Mobs replete with Mohamed Morsi supporters turned on Christians in Egypt, burning down their businesses. The rioters, angry with recent violent crackdowns by the government, took out their frustrations on Christians. The effects of the blood bath on Wednesday could be felt all along Egypt’s Nile River, in its small towns.
Christians make up 10% of the country’s 85 million population. Christian leaders have attempted to bridge the cultural gap by insinuating that Muslims and Christians were a single people worshiping the same god, but in a different way. Former Coptic Pope, Kyrillos VI, supported the idea that Muslim and Christians were the same, “worshiping the same God in two different ways,” he said.
Some Christian leaders expected to be persecuted by rioting Morsi supporters. “I’m expecting a period of heavy assaults against Christians,” said Kamel Saleh, a member of the Coptic Church’s senior lay committee.
Observers say that the Christian community has tried to remain neutral throughout the entire Morsi ordeal. Rioters, likely frustrated with their silence reacted with violence in retaliation for their nonsupport.
Supporters of Mohamed Morsi turned on Christians, exacting brutal violence. “The churches themselves are just buildings and can be repaired,” said Saleh. “What worries me is the unprecedented level of violence which will be difficult to climb down from.” Protestors are incensed at the brutality exhibited as a result of the interim government’s crackdown, and have adopted guerrilla fighting tactics in response to the violence.
It is clear that the Muslim Brotherhood has considerable influence on the rioting protesters and has controlled the mob from the inception of demonstrations. “There is no doubt in my mind that the Muslim Brotherhood are able to influence the violent groups who attack Christians,” said Mr. Saleh.
It has been noted that 23 churches in the country have been torched by angry mobs during the protesting. Ishak Ibrahim, a Cairo-based human rights researcher, has tracked the violent acts against the the Christian Church. Monasteries were targeted for attacks and some churches were completely destroyed after Wednesday’s blood bath by government security forces.
The Muslim Brotherhood would bode well to try and curb the violence against the Christian community. A united front is what is needed to win global support and acknowledge the interim government regime’s action as a coup which has destabilized the Egyptian nation.
Mohamed Morsi supporters have turned up the violence and have turned on the Christians in Egypt. The society has been fractured, and with the Christians facing persecution by Muslim protesters the weakening of a united base against the interim government is the likely result.
By Thomas Barr