Morsi wants sectarian clashes culprits punished; Church calls for end to violence against Copts

Morsi wants sectarian clashes culprits punished; Church calls for end to violence against Copts (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered authorities to punish the culprits of recent sectarian clashes in the town of Dahshur, Giza "to the full extent of the law," Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali said Thursday.

Last week, a personal quarrel between a Muslim and a Coptic-Christian in the town quickly escalated, drawing in residents from both communities. Clashes ensued, eventually leaving one Muslim resident dead and several injured.

The incident prompted hundreds of Christians to stage a demonstration in front of Egypt’s Presidential Palace, located in Cairo's Heliopolis district, on Thursday.

The Maspero Youth Union, a revolutionary group that defends Coptic rights, released a statement following the Dahshur clashes in which it said that 120 Coptic families had since been expelled from the area.

"President Morsi closely monitored the Dahshur incident yesterday and today," Ali said in a Thursday statement. "His Excellency has ordered the relevant authorities to strictly implement the law and not allow anyone to violate it."

"He stressed that warm relations between Egyptian citizens, Muslims and Christians, should remain intact," the presidential spokesman added. "He also underscored that he would never allow anyone to attack public or private property or terrorise any Egyptian citizen."

...

[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]