Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The face that launched a thousand drips

Posted 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 woman was being held to prevent her from converting to Islam. The gist of it was that the Mubarak regime was stoking sectarian strife.

Now Emad Mekay in IPSNews has a story, which might describe what was going on. And it’s one of those wild stories that belongs on Jerry Springer. A young woman from an Orthodox Christian family by the name of Abeer Fakrhy married a man who was, to put it kindly, a louse. He verbally abused her. He beat her. And, since she suffers from severe anemia, requiring regular transfusions, this is serious business. The Pope, Shenouda, told her, no divorce unless you change religions so… she meets a Muslim guy, seems to be kind, and they run off together. Turns out this is not all that uncommon: Christians (Copts plus Catholics) have fallen from a majority of Egyptians to 4.6%. Fun guys like Pope Shenouda appear to be a major cause.

At this point, we’re into a Montague/Capulet meets Hatfield/McCoy mashup territory. Her family and church loose the dogs and, despite changing hiding places, Abeer is tracked down, kidnapped by her family, and held in various churches, landing at last in the Imbaba neighborhood:

Feeling helpless and alone, [Abeer’s lover] Yassen turned to a new rising power in Egypt for help – the Muslim fundamentalist group called the Salafis who, after the fall of Mubarak’s draconian secret police, have shed years of fear and became publicly active.

Dozens of the Salafis quickly congregated outside the Mar Mina church in Imbaba. Clashes erupted between Muslims and Christians at the church that left eight Muslims and four Christians dead. Some 210 were injured, and two churches were burned down.

Egyptian media, still run by executives from the Mubarak era, immediately sought a scapegoat for the bloodshed in Imbaba. They blamed Abeer. Newspapers began calling her “the cause of all troubles” and many columnists asked whether she is a worthy enough person.

She escape from the church during the clashes, but the country’s army generals tracked her down, arrested her and have accused her of stoking religious strife.

Now Abeer is behind bars in the infamous Qanater women’s prison, and blamed by almost all – including human rights organisations that have often adopted the cases of converts to Christianity from Islam but have been hesitant to come to her defence.

Somewhere, in a galaxy far, far away, Jesus and Mohammed are doing face palms.

One Response to “The face that launched a thousand drips”

  1. When in doubt, blame the woman. Disgusting.

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