Islamister i Egypt hevner seg på kristne for at Mohamed Morsi ble styrtet. Brorskapets medier har fremstilt kristne som ledende. Andre islamister er provosert over at en minoritet våger å gjøre det de anser som opprør mot islam.

Det er uvant for islamister at kristne gjør seg politisk gjeldende. Den arabiske våren betød også en politisk frigjøring for kristne. De følte at deres tid var kommet. Men islamister betrakter dette som opprør. Kristne har å innta plassen som annenrangs borgere.

Egypt’s Christian minority, about 10 percent of the population, long shunned politics for fear of reprisals, relying on their church to make their case to those in power. That changed in the revolutionary fervor when autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011, as Christians started to demand a say in the country’s direction.

But they took it to a new level during Morsi’s year in office and the empowerment of his Islamist allies. The new Coptic Christian pope, Tawadros II, enthroned in November, openly criticized the president. He told Christians they were free to actively participate in politics and that the church will not discourage them.

“The Christians have emerged from under the robes of the clergy and will never go back,” said Ezzat Ibrahim, an activist from Minya, a southern province with a large Christian community.

It was a risky gamble for a minority that has long felt vulnerable, with its most concentrated communities often living in the same rural areas where the most vehement and vocal Islamists hold sway.

During Morsi’s year in office, some of his hard-line allies increasingly spoke of Christians as enemies of Islam and warned them to remember they are a minority. When the wave of protests against Morsi began on June 30, Brotherhood media depicted it as dominated by Christians — and to hard-liners, it smacked of Christians rising up against a Muslim ruler.

Kristne har deltatt i Tamarod-bevegelsen som mobiliserte millioner i gatene. Nå betaler de prisen. Flere steder har islamistisk mobb gått amok og plyndret, herjet og drept kristne. I landsbyen Nagaa Hassan hadde Emile Naseen, (41) vært Tamrod-bevegelsens ansikt utad. Det skulle bare en gnist til før mobben ble «tent». En død muslim ble funnet utenfor landsbyen, og ryktene ville med en gang ha det til at det var de kristne som sto bak. Politiet turde ikke beskytte de kristne mennene, selv om de hadde en pansret vogn.

The worst anti-Christian backlash since Morsi’s July 3 ouster was the attack in Nagaa Hassan, a dusty village on the west bank of the Nile River, not far from the most majestic ancient Egyptian archaeological sites in the city of Luxor.

The body of a Muslim villager was discovered at dawn on July 5. The cry went out around the village that Christians killed him. A mob of several hundred, led by men wearing the hallmark long beards of ultraconservative Salafis as well as more extreme movements, went on a rampage, according to witnesses and security officials speaking to the AP.

They smashed the windows and doors of Christian homes, ransacked Christian-owned stores and set them ablaze — damaging about 30 homes and stores in all. Muslim residents who tried to stop them were brushed aside, sometimes threatened with violence as well. At least a dozen Christian families took refuge in the local Church of St. John The Baptist, the church’s priest, Father Vassilios, told the AP.


The crowd targeted in particular Naseem, besieging the apartment building of his cousins where he and his wife hid. Their three children had been taken earlier to a relative’s home for their safety. The mob set fires in the building, while the families with women and children fled to the upper floors.

Security forces pulled up to the building, backing an armored personnel carrier up to the entrance to evacuate those inside, according to witnesses and activists briefed on the day’s events. But the mob, outnumbering police, refused to let the men inside leave — so the police told the families they would only take the women and children, she said.

Naseem and several other men initially put on women’s clothes to escape detection by the mob waiting close by for the police to leave so it could set upon the men, said el-Ameer, the nephew,

The police still refused to take the men, fearing the mob outside would see through the ruse and attack the armored police car that came to evacuate the Christians, said el-Ameer and activists. Martha Zekry, Naseem’s wife, begged the police to take her husband, pleading with them that he would not survive if left behind. The officer in charge said he would come back for Naseem. He never did.

Once the police pulled away with the women and children, the attackers stormed the building. Naseem tore off the women’s clothes and fled to the rooftops with his nephew, al-Ameer said. Naseem’s cousins, Romani and Muhareb Nosehi, and a neighbor Rasem Tadros, never made it out of the building, stabbed and beaten to death on the spot.

Naseem’s friends and family say he was targeted because of his activism against Morsi. In the months before Morsi’s ouster, he was energetically collecting signatures in the village for Tamarod, or “Rebel,” the youth-led activist campaign that collected signatures nationwide on a petition demanding Morsi’s removal. It organized the June 30 protests that brought out millions.

“Emile was the de facto Tamarod leader in the village and that did not escape the notice of the militants,” said Naseem’s best friend and fellow activist Emile Nazeer. “He, like other activists, received threatening text messages for weeks before he was killed.”

“Almost everyone in Nagaa Hassan loved my uncle. He spoke a lot about politics and people listened to what he had to say,” said el-Ameer, Naseem’s nephew. “He paid the price.”

Shenouda el-Ameer, a close relative, said local Islamists took advantage of the Muslim’s murder to blame it on Christians and target Naseem for his political activity.

Det har vært tilsvarende angrep i seks av Egypts 27 provinser. De kristne er sårbare mål.