“The protest was peaceful. We wanted to hold a sit-in, as usual,” said Essam Khalili, a protester wearing a white shirt with a cross drawn on it. “Thugs attacked us and a military vehicle jumped over a sidewalk and ran over at least 10 people. I saw them.”Throughout much of the Muslim world being a Christian means being treated as a second-class citizen. It could be worse. If you were a Muslim who converted to Christianity you can expect to be murdered.
Wael Roufail, another protester, corroborated the account.
“I saw the vehicle running over the protesters. Then they opened fired at us,” he said.
Khalili said protesters set fire to army vehicles when they saw them hitting the protesters.
Television footage of the riots showed some of the Coptic protesters attacking a soldier, while a priest tried to protect him. One soldier collapsed in tears as ambulances rushed to the scene to take away the injured.
These paragraphs contain an especial irony:
In the past weeks, riots have broken out at two churches in southern Egypt, prompted by Muslim crowds angry over church construction. One riot broke out near the city of Aswan, even after church officials agreed to a demand by local ultraconservative Muslims, called Salafis, that a cross and bells be removed from the building.Americans fight for the right of Muslims to build a mosque within a stone's throw of the site where Muslims perpetrated the most horrific attack on American soil in our history, but in Egypt the attempt to build a simple church results in riots.
Aswan’s governor, Gen. Mustafa Kamel al-Sayyed, further raised tensions by telling the media that the church was being built on the site of a guesthouse, suggesting it was illegal.
Protesters said the Copts are demanding the ouster of the governor, reconstruction of the church, compensation for people whose houses were set on fire and prosecution of those behind the riots and attacks on the church.
Muslims demand that their religion be respected, but for many of them respect is a one-way street. We respect them, and they reciprocate by burning down churches and murdering Christians. I wonder what the Koran says about such atrocities.