Drawing of Prophet Muhammad leads to Coptic homes burned Egypt
The homes of Coptic Christians in southern Egypt have been burned in a display of enraged violence by outraged Muslims. Violence broke out following a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad being posted online by a Christian student.
Sectarian violence erupted in the Egyptian province of Assiut after a Christian student posted a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad on his Facebook page. According to the Washington Post the drawing depicted the prophet with four women seeking his hand in marriage.
Naharnet reported that police arrested the Christian student responsible for posting the drawing on Thursday, after dozens of Muslims stormed his house. His arrest did not appease the Muslims that were riled to violence by the image. They proceeded to set fire to a shop belonging to the student's father before turning their attention to burning seven houses belonging to Coptic Christians. Five members of the police were injured in the ensuing violence.
Ironically, when Muslims react violently to images of the prophet it results in further dissemination of such images. Any images of the prophet are considered blasphemous within Islam and this latest depiction resulted in the inevitable violence which has ensued on previous occasions when images and cartoons of the prophet have been circulated.
Policymic explains that the reason why images of Prophet Muhammad are forbidden in Islam is they "could lead Muslims to worship the man instead of the Creator."
Whilst those who practice Islam may find the images offensive, the circulation of such images by others is perceived as a cornerstone of free speech. There is no necessity for the scenes of such intolerant violence, yet they have become as inevitable as the fatwas which generally follow.
This latest outburst of sectarian violence further destabilizes relations between Coptic's and Muslims in Egypt. Already prepared to expect violence against the Copts during the Coptic Christmas and New Year, the army had promised extra security precautions around Coptic churches on Jan. 7.