Copts Protest to Deter Aggressors in Upper Egypt

From MidEast Christian News (behind paywall):

Dozens of Copts assembled in front of the governorate building, over incidents such as these:

Adel Wadie Fahmi said his house was seized by eight thugs, who forged contracts to prove ownership of the house land, and asked him to pay two million Egyptian pounds, roughly 300,000 USD, to give the house back to him. Fahmi said that he filed a report with the Samalout police.

The security services inspected Fahmi’s house and managed to arrest one of the thugs and Samalout prosecutor remanded him in custody for 15 days pending investigation, but Fahmi’s house has yet to be restored to him.

Medhat Lewis Guirguis said a group of thugs demolished a wall encircling a plot he owns, and when he objected they showed him a false contract of their ownership of the land. Said thugs called on Guirguis to pay 450,000 pounds to leave the land. Upon filing a report with Samalout police, five of the accused were arrested and imprisoned for 15 days pending investigation. Guirguis, however, has received new threats urging him to pay the required amount.

Other incidents are listed as well. The above is a good example of wishing you could be in all places at once. Many stories described as kidnapping reflect simply a young woman who has run away with a lover. Even when this is the case, however, there are often breaches of law that go ignored by authorities. If someone was there, they could better investigate.

So we are left with this investigation, which probably is only a recounting of the claims of those demonstrating. Might some be claiming sectarian discrimination over simple land disputes, perhaps even if they are in the wrong?

Maybe, but there is no joy in being a cynic. Rather, this demonstration is a warning about the real possibility of sectarian aggression against Copts, especially in Upper Egypt. The region has always been rather lawless; amid further decline, might some encroach further, taking advantage of lax enforcement and a slow or absent judiciary, to enrich themselves at the expense of Copts?

Do similar instances happen among Muslims, but are as infrequently reported in the regular press and altogether ignored in Christian-focused publications such as this one? Does Islamist dominance of the public square mean such incidences against Christians will be less rebuffed than normal? Why should it, are there not simple matters of right and wrong at stake? Do Islamists care only about advancing their fellow Muslims? Or should they not be men of principle more than the earlier administrations, and take a stand to investigate and stop such transgression?

So many questions. Would I be able to know better the answers if I was there? I am in Cairo, and there is so much here I don’t know, so why would it be different?

But I wish someone did, and there was a publication that could be trusted. Thank you, MidEast Christian News, for bringing these stories to attention, but I wish you investigated more thoroughly.

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