WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity condemns in the strongest terms the violent attacks over the past few days in Egypt against Coptic Christians and the outrageous attack against the seat of the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo.
On Friday the 5 th, six Coptic Christians and one Muslim were killed on the outskirts of Cairo in an area called Khosous. Reports indicate that Salafist sheiks had called for Jihad just prior to the supposed spontaneous Friday altercation. Various reasons have been cited as the cause of this violence, but most point to a feud after male members of a Muslim family had sexually harassed a girl from a Christian family, who was walking unveiled in the street.
It is most concerning that repeated attacks against Coptic Christians, their churches and properties have yet again occurred in response to incidents involving a few individuals. Yet, Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood persist in their efforts, using flimsy excuses, to enlist Muslim mobs in their tactics of collective punishment and aggression against Copts living in the neighborhood. As in Friday's incident, over 20 were injured, a Coptic church attacked and an Evangelical church set on fire. Among the six Christians killed, one was burnt alive.
A funeral service was held on Sunday at St. Mark's Cathedral for those killed. Yet again, Muslim extremists were present outside and attacked mourners leaving the Cathedral, some of whom had planned a protest march after the service. Many reports, supported by photos and video clips, indicate that police forces that were present stood idly by and in some instances even assisted the attacking Muslims. They threw multiple teargas canisters on the Cathedral's yard and against the mourners, many of whom were women and children. Two Copts were killed and scores wounded.