Coptic Christians continue to be the targets of hate crimes in Egypt. This past week two Coptic churches were attacked by Muslim mobs, resulting in several injuries
The most recent attack took place on May 19th. Official reports state that Copt Basem Ramzy Michael allegedly extended himself over his balcony to look into the flat of a Muslim woman living below him. The witness was Hamada Alloshy, a registered criminal. A fight broke out between Copts and Muslims, which moved to the church of St. Mary in the Dakhela district, west of Alexandria. Several hundred Copts joined the fight to protect their church. Muslims shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they threw Molotov cocktails and bricks at the crowd of Copts.
Sedky Sherif, 36, was one of the men who rushed to defend his church. While official reports state he “died of fright,” his family and witnesses say, “his body was full of bruises and marks from bird shots.” Sherif’s nephew, Rabah, was with him when he died. He claims, “1,000 Copts were present and were attacked by more than 20,000 Muslims.” A death certificate issued for Sherif states the “cause of death as ‘under investigation.’”
This is the first time a death certificate has been issued before the cause of death is learned, Weesa Fawzy from Al-Kalema Human Rights Center said. "Has he been seen by the forensics team or not, so how are they still investigating when the body is already buried?"
The church suffered a burned gate and several broken stained glass windows. Security forces arrested several people on both sides of the fight.
Copts injured in the attack had to choose whether to seek professional medical treatment and risk being arrested for their involvement or seek private treatment. In one case, a 19-year-old who underwent brain surgery after the fight woke up the next morning to find himself shackled to his bed.
Six days before the incident in Dakhela, a Muslim mob harassed a Coptic man in the village church of Prince Tadros el-Mashreki. “They hurled stones and broke everything inside the church,” Assyrian International News Agency reported. The mob proceeded down the streets “looting and destroying all Coptic-owned businesses and pharmacies and torching cars. The Copts were also threatened to be expelled from the village.” Later that same day Muslim youths threw bags of urine at Coptic girls exiting their church.