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Muslim mob attack Christian homes after Egypt blasphemy accusation

Middle East and North Africa

Muslim mob attack Christian homes after Egypt blasphemy accusation

Photo credit: watinet.com

The homes of Egyptian Christians were attacked last week after a member of the Christian community was accused of insulting Islam on social media.

Police subsequently arrested 90 Muslims in the village of Menbal in the Minya governate. They were charged with mob violence, inciting sedition and attacking police.

Abdu Adel Ayad, a 40-year-old Christian man from the village, was detained by police on 6 July. He is accused of “disdaining Islam” by posting a link on Facebook comparing Islam to other religions.

Police are currently investigating the accusation. If found guilty, he could face a five-year jail sentence and a fine of up to 1,000 Egyptian Pounds under article 98(f) of the Egyptian penal code, which criminalises “disparaging or contempt of any divine religion [Islam, Christianity or Judaism] or its adherents”.

On 9 July a large mob attacked the homes of Christians in the village, pelting stones and shouting “Allahu Akbar”. According to reports, police swiftly intervened to protect the Christian community.

One Christian said, “We spent a painful evening we shall never forget. An evening of terror.”

At the time of writing there is still a police cordon around Christian houses in the village, including that of Abdu’s family.

Three Egyptian Christian teenagers were sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 for insulting Islam after they posted a video online.