Politics

One of the trends that is most disturbing is that almost all “acceptable” violence that has occurred in the Middle East is that Christians are largely displaced in the process. Whether this has to do with attacks on Gaza, regime change in Egypt, or revolution in Syria, the result is always that Christians have even fewer rights than they did before. It’s very eighth century.

(Reuters) – Mohamed Talaat didn’t like the fact Christian music was being played at a party to promote interfaith harmony in the Egyptian town of Minya south of Cairo, so together with a group of like-minded Islamist hardliners, he showed up to put a stop to it.

It was simply un-Islamic to broadcast Christian songs, Talaat explained.

“Egypt is Islamic and so we all have to accept Islamic rules to halt any strife,” he said by telephone.

Four months since Egypt elected veteran Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed Mursi as president, human rights activists say hardliners are trying to impose Islamist ways on society.

Although reliable data on social trends is hard to find in Egypt, many people believe that cases of religious intimidation have increased.

“There is no doubt that the rate of strange and violent practices by strict Islamists has increased tremendously since the election of Mursi,” said Gamal Eid, founder of The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, a human rights group.

“We have in a few months seen many more of such incidents than we have seen in years before Mursi,” he said.

Seemingly sporadic incidents are turning into what rights activists describe as an emerging pattern of abuses in the street by radicals, defying both the authority of the state and Mursi’s own promises to protect personal freedoms.

From the fatal stabbing of a young man who was out with his fiancée to the case of a conservative teacher who cut schoolgirls’ hair because it was uncovered, the examples are stacking up.

November 15, 2012

In Egypt Streets, Islamists Throw Weight Around

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