Attack on a church in Imbaba leaves 12 dead, hundreds injured

Many are angry, horrified and anxious in Egypt today after a (at least partly Salafi) crowd attacked two churches in Imbaba last night, and fighting took place that left 12 people dead and over 200 (!) wounded. 

Zeinobia has a good account of the way the rumour that a Muslim woman was being held in the Mar Mina Church in Imbaba started online. This rumour appeared just hours after the appearance of Kamelia Shehata (another alleged Muslim convert supposedly being held by the Church against her will, her case a Salafi rallying cry) on a Christian satellite TV station to try to lay the furor over her case to rest. 

Sarah Carr has penned a good eye-witness account for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. She explored the neighborhood a bit and found other violence and looting taking place around the church. 

A lot of people are wondering why the army and the police didn't do a better, more aggressive job of controlling the mob. Today the army has announced it has arrested 190 people who will be referred to military courts and that it will protect houses of worship. 



Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.