Coptic Christian shop owners in the Egyptian town of Farshoot are refusing to reopen their stores until the government compensates them for damages in two days of rioting over the weekend. Up to 65 shops were reportedly damaged as thousands of Muslims attacked local Copts in the town some 300 miles south of Cairo. Damages to the burned and looted shops, including jewelry stores and pharmacies, is estimated at $1 million. “There will be no reconciliation before full financial compensation has been paid to the Coptic victims, and the criminals are brought to justice, so that safety and security can be restored to the district,” said Bishop Kirollos of the Nag Hammadi Diocese.
Copts hid indoors for fear of their lives during the riots, and some have fled the area. Coptic priest Rev. Benjamin Noshi suffered a fractured skull in the attacks and is now hospitalized. The violence was sparked by the claim that a 20-year-old Christian man, who is in custody, sexually abused a 12-year-old Muslim girl. Violence also spread to three neighboring villages. (Christian Post, Nov. 30; CNA, Nov. 25; AINA, Nov. 22)
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I am heartsick
These people put their heart and soul into their stores. Usually whatever sets off these events of mass violence is something questionable and inflated by rumors. Couldn’t there be some kind of mediating board of Coptic and Islamic clergy?