Facebook page claims Salafi coalition incited Imbaba violence

Activists created a Facebook page calling for the arrest of leaders of a coalition which they accuse of sparking sectarian clashes in the Giza district of Imbaba, which left 12 people dead and 238 injured.

The new page, entitled "In order to arrest the so-called Coalition to Support New Muslims," gained around 800 members within a short time of its creation.

The page blames the "Coalition to Support New Muslims" for spreading rumors that led to Saturday's violence. It called on group members to file reports against the coalition.

It also attacked the coalition's spokesperson, Hossam al-Bokhary, who gave televised statements claiming a bishop from Imbaba had abducted a Muslim convert and that Copts were firing at Muslims and the army in Imbaba.

These statements, according to the activists, caused Salafis to attack Imbaba churches to free an alleged Muslim convert named Abeer.

Angry reporters and activists issued mock calls to Salafis, saying another "Abeer" is detained at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and that Salafis should free her as well, jokingly responding to what they say are stories Salafis conjure up about the conversion of Coptic women and their detention by church leaders.

Mahmoud Ezzat, a poet and Imbaba resident, said the Salafi rush to free Abeer was essentially an angry response to a TV interview in which Kamilia Shehata – another Copt rumored to have converted to Islam – said she was still a “proud Copt."

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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