SHAFAQNA – Muslims who attacked and stripped an elderly Christian woman in a southern Egyptian village will be punished, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Monday. The Muslim mob in Minya province’s Karma village had also torched and looted seven houses of Christian families during the May 20 attack, which was triggered by a rumour that the 70-year-old woman’s son was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.
The elderly woman was paraded on the streets of Karma after being stripped. Sisi said such attacks divide Egyptians.
“We are all one and the law must take its course,” Sisi reportedly said.
The attack which quiet rightly prompted widespread outrage is sadly symptomatic to Egypt’s descent into religious fascism. Under the influence of Wahhabism, and Salafism Egyptians are being taught to abhor all other religious denominations – both within and without Islam.
Such intolerance is now being played in the cold light of day.
Although many will see in such an attack the hand of Islam, it is important to remember that such violence is the product of hate and ignorance. Radicalism in fact is the embodiment of vengeful ignorance and arrogance.
Islam, which calls on men and women to be the best version of themselves does not profess religious ostracization, and harassment – it stands of religious freedom, equity, and justice. Of course Wahhabi Islam has a very different interpretation of religious freedom … under Wahhabism only Wahhabism stands worthy.
The violence carried by Wahhabism has now infiltrated Egypt, and warped Muslims’ principles and sense of religious duty.
There is nothing glorious about targeting an innocent, and defenseless elderly Christian woman. What crimes did she commit to deserve to be paraded naked in the streets of her city? None of course … no crimes could ever warrant such a sick display of chauvinism.
Christians comprise 10 percent of the Egyptian population, which is dominated by Muslims. Following the attack, the Coptic Orthodox Church lashed out at the security measures in the country. In a television interview in Minya last Wednesday, senior cleric Anba Makarios said if the situation was reversed — a Muslim man having an affair with a Christian woman — then the reaction “would not have been anything like what happened.”
“No one did anything and the police took no pre-emptive or security measures in anticipation of the attacks,” Makarios said, indicating that police had been warned the day before the attacks, and law enforcement had ample time to react. “We are not living in a jungle or a tribal society. It’s incorrect for anyone to declare himself judge, police and ruler.”
What happened to respecting and protecting the people of the Book – or are those verses not in the Quran anymore?
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna