Shocking reports of a 70-year-old woman who was stripped, beaten and marched through the streets are coming out of Egypt.
Apparently the woman’s son (a Christian) is accused of having an affair with a Muslim woman. In the predominately Muslim Egypt, relationships between Christian men and Muslim women are severely frowned upon. In fact, it could prompt a riot. Which is what happened last week in the rural village of Karama in Minya province. According to reports, a mob of men attacked the elderly woman in addition to ransacking and burning the homes of seven Christian families. A witness claims they chanted Allahu Akbar as they paraded her through the streets, which means “God is great.”
According to Anba Makarios, a top Christian cleric in Minya province, the police were slow to arrive on the scene, giving the mob about two hours to wreak havoc before they were stopped. So far, only six men have been arrested, while the police are searching for 12 more.
The province of Minya is home to the largest concentration of Christians in Egypt. As one article about the incident points out, President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi released a statement that “called for the culprits to be held accountable and gave the military a month to restore property damaged during the violence, at no cost to the owners.” He also said Egypt “appreciates the role of ‘glorious Egyptian women.’” This is not the first time el-Sissi has concerned himself with the rights of Christians in Egypt. Since taking office in 2014, he has made an effort to change election laws to allow more Christians into the national legislature. He has also made it easier to build new churches and renovate existing ones.
el-Sissi’s comments regarding the attacks are in stark contrast to the local governor in Minya, Tarek Nasser, who wrote the incident off by describing it this way: “Some irrational youths threw flammable missiles at the houses of Christians in the village and some women ran away in their nightgowns.”
Meanwhile, social media is blowing up with people expressing their outrage. #EgyptStrippedNaked is gaining momentum and giving people all over the world place to vent about the unjust treatment of Christians.