January 31, 2012
A mob of more than 3,000 Muslims looted and torched Coptic-owned homes and shops in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat, Alexandria, Egypt, leaving two Copts and one Muslim injured, ASSIST News Service reports. The violence began after a rumor spread that a Coptic man had an allegedly intimate photo of a Muslim woman on his cell phone; he surrendered to the police for his protection, but the mob stormed his house, the houses of his neighbors and a number of nearby businesses. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers were bearded men in white gowns -- some Salafists and some from the Muslim Brotherhood -- and security forces took an hour to respond. "This happens every time," said Coptic activist Mariam Ragy. "They wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear." Mina Girguis of the Maspero Youth Union said he believed the reason for the violence was fabricated by the military: "They are trying to divert the attention from the second revolution which is taking place now," he said.