May 11, 2011

Cairo Churches Ablaze After Religious Clashes: Five People Dead And Over 70 Injured! WATCH THE VIDEO! Radical Islamist Want To Make It Appear That There Is Strife!

written by Staff
Wednesday May 11, 2011

Cairo - Egypt's state-sponsored human rights council said on Wednesday that a security vacuum and a rise in Islamist extremism contributed to deadly mob attacks on Cairo churches this week.

The National Council for Human Rights, which was founded by government decree in 2003, demanded increased security for houses of worship and the speedy return of police, especially in poorer neighbourhoods like Imbaba.

The organisation also said that attempts by supporters of the ousted government of Hosni Mubarak played a role in Saturday's violence, which killed 15 people according to its preliminary fact-finding report.

"The tremendous changes Egypt is undergoing since the great revolution of January 25 has brought out a number of phenomena directly linked to the Imbaba incident," said the report.

Chief among them was "the general absence of security that has given outlaws an increasing role and the spread of illegal weapons", it said.

The report also blamed "the intensification of extremist religious interpretations that propose rearranging Egyptian society to exclude Christians, as they are considered wards of the state without rights to religious protection", it said.

The attacks in the poor district of Imbaba began after Muslims, including hardline Salafi fundamentalists, surrounded a church they said was holding a convert against her will.

A melee in which guns and fire bombs were used broke out after an unidentified person shot at the gathering, according to the NCHR's report, and the Muslims moved on to another church and torched it.

Police necessary

Police and the military - which has ruled the country since president Hosni Mubarak's overthrow in February - were slow to deploy in the narrow streets around the church.

Council member Hafez Abu Saada told AFP that police, who began to redeploy only after most of their buildings were burnt down during the revolt, had to quickly take over policing from the military.

"The army is not trained to control the street. The police is necessary," he said.

But the council said the sectarian attacks, the most recent after clashes in another neighbourhood in March and a deadly suicide bombing outside a church in January killed 20 people, also stemmed from a decades-old atmosphere of intolerance.

"There can be no denial that there is a sectarian environment that has accumulated over the past four decades," the report said, recommending legislation to combat sectarianism.

Copts make up roughly 10% of the country's 80-million people and they complain of state-sanctioned discrimination, such as restrictions on church-building.

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