Monday, February 13, 2012

Rule of Law and Lawlessness in Resolving Sectarian Conflicts in Egypt

This is yet again another post about another "conflict" in Egypt, the Land of unfortunate events about a topic all too familiar: conflicts sectarian in appearances but cultural in essence. Unlike the events that transpired in May of 2011, this particular incidence has not deteriorated into a church burning one. Instead,  Coptic (Egyptian Christian) families are facing deportation out of their own village and the seizing and forceful selling of their homes, lands and cattle.

And the reason.... *drum roll please*.... You guessed it! Yet another mixed-religion affair. A Muslim gal had a consensual sexual relationship with a christian dude, and apparently they also indulged in the risque behavior of filmingه and/or taping their heinous acts. (Who would do that in rural Egypt? Yeah I know!!)

Muslim Men of Shirbat Village, in the Ameria County, have reportedly held a "tribal tribunal Council" to look into "the matter"; and they have concluded that it was best that the involved Coptic families be deported out of the village--their land and properties sold by the Sheikhs of the village.

And my question is: WHERE is the law in all this? Why are eight (in some accounts six) families ordered out of their village over this anyway? And most importantly when are men going to stop turning matters of  female sexual freedom into feuds? I am afraid that I know the answer. For Egypt, this is not going to happen anytime soon.

Activists talking to Parliamentary Members
 The Supreme Council of Armed forces, and their Commander-in-Chief Mubarak before, have given us headache after headache with their "lawful" rule and the importance of order. They even warned that "revolutionaries" seek to spread anarchy and chaos . 

Well, this looks like chaos alright! Where is the law? The police stood and watched as these people were forced to walk away from everything they hold dear. And the Parliament refused to intervene until marches organized by human rights activists proved to the esteemed PMs that the Egyptian people were not about to tolerate this kind of prejudice.

 As the fate of the families remains undecided, I do hope that they are allowed to safely go home --not only for their sake, but for us all.

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