In the new modern, moderate, secular, democratic Egypt of the Arab Spring, Muslims in Qena are enraged and in their third day of protests because a Christian governor has been appointed for them. They say it’s because the last Christian governor “left a negative impression of Christian officials,” but coincidentally, Islamic law forbids non-Muslims to hold authority over Muslims. I am sure that has nothing, nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with these secular, democratic protests.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Muslims in southern Egypt protested for a third day on Sunday over the appointment of a Christian governor, saying his predecessor, also a Christian, had failed to solve their problems.
Thousands rallied outside the governor’s office in Qena and prevented employees from entering, blocked highways leading to the town and sat on a railway line into the province demanding that the appointment of Emad Mikhail be reversed.
Egypt’s interim military rulers, who took control when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising, selected Mikhail last week as one of several new appointments to replace officials associated with his autocratic regime.
The protesters say Mikhail’s predecessor, Magdy Ayoub, failed to stem sectarian violence and address poverty and unemployment, which grew during his tenure. Witnesses say some Coptic Christians joined the protest as well.
“The experience of a Coptic governor has failed. There is no objection to his Coptic identity but the previous governor left a negative impression of Christian officials,” Youssef Ragab, a witness in Qena, told Reuters by telephone.
Residents say Ayoub was too weak in enforcing laws to quell rising tension between Muslims and Christians, fearing his background might imply sectarian allegiance.
“The protesters don’t want any governor to favour one religious group over the other,” Ragab said….
The protest took a more aggressive turn as some radical Salafi Islamists in the crowd demanded a Muslim official, saying “we want it Islamic.” Some even threatened to kill Mikhail if he came to his office….
Many of the protesters showed no sign of budging until their demand for a different governor was met.
“We have been in front of the governor’s office for three days and we will stay here for another three months or three years,” one protester said by telephone.