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The dead hand: Mubarak stokes sectarian strife

Posted by Charles II on May 8, 2011

Ian Black, The Guardian:

Egypt’s transitional government moved quickly to defuse tensions after Muslim-Christian clashes in Cairo left 12 dead and cast a cloud over hopes for peaceful post-revolutionary change.

Angry demonstrations erupted in the capital after a Coptic church in the Imbaba neighbourhood was burned down on Saturday night. Military police separated opposing camps at one protest reminiscent of the dramatic events that overthrew the regime in February.

Fighting broke out over rumours, which turned out to be false, that a Christian woman was being held inside a church and prevented from converting to Islam.

Egyptian media described the Imbaba attackers as Salafis – fundamentalist Muslims who want the imposition of sharia law. The Salafis, often with links to Saudi Arabia, are seen as having become more visible because internal security is less repressive now than before the revolution. It is also widely believed that elements of the Mubarak regime are encouraging them.

The incident was condemned by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s main Islamist grouping.

Mubarak’s all-but-dead hand continues to throttle peaceful progress toward genuine democracy, or so it is widely thought.

2 Responses to “The dead hand: Mubarak stokes sectarian strife”

  1. A-yep.

  2. […] by Charles II on May 18, 2011 OK, so a while ago, I linked a Guardian article which reported on a disturbance outside a Coptic church where, it was rumored, a […]

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