President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt has promised justice for the victims who were attacked by Muslims in the Maya Province of Egypt on Friday. Rumors of a Christian man having an affair with a Muslim woman sparked the attacks, and seven Christian homes were attacked and torched. During that attack, the mother of the man having the affair, a 70-year-old Christian woman, was stripped of her clothes and dragged into the street and beaten. The man’s parents had already filed a report with the local police station about receiving threats on May 19, which they expected to happen the next day.
Christians also burned down three Muslim homes in retaliation of the attacks and six people have been arrested. President Sisi has ordered the Governor of Minya to work with armed forces to restore damaged property within a month at the state of Egypt’s expense, according to Christian Today. Initially, the Governor of Minya, Tarek Nasser, had “downplayed the events.” Nasser told AP that an elderly woman had not been stripped naked but rather “some women ran away in their nightgowns” after “irrational youth” torched the Christian homes. The Christians who were attacked were Coptic Christians who are considered to be the largest group of Christians in the Middle East and account for at least 10 percent of Egypt’s population.
Representatives of the Coptic Christians said that the authorities had promised to “chase down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.” President Sisi also said that “no criminals will escape without justice,” and called the violence “regrettable. The “Copts” were called to show “self-restraint” by the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros. He also said that he would be closely following up the issue with the political authorities. Also, the General Bishop to the Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop Angaelos, said it was “indeed shameful that such mob crimes can be perpetrated against innocent communities.”
Bishop Angaelos continued, saying, “Egypt is at a formative stage of its contemporary history which requires a robust system of law and order that underpins an ethos of equal citizenship and accountability. Any such steps taken at the national level are severely hampered and undermined by these recurring failures at the local level.”