Egypt: Security forces abandon Coptic Christians during deadly attack in Luxor

Of course. Because they hold to the same supremacist belief system as that of the attackers.

“Egypt: Security forces abandon Coptic Christians during deadly attack in Luxor,” from Amnesty International, July 23:

Security forces stood by and failed to intervene during a brutal attack on Coptic Christians in Luxor, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today. During the sectarian violence, security forces left six besieged men –four of whom were then killed and one hospitalized — to the mercy of an angry crowd.

In an attack lasting 18 hours on 5 July, four Coptic Christian men were killed and four others were seriously injured. An angry mob armed with metal bars, knives, tree branches and hammers attacked Christian homes and businesses in Nagah Hassan, 18 km west of Luxor, after the dead body of a Muslim man was discovered near the homes of Christian families. Despite local residents” and religious leaders” repeated calls for help, security forces on the scene made only half-hearted attempts to end the violence and sufficient reinforcements failed to arrive.

“It is outrageous that this attack was left to escalate unhindered in this way. Amnesty International has documented a series of cases in the past where Egypt’s security forces used unnecessary force or live fire during demonstrations, yet in this case they held back even though people’s lives were threatened,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“A thorough, impartial and independent investigation must be conducted into the events in Luxor and the grossly inadequate response of the security forces to the attack.”

The violence began at 3am, shortly after the Muslim man was found dead in the vicinity of Christian homes. His family blamed the death on a local Coptic Christian. By mid-day more than 100 Christian homes had been attacked, with scores of them looted or torched. Local residents reported calling the police and army”s hotlines throughout the day in vain. Local religious leaders also approached other security officials.

“The attack went on for 18 hours, and there was not a door on which I did not knock: police, army, local leaders, the Central Security Forces, the Governorate. Nothing was done,” said Father Barsilious, a local priest from Dab”iya.

In one incident, security forces evacuated women and children trapped inside a house surrounded by an angry mob but left six men behind, apparently following demands from the crowd that the men remain. Four of the abandoned men were later stabbed and/or beaten to death and another required hospital treatment. Three other Christian men were hospitalized in separate violent incidents. One woman said she had begged police officers to save her sons who were left behind, but they ignored her pleas:

“I kissed the police officer’s hands and legs and begged him to protect my two sons and take them out”¦ he completely ignored me and said he would only take women and children”¦. I buried my two sons in one day,” she said….

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  1. says

    Perhaps Bishop McManus could tell Father Barsilious that the problem is talking about Muslim violence against Christians. It interferes with dialogue.

  2. says

    I’m sorry, but that seems really niave. This was less than a week ago, but you say things will change because of some protests? There have been pro-freedom protests before, and then it was right back to ethnic clensing of Coptic Christians, while police stand by. I don’t see any good sign from that article or anything else things will change for the better. There’s still the constant in Egypt: Islam, as long as it’s a major political force in Egypt, Chrisitans or other minority religions will not be accepted as equals.

    Actually what you said reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Metropolis (the 2001 anime). Scud, the head of denfese meets with the leader of the much mistreated people who are forced to live underground. He promises that the military will assist him in a coup against a powerful man who is running the government behind the scenes, and says that “the rule of law will return”. Of course it’s a trick, and it turns out he is on duke Red’s turn.

  3. says

    Recently I’ve made a habit of asking friends and acquaintances if they’re aware of what’s being done to the Coptics in Egypt. I asked about twenty people this question.

    19 of the 20 were totally unaware of the problem. And the one was aware of the slaughter wrote it off as a normal argument over religion differences between Moslems and Christians. He did not see it as a matter of systematic murder with the purpose of driving all Infidels from that hell-hole.

    A picture of a Coptic family should be put in the dictionary next to the word “alone” because they are the very definition of that.

  4. says

    as simon & garfunkle sing “the sounds of silence” so too the sound of crickets emanates from washington d.c. about the plight of christians being persecuted in all islamic countries.doesn’t take much mr.president,but we all know where your priorities lay.

  5. says

    @Foolster: Well, I hope Salah is right, even if I suspect you’re more clear-eyed on the issue. But, who knows? Egypt probably has a lot of people who’ve seen more of the world than their own country and region, recognize the flaws in their own society, and may be effective in working to change it. While I have a very low opinion of the Arab Spring, I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised.

    @Whatmecare: The O and Co. probably think that the Christians of Egypt stem from evil, imperialist Western missions interfering with the lives of harmonious Moozlims back in the 19th century. They also know that the Copts now living in places like my natal state of Noo Joysey and elsewhere won’t assassinate anyone or riot in the streets. And, seeing this administration’s stepping on Christian toes and instituting policies bound to grate on us at every turn while aiding and abetting the Ikhwan, my guess is that they’re thinking “today Sunday’s people; tomorrow, Friday’s”.

  6. says

    That’s how it used to be…until now.
    Things are changing for the better. I’m extremely optimistic about what’s happening in Egypt. The rule of law will prevail, Christians will be treated as equals and islamic parties will be crushed away.
    Watch for another HUGE demonstration in Egypt..
    Friday 26, July ARSH 2013
    The army is asking the egyptian people for a clear mandate so that it may step down more seriously than ever to cleanse Egypt from these vermins.