I tried to tell you. “Egypt riots raise worries over Islamic hard-liners,” by Lee Keath for the Associated Press, May 9:
CAIRO (AP) “” Deadly Muslim-Christian riots that left 12 dead and a Cairo church a burned-out husk have magnified worries in Egypt over Islamic ultraconservatives who have grown more assertive since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak….
Note that for AP, “ultraconservatives” are those who want Sharia, and simultaneously “ultraconservatives” are those who oppose Sharia.
The clashes in the working-class district of Imbaba were rooted in a personal dispute. A Christian woman had an affair with a Muslim man. And when she disappeared, the man spread rumors that Christian clergy had snatched her and were holding her prisoner in a local church because she converted to Islam, security officials said Monday.
That brought out a mob of Muslims, led by members of the hardline movement known as Salafis, who attacked the church late Saturday. The assault prompted clashes with neighborhood Christians that spiraled into an hours-long melee, with gunfire and a church set ablaze. Seven Christians and six Muslims were killed and more than 200 people were injured. […]
In one sign of Salafis’ growing confidence, one prominent preacher, Hafez Salama, on Friday publicly praised Osama bin Laden after he was killed by U.S. troops in Pakistan, calling him “a hero.” The same day, a few hundred Salafis marched through Cairo condemning the killing.
Under Mubarak’s rule, Egypt’s Salafis avoided any public show of sympathy with al-Qaida’s leader, a red line for a regime that was wary of any sign of the terror group’s spread.
Salafis and Christians have traded blame for Saturday’s violence, with Salafis insisting that they only wanted to free the “imprisoned” woman and claiming Christians started the shooting.
But for the past year, Salafis have been stoking rhetoric against Egypt’s mostly Coptic Christians as a way to rally their base.
In one attack, a Christian man had an ear cut off for renting an apartment to a Muslim woman suspected of involvement in prostitution.
Salafi clerics have drummed up outrage over several Christian women who converted to Islam in order to get divorces from their husbands and were then reportedly imprisoned by Church officials. Divorce is strictly forbidden in Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church, and leaving the faith is one of the few ways for a woman to get out of a marriage.
In mosques and on satellite TV stations, Salafis have accused Christians of trying to break what they call Egypt’s “Muslim character” and storing weapons in churches and monasteries….