Interfaith Outreach in Egypt: Muslims throw firebombs at police, try to storm church in search of woman suspected of converting to Christianity
Muhammad said: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Yet Muslim spokesmen such as Harris Zafar, Mustafa Akyol, Salam al-Marayati, M. Cherif Bassiouni, and Ali Eteraz (among many others) have assured us that Islam doesn’t punish apostasy. I am confident that Zafar, Akyol, al-Marayati, Bassiouni, and Eteraz are making their way to Luxor as we speak, so as to explain to these enraged Muslim mobs that they are getting Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong.
“Christian-Muslim tension flares in southern Egypt,” by Haggag Salama for the Associated Press, March 1 (thanks to all who sent this in):
LUXOR, Egypt (AP) “” Dozens of Muslim residents threw firebombs and rocks at police on Friday as they tried to storm a church in southern Egypt in search of a woman suspected of converting to Christianity, security officials said.
Clashes between Copts and Muslims usually are sparked by disputes over rumors of conversion, Muslim-Christian love affairs and the construction of churches. Violence between Egypt’s Christians and Muslims has risen in the past two years in the wake of the country’s uprising that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak, but also weakened security across the nation.
“Clashes between Copts and Muslims usually are sparked by disputes over rumors of conversion, Muslim-Christian love affairs and the construction of churches.” That is, Muslims riot over those things, because Islamic law forbids Muslims to convert to Christianity, forbids Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men, and forbids Christians to construct new churches. That AP characterizes these things as sources of “clashes,” as if both sides were equally to blame, is despicable, albeit common “journalistic” practice.
Officials said 11 policemen were wounded in the clashes in the town of Kom Ombo, which is near Aswan High Dam, about 980 kilometers (608 miles) south of Cairo. Coptic Christian activist Ibrahim Louis said 12 Christians also were wounded, including one man who was in serious condition.
The fighting erupted late Thursday night when hundreds of Muslim residents tried to get inside the church. Police used tear gas to keep the crowd from storming the church as some of the residents burnt tires along a major highway and cut off traffic. The clashes erupted again Friday afternoon when dozens of residents again threw firebombs and rocks at police. In anticipation of renewed clashes, police had set up checkpoints and increased their presence around the church.
Tensions rose after a 36 year-old Muslim woman, who has been missing for five days, was allegedly seen outside the church with a female Christian friend on Thursday. Some residents believe the woman, who is a teacher, converted to Christianity and is hiding inside the church. Others suspect she was forced into conversion and is being held against her will inside the church….