After the violence, which took place at Maspero, a mob also attacked a Coptic hospital in Cairo. The heavy hand that the Egyptian military and security forces have used against the Copts stands in dark contrast to the restraint shown toward mobs of Muslim extremists that have attacked Coptic Churches throughout Egypt and toward the protesters in Tahrir Square who engineered Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February.
Clearly, Egyptian leaders are much quicker to use force against their country’s Christian minority than they are against the Muslim majority in that country. “Why didn’t they do this with the Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood when they organize protests? ” one protester asked Reuters after the violence.
The military and riot police, on the other hand, appeared at some points to be working in tandem with Muslims who were lashing out at the Coptic Christians. As security forces cleared the streets around 10 p.m., police officers in riot gear marched back and forth through the streets of downtown alongside a swarm of hundreds of men armed with clubs and stones chanting, “The people want to bring down the Christians,” and, later, “Islamic, Islamic.”
The events can be followed on Twitter by following the hashtags #egypt, #copts, #maspero and #scaf. (“Maspero” refers to the scene of regular protests by Copts in Egypt and “scaf” is an acronym for the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces has governed Egypt in the aftermath of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster earlier this year.) Tweets provide links to other sources of information.
Be advised that just because something is posted on twitter does not mean its true. Twitter (and Facebook) have been used to spread false accusations against Christians throughout the Middle East. These accusations have helped foster a climate of hate against Christians throughout the region, particularly in Egypt.
Other sources of information that are updated on a regular basis include the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), which has covered attacks on Christians throughout the Middle East, particularly Egypt and Iraq, and two Egyptian newspapers, Al-Masry Al-Youm, and Al-Ahram.
Here are some articles that provide information about the events of Oct. 9, 2011.
Coptics Criticize Egypt Government Over Killings, David Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Oct. 10, 2011.
Egyptian Army, Police Kill 35 Coptic Christian Protestors, Mary Abdelmassih, Assyrian International News Agency, Oct. 10, 2011. (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES)
Egypt Christians vent fury after clashes kill 25, Tamin Eylan and Edmund Blair, Reuters, Oct. 10, 2011.
Copts congregate at cathedral ahead of victims’ funeral, Ahmed Zaki Osman, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Oct. 10, 2011.
A firsthand account: Marching from Shubra to deaths at Maspiro, Sarah Carr, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Oct. 10, 2011.
Coptic expats call for ‘week of anger’ following Maspiro violence, Emad Khalil, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Oct. 10, 2011.