Egyptians mobilise 3 protests after last night's sectarian violence

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 May 2011

The latest round of deadly sectarian clashes at a church in Imbaba has sparked 3 different groups to call for solidarity with Copts and an end to the violence

Muslims and Christians
Egyptian Muslims and Christians raise a copy of the Quran and a Cross in Shubra district of Cairo (Photo: AP)

The Maspero Copts Youth Movement has a protest march currently underway from the High Judicial Court to the TV headquarters, known as Maspero, after the massive sectarian violence which took place yesterday in Imbaba, Giza.

The movement calls on "the silent majority groups in Egypt to go out and protect the Copts."

"After what happened we are not willing to leave Maspero before our demands are met," Nabil Gobraial, rights lawyer, who is planning to join the protest today told Ahram Online.

Islamist Salafists claim that a woman who converted to Islam was being detained in one of the churches and have been staging protests. The latest was Saturday night in front of a church in Imbaba, Cairo, whose clashes have left thus far left a death toll of 13. The governor later stated there was no woman being held there.

Yesterday two churches were burnt during the attacks in the Imbaba district of Cairo.

The Coptic youth movement called on the international community, specifically the US, to interfere and protect the Copts in Egypt. They brought their petitions to the US embassy in Cairo as a large group before being dispersed.

The National Front for Justice and Freedom had called for a demonstration at 5pm in front of the foreign ministry, and although originally they were to protest against Mostafa Fiqi as head of the Arab League, after the deadly violence witnessed last night they will also focus their demonstration against sectarianism.

Another Facebook event is also calling for a demonstration titled "solidarity stand with the Copts." The demonstration is to take place at 7pm in front of Al-Wehda street church in Imbaba, the Cairo district where the clashes took place.   

Islamists have burnt three churches since Mubarak, whose regime strangled most freedoms for 30 years, stepped down.

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