An unsurprising update on this story. One prior report did offer the interesting detail that some protests “also included Christians who object to the governor on the basis that Christian leaders often fail to adequately defend their cause because they feel compelled to side with Muslims in sectarian disputes to demonstrate good intentions. They cited the previous Christian governor, who they say was a ‘complete failure,’ according to one priest who joined the protests and asked not to be identified for security reasons.”
Nonetheless, it is clear which group’s demands the government is moving to satisfy. “Christian governor with Mubarak ties suspended,” from Middle East Online, April 25 (thanks to Twostellas):
CAIRO – Egypt’s premier suspended a Christian governor linked to the ousted Mubarak regime after his appointment sparked protests in restive Qena province, state news agency MENA reported on Monday.
Prime Minister Essam Sharaf ordered Emad Mikhail suspended for three months in a bid to contain anger in Qena, a region of central Egypt with a history of sectarian clashes, MENA said.
Note the false sense of reciprocity and equal “sectarian” participation throughout this story. We see a lot of that.
Mikhail is to replaced temporarily by his deputy, Magued Abdel Karim, the agency said, adding that the premier called for calm in Qena and a return to business as usual.
Thousands of angry protesters, both Muslims and Christian Copts, have rallied in Qena over the past 12 days against the appointment of Mikhail — a senior police officer under the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
It was Muslims who blocked highways and threatened to kill Mikhail, all the while demanding an Islamic state. Note also the detail above about why the Christians came out to protest.
The incidents raised fears of widespread sectarian unrest in Qena where Muslim-Christian ties are fragile.
Egypt’s Christians, who make up around 10 percent of the 80-million population, have been the target of several attacks and repeatedly accused the authorities of systematic discrimination.