St Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo is not just any Coptic place of worship. It is the main Coptic religious site in Egypt, and the place where Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Church lives.
Last night hundreds of Copts were besieged inside the cathedral after a funeral procession for five Copts who were killed during violent clashes in a north Egyptian town on Saturday was attacked by a Muslim mob.
Almost a hundred were injured and Mahrous Hana Tadros, a Christian, was killed in clashes outside the Cathedral while Copts who took cover in the cathedral compound itself were attacked with rocks, bottles, Molotov cocktails and even firearms.
Last night President Morsi issued a statement insisting that he had spoken to Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic church, and had given orders for the cathedral and citizens to be guarded. In practice, it worked out quite differently. Not only did the riot police who were supposed to protect th ecathedral not stop the mob, they actually teargassed the Christians trapped inside the compound.
Earlier, witnesses described how they were attacked by locals from Abbasiyya, the north-east Cairo neighbourhood where the cathedral is located. After being hit by rocks from the roofs of nearby buildings, the mourners were reportedly forced back into the cathedral compound.
Wael Eskandar, an Egyptian blogger who attended the funeral, said he saw people being showered with broken bottles from the roof of an apartment block opposite. After being attacked, he said, the people “started racing out of the side street and destroying the nearby cars”. He added that he was not sure if those attacking the vehicles were mourners. As night fell the streets around St Mark’s were echoing to the sound of gunshots and exploding tear gas canisters. Young men on either side of the 18ft-high compound wall exchanged a continuous hail of rocks and broken masonry. Others hurled Molotov cocktails and let off fireworks.
The security forces positioned outside the cathedral launched volley after volley of tear gas into the compound. Some of the thousands of onlookers gathered in the road cheered as the canisters rocketed towards Christians perched on the walls overlooking the main street.
The mob finally dispersed after Muslims started firing shots inside the cathedral and the trapped Christians responded with birdshot from weapons they had secreted inside.
The Quasi official Al-Ahruman do the rmedia continue to describe the attackers as “unknown assailants” while Egypt’s Interior Ministry blamed the Christian mourners for the violence and said the riot police intervened to stop it. That's doesn't match eyewitness accounts,but at this point, it really doesn't matter. Here's a video of those 'unknown assailants' chanting Allah Akbar as they attack the cathedral:
It's pretty much what I've written before - Egypt no longer has Jews, so the Christians are the next in line to be plundered, raped and eventually driven out. There's an odd, poetic justice in that, and a lesson to be learned. when the Jews were driven out of Egypt after everything they owned was stolen in the 1950's, the vast majority of Copts were at best indifferent and at worst active participants. Not only that, but in an effort to be 'more Egyptian than th eEgyptians' a lot of them eagerly engaged in the endemic anti-Semitism that pervades Egypt.
Now, unfortunately, it's their turn.
The Coptic population is already down from 40% to less than 10% and you can expect those of them whom can to leave before it's too late.
Appeasement never works, and Islam has never played well with others. With an Islamist regime in power, what's going on now with Egypt's remaining Christians shouldn't be unexpected.
Their choices are to leave, convert or live as dhimmis with no rights whatsoever, to pay jizya (onetary tribute) to the Muslim and to feel themselves subdued, exactly how the Hadiths record Mohammed told his followers to treat infidels before he died in 632 CE.