JAFFA, Israel – Egypt has been in turmoil following clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians in the Nile Delta area, during which an elderly Christian woman was evicted from her home, stripped naked, and paraded through the streets.
Unconfirmed reports said the clashes were the result of an affair between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.
The UK Independent reported:
A 70-year-old Christian woman has been stripped naked, beaten, and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt.
The mob also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families, according to an unusually outspoken statement issued by the local Orthodox Coptic church, after rumors circulated in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.
News of the clashes, and especially the report of the Christian woman’s humiliation, sparked angry responses among Coptic Christians, who demanded that President Abdel Fatah Sisi get involved personally and apologize to the woman.
“When a woman was stripped naked at Tahrir Square, President Sisi visited in hospital and apologized to her,” Fady Youssef, the chair of the Coalition of Egypt, told the media.
“The Coptic woman is in no way inferior to the woman from Tahrir Square. It’s her right to get an apology from the President on behalf of the Egyptian people for what this bunch of criminals did to her.”
Dozens of Coptic and Muslim dignitaries condemned the attack, which the Egyptian authorities initially denied. Dr Ihab Ramzi, a Member of Parliament and a lawyer representing the Coptic victims, said the authorities ignored tracts calling to harm Christians that had been distributed in the area prior to the attack.
He said that copies of these tracts had been delivered to the police,” but the authorities simply ignored the threats.”Even after the attacks, he added, the authorities refused to collect evidence in the village.
“Attacking a 70-year-old woman, undressing and beating her is a most despicable act,” he said. “I don’t understand how moral people like the Delta villagers have allowed this to happen.”
The incident didn’t go unnoticed on social media, where it was claimed that Christians had been attacked by 300 gunmen.
Thousands of tweets featured the newly minted hashtag #Egypt_undressed.
“This is the kind of humiliation Egypt’s Copts have been enduring for a century,” Alyaa tweeted. “In the Delta area especially, they’re being evicted, their houses burned, and wait for their turn to be attacked.”
الذل دا يتعرض له الأقباط من ألف سنة. أقباط الصعيد بالذات يعيشون مآسي حرق البيوت والتهجير كمسألة معتادة وكأنهم فقط منتظرين دورهم! #مصر_اتعرت
— AlyaaGad AfhamTVأفهم (@AlyaaGad) May 26, 2016
Mark, an Egyptian Christian, tweeted: “They treat us like infidels to whom anything can be done. Where is your religion? Where is your dignity as men? Where is the government? Where is the state?”
بنتعامل في بلد ككفره مستباح فيهم اي شئ
فين دينكم ؟؟ فين الرجوله ؟؟؟ فين الحكومه ؟؟؟ فين البلد ؟؟؟
— Mark Hosny (@mair_mark) May 26, 2016
“I’m against what happened to Ms Souad, but there are many hundreds of women like her in prisons who are being attacked,” Mahmud wrote. “But you say nothing – why this discrimination? They are all Egyptian aren’t they?”
انا ضد الي حصل للسيدة سعاد لكن مزال هناك مئات مثل سعاد يعتدي عليهن في السجون فاين انتم منهن ولا تكيلو بمكيالين فكلهن مصريات صح #مصر_اتعرت
— محمود عبد العاطي علي (@aYF9HFVECGcVeMv) May 26, 2016
Ali tweeted: “The bastards who undressed that women and those who looked on brought shame upon themselves until Judgment Day.”
— علي كريم المحامى (@abohassan7654) May 26, 2016
“I heard the Coptic houses were raided while they shouted Allahu Akbar, only because a Christian man loved a Muslim woman,” Ayman tweeted. “What would they do if that man hated that Muslim woman?”
بيقولك سرقوا وحرقوا بيوت الاقباط وسط تكبيرات بسبب اشاعة ان شاب مسيحي بيحب فتاة مسلمة .. امال لو كان بيكرهها كانوا عملوا ايه!! #مصر_اتعرت
— Aymar (@Ayman_henen) May 26, 2016
Peter was livid: “Stop peddling these slogans that Muslims and Christians are one. They undressed a woman! What would you say if it was your mother? Stop hiding behind slogans and face up to the dirty reality in which we live.”
مسلم ومسيحي مين اللي إيد واحدة.. دول قلعوا واحد ست اد امك وامي ملط حضرتك..كفاية شعارات وواجهوا الواقع القذر اللي إحنا عايشين فيه #مصر_اتعرت
— سَمـ إبن ــعانْ (@Peter_Samaan) May 26, 2016