Another row in parliament over Naga Hammadi violence

Parliament witnessed another heated session over the 7 January Naga Hammadi shootings in which seven people were killed and several others wounded.

MP Georgette Quilliny insisted on calling the incident a "sectarian" act, lashing out at Qena Governor Magdy Ayoub for announcing a day after the incident that "everything was under control"–even though the village of Bahgoura continued to witness mass riots and acts of arson.

She also criticized an official fact-finding committee for arriving at the scene a full eight days after clashes had first broken out.

Quilliny was interrupted by MPs from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), who ordered her to refrain from speaking. "We all defend our citizens, be they Muslim or Christian," House Speaker Fathi Sorour told Quilliny. "Stop claiming credit for yourself."

"Weren’t the shootings an individual act?" Sorour then asked, to which Quilliny replied in the negative, noting that the shootings had happened outside a local church. Sorour then answered: "Wasn’t the incident triggered by the individual act of a Christian man raping a Muslim girl?"

Sorour also criticized the EU Parliament for deciding to devote a special session to "discussing" the incident. "This would be considered interference in our internal affairs," he said. "After all, Egyptian Copts objected to the EU Parliament’s past references to them as ‘a minority’ in need of protection."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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