Aside from the ambiguity regarding the identity or motivation of these random “villagers,” this report repeatedly misrepresents what’s really going on in Egypt. For instance, even though the Copts are systematically persecuted, this report presents their plight as “clashes” between Muslims and Christians, in a tone suggesting that both are equally guilty, equally intolerant.
“Egypt village mob torches Bahai homes,” from AFP, April 2:
CAIRO (AFP) “” Egyptian villagers have set fire to Bahai homes after a member of the religion said on television the village was “full of Bahais,” the latest incident to reflect religious tensions in the country.
Furious villagers rampaged through Sharoniyah, near Sohag in southern Egypt, on Monday and Tuesday, setting fire to and damaging four Bahai homes, a security official told AFP, asking not to be named.
The fires spread to two Muslim homes which were also damaged, the official said.
The villagers also threatened the village’s roughly 30 Bahais with death, the official said, after which all of them fled.
Police have detained six people in relation to the attacks are are questioning them, and additional police have been deployed in the area.
The arson attacks were the culmination of unrest that began with stone throwing immediately after a Bahai named Ahmed called a television talk show that was discussing the religious minority on Saturday night.
Ahmed, who now lives in Cairo after fleeing persecution in Sharoniyah, described the village as “full of Bahais,” which showed that Egypt’s around 2,000 Bahais are not just a minority in Cairo.
Several human rights organisations denounced the “criminal aggression” against the Bahais and called on the authorities to prosecute those responsible.
Sectarian tensions run high in Egypt, with sporadic violence erupting between Muslims and Coptic Christians. Reports of anti-Bahai violence are rare.
Clashes and killings between Muslims and Copts have broken out sporadically over the past decades in Egypt, where Copts account for an estimated six to 10 percent of the country’s 80 million inhabitants.[…]
A column in the state-owned Al-Gomhuriyah newspaper said on Tuesday that the Bahais, whose world headquarters are in Haifa, Israel, are connected to “world Zionism.”
Columnist Gamal Abdel Rahim described the Bahai as “a deviant group which seeks to harm Islam to serve the interests of the enemies of the Muslim religion, in particular world Zionism.”
“I know very well that the villagers of Sharoniyah protect their religion and their beliefs. The proof is that the Bahai Ahmed himself admitted during the programme that he had stones thrown at him at his home because he abandoned Islam.”…