Monday, May 9, 2011

Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports From Cairo on Rising Sectarian Tension in Egypt After Deadly Attack on Coptic Christian Church

"In Egypt over the weekend, 12 people died and more than 180 were wounded during clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo. Egypt’s army has said that 190 people were detained after the fatal clashes and that they will face military trials. Saturday’s violence started after several hundred conservative Salafist Muslims gathered outside the Coptic Saint Mena Church in Cairo’s Imbaba district. They were reportedly protesting over a months-old allegation that a Christian woman was being held there against her will because she had married a Muslim man and wanted to convert to Islam. The woman had dismissed the allegations in an interview on a Christian TV channel. Coptic Christians account for about 10 percent of Egypt’s population. We’re joined on the phone from Cairo by Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! correspondent and longtime Senior Producer. "This was a major attack," says Kouddous. "What many people, many Coptic people in particular, do not understand is why the military, who was present at the scene while the violence was happening stood by while the worst of it took place and did not intervene."...."

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