In a civilized society, this would be a non-event. The case has the marks of a potential setup, and a rampage waiting for an excuse.
The student’s family’s houses were burned, clashes continue, and now completely un-involved clergy are expected to apologize, and the family is set to be expelled from the governorate.
This is the shape of things to come in the New Egypt. There can be no stability or prosperity if this is all it takes for members of the ruling majority to fly into a rage, only to be rewarded and validated by authorities’ response. We tried to tell you. “Student to be held 15 days over images of Prophet Mohamed,” from Al Masry Al Youm, January 2:
The Assiut township prosecutor has called for a Coptic student accused of publishing offensive images of Prophet Mohamed to be held for 15 days pending investigations.
Muslim residents accused the student of posting the images on his Facebook account.
Violent clashes between Muslims and Christians took place over the weekend in the villages of Baheeg, Adr, Salam and Menqebad. At least six houses owned by Copts were set on fire after the incident was publicized.
Angry villagers and security forces hurled stones at each other, which reportedly led to the injury of seven security officers. They were transferred to the police hospital in Assiut.
The student denied posting the images, claiming that they were shared on his Facebook page without his permission.
Aswan Governor Mostafa al-Sayyed met with Muslim and Coptic leaders and several elected Islamist MPs to discuss the incident.
They agreed to arrest rioters, that priests should publicly apologize for the images, and that the student as well as his family should move out of the governorate.
Last October, an Egyptian court sentenced a young Coptic man to three years in prison for posting statements on his Facebook account that were thought to be offensive to Islam and Prophet Mohamed.