Egypt's President Tells Christian Grandma Stripped Naked by Muslim Mob 'Not to Be Angered'

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during the opening of the first and second phases of the housing project "Long Live Egypt", which focuses on development in the country's slums, at Al-Asmarat district in Al Mokattam area, east of Cairo, Egypt, May 30, 2016. |

Egypt's president has vowed to bring down a Muslim mob that burned Christians' homes earlier this month and stripped a 70-year-old Christian grandmother naked after her son was accused of having an affair with a Muslim woman.

As reported by The Christian Post last week, seven Christians' homes in the Minya governorate of Egypt were torched and ransacked by hundreds of Muslims on May 20 after rumors circulated that a Christian man had romantic relations with a Muslim woman.

Although the man who is the subject of the rumors fled from the community along with his wife and children on May 19, remaining Christians and their family members were left to be persecuted.

Aside from setting people's homes on fire, the mob also dragged the man's 70-year-old mother out of her house and stripped her naked.

"They burned the house and went in and dragged me out, threw me in front of the house and ripped my clothes," the unnamed grandmother told Reuters on the condition of anonymity. "I was just as my mother gave birth to me and was screaming and crying."

Although the Christian man's family had warned police of the threats coming from Muslims the day before the attack, Minya's top Coptic Christian cleric, Anba Makarios, said in a statement that police failed to take preemptive action and waited until two hours after the attack before they responded to the Christian community.

Although hundreds of Muslims participated in the attack, only six people were arrested.

According to Ahram Online, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said on Monday during a speech in Cairo that those responsible for what happened to the Christian grandmother and the homes destroyed in Minya will be held responsible.

"When I address my speech to this woman, I don't say this [Christian] Egyptian because we are all one," el-Sisi was quoted as saying. "I call on this woman not to be angered by what happened."

"We are all Egyptians who are equal in rights and duties," el-Sisi added. "It is not appropriate that what happened be repeated. Whoever commits an offense will be held accountable."

Christians comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's population and are often victimized by discrimination and violence perpetrated by radicals and Islamic extremists.

El-Sisi made headlines early last year when he called on Muslim clerics to put a stop to radical Islamic ideology in a speech at the 1,000-year-old Al-Azhar University. El-Sisi told the clerics that they are responsible "before Allah" for helping lead a "religious revolution."

Yet, Egypt still ranks as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the level of persecution faced by Christians, as Egypt is ranked 22nd on the Open Doors USA's 2016 World Watch List.

"President al-Sisi's authoritarian style of government has to some extent restored the rule of law in Egypt, but also implies a stricter compliance with the relatively restrictive legislation related to religious affairs," the World Watch List states.

"This is not in the advantage of the country's Christian population. The large Coptic minority, while facing important difficulties, has been tolerated because of its historical presence and its demographic size. In recent years this has changed, however, causing historical Christian communities to be targeted as well."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

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