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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:30 AM
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From kids' quarrel to religious strife in Alexandria
Middle East Features
From kids' quarrel to religious strife in Alexandria

By Pakinam Amer Jul 16, 2007, 1:22 GMT

Cairo - Fifty years ago, no Egyptian would have believed that a fight between two children - a Muslim and a Christian - could ignite violence requiring the presence of truckloads of heavily-armed riot police to contain it.

But this happened last month in the once cosmopolitan Mediterranean city of Alexandria, albeit in one of the city's poorer districts. There, a fist fight between two boys in front of a church turned into a full-blown sectarian clash between Muslims and Christians.

As religious zealots and angry mobs fanned the flames, the incident could have escalated had it not been for police which arrived quickly on the scene and contained the clash.

'This situation is not unique to Alexandria. The tension is everywhere,' says Father Yohanna Naseef, a Christian Coptic priest and an Alexandrine.

He lists three reasons at the core of the clashes: 'The education system that does not encourage dialogue among co-patriots belonging to different confessions, discrimination against Christians in work places, and an underdeveloped environment which breeds hatred.'

More:
http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/features/...
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