A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sectarian Clashes Also Increase in Cairo

Today has been confrontational in Cairo, Besides the harassment and confrontations confronting the International Women's Day marchers in Tahrir, sectarian confrontations persist following the recent burning of a church south of Cairo. At least one Copt has been killed in fighting between "thugs" and Christian zabbalin or garbage collectors in the Muqattam area, though some twitter reports are suggesting the thugs also clashed with the military. While the church burning that provoked the violence was allegedly sparked by a feud between two families, one Christian and one Muslim, there have long been allegations that sectarian clashes have been fueled by State Security. The reappearance of the baltagiyya street thugs in recent days, following the storming of State Security offices, may be a sign that the security forces are fighting back in their old, worst way. They used to blame attacks on Copts on the Islamists, but now they may merely be trying to provoke anarchy in order to make people yearn for the old regime's version of order.

No comments: