First Published: 2012-11-07

 

In new provocation, Egypt Islamists occupy church land for prayers

 

Salafists occupy, hold prayers on church land, threaten to burn Coptic shops if they are blocked from praying there on Friday.

 

Middle East Online

Fear of sectarian violence increasing

CAIRO - Egyptian Salafists have occupied and held prayers on church land and threatened to burn Coptic shops if they are blocked from praying there on Friday, a Coptic bishop said.

"A group of Salafists entered land belonging the diocese on Monday at 10:00 pm and stayed till the next day's afternoon prayers. They put up a banner saying 'Abdel Rahman mosque'," Bishop Morcos said on Wednesday.

He said the Salafists, who follow an ultra-conservative tradition of Sunni Islam, threatened to torch Coptic shops if they were prevented from using the land for Friday's weekly Muslim prayers.

Morcos said the church wants to build on the land as soon as the permits are granted, and that a complaint had been filed with police and the state prosecutor.

There was no comment from the interior ministry.

In the meantime, in order to avoid the possibility of clashes, he said he will prevent young Copts from going to the property.

Copts, who make up between six and 10 percent of Egypt's 83 million people, have suffered an increase in attacks since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, leading to months of insecurity.

Many of the Christians opposed the election in June of President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist whose Muslim Brotherhood movement wants to gradually turn Egypt into an Islamist state. Morsi himself has assured Copts of equal rights.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli