint George’s Church was set on fire during a clash with Muslim residents, and Saint Mina Church was also attacked. The army quickly intervened to put out the fire, disperse residents, and restore calm.

On Sunday, hundreds of Copts from Atfeeh, an area south of Cairo, including priests took to the streets and protested in front of the Egyptian Television headquarters in downtown Cairo. They held banners condemning the lack of security presence and called on the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to protect Christians.
They also called for the dismissal of the Governor of Helwan for his complicity and failure in protecting the church, and called for the restoration of the church.

The protests continued on Monday, with Christians from other areas and Muslims joining the demonstration. Around 1,000 gathered outside the television building.

Also on Monday, the head of the SCAF said the army will rebuild the church before the Easter holiday at the expense of the state.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf met the demonstrators and tried to appease them. The demonstrators welcomed Sharaf but refused to talk to him until the Governor of Helwan resigns.

Monday afternoon, a sit-in by more than 10,000 people was ended after reaching an agreement with the army, which promised to begin reconstruction of the church on Tuesday in its original location. A mass is to be held Tuesday morning.

There is a strong unity between Muslim and Christian communities in Egypt, particularly since the bombing outside a church in Alexandria on New Year’s. During the Egyptian Revolution, that religious solidarity was strengthened as all Egyptians, as one, called for the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak and a transition to democracy.

During some of the more difficult times of the revolution, Christian Egyptians locked arms and surrounded their Muslim countrymen to protect them as they prayed in the streets.

Coptic Christians make up an estimated 10-15 percent of Egypt’s population.


Nearly 4000 Muslims Attack Christian Homes in Egypt, Torch Church

(AINA) -- A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.

Witnesses report the mob prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. The army, which has been stationed for the last two days in the village of Bromil, 7 kilometers from Soul, initially refused to go into Soul, according to the officer in charge. When the army finally sent three tanks to the village, Muslim elders sent them away, saying that everything was "in order now."

A curfew has been imposed on the 12,000 Christians in the village.

This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a "reconciliation" meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.

The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.

The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside. Activist Ramy Kamel of Katibatibia Coptic advocacy called US-based Coptic Hope Sat TV and sent an SOS on behalf of the Copts in Soul village, as they are presently being attacked by the mob. He also said that no one is able to contact the priest and the deacons inside the burning church and there is no answer from their mobile phones.

Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub reported the mob has broken into Coptic homes and has called on Copts to leave the village. "Terrorized Copts have fled and some hid in homes of Muslim neighbors," he added.

Witnesses said the mob chanted "Allahu Akbar" and vowed to conduct their morning prayers on the church plot after razing it.

By Mary Abdelmassih

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