Rioting over rumors is getting to be rather commonplace in the Islamic world — cf. the riots over the Qur’an-burning that never happened. In any case, this story also shows that the old laws of dhimmitude are still very much a cultural hangover in the ostensibly secular “Arab Republic” — not “Islamic Republic” — of Egypt. “Muslims torch Christian homes in southern Egypt,” by Salah Nasrawi for Associated Press, November 16 (thanks to Maxwell):
CAIRO – Muslims set fire overnight to at least 10 houses belonging to Coptic Christians in a village in southern Egypt over rumors that a Christian resident had an affair with a Muslim girl, security officials said Tuesday.
The officials said security forces have sealed off the village of al-Nawahid, in Qena province some 290 miles (465 kilometers) south of Cairo, to prevent the violence from spreading to neighboring towns. They said several people were arrested.
The attacks started after locals spotted a young Copt and a Muslim girl together at night inside the village cemetery, the officials said. They added that both were put under police custody as authorities investigate….
Islamic law forbids Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. Muslim men may marry non-Muslim women, however; then, since the woman becomes part of the man’s household, these laws ensure that the non-Muslim community is always declining at the expense of the Muslim community.
Clashes between Christians and Muslims occasionally occur in southern Egypt, mostly over land or disputes over church construction….
The traditional laws of dhimmitude forbid Christians to build new churches or repair old ones.
Human rights groups say attacks on Copts are on the rise, underscoring the government’s failure to address chronic sectarian strains in a society where religious radicalism is gaining ground.
The government insists Christians enjoy the same rights as Muslims.
They have a very nice bridge to sell you, too.