Twelve people have been reported dead ,in bloody clashes in Cairo over the conversion of a christian woman to Islam.This incident happening during the transitional government,by the military Generals,is a sheer case of religious intolerace where the care-taker government is expected to deal with religious exremism without risking a rekindled spate of violence from Islamic fundamentalists.
Over 500 conservative Islamists known as Salafists are reported to have gathered outside the Saint Mary's church in Cairo,surbub of Imbaba on the 7th of May,2011, with the intention to incite violence.Other muslim groups joined the bandwagon and violent clashes erupted where stones,firebombs and guns were used.
Unlike Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilisation where the wrong were pitied against the right,this was a case between the right and the right.The complexity of the case presents great challenges to the Generals running the country and these challenges would be confounded by the way they deal with the 190 people arrested during the clashes.The decision to send the culprits to Supreme Military Court seems weird though some will argue that it will serve the best interest of the politically volatile state by ensuring a non-recurrence of similar experiences.Whether or not the measures will prevent recurrence is a matter of speculation.This latest incident was described as Egypt's worst since people died in violent clashes of March 9 sparked by a church burning.
In a similar incident,another nearby church was reportedly set on fire and badly damaged in clashes that occured in the night of Imbaba incident.Whether or not similar incident will happen in future will partly depend on how the Military General would handle the case of those arrested during the clashes.The risk is great,that the government of the day will fall into the same predicament that befell its predecessors,in which their early exit would be guaranteed.
However,these Military Generals have tasted power and will possibly not subscribe to the same script that was written for the former President of Egypt,Hosni Mubaraki, and would therefore fiercely resist the demands of the people.Another dark cloud is hoovering hwackishly over the country,urgent political reforms should be made as a matter of priority before the situation degenerates into an orgy of violence.
Should the President of the United States,Barak Obama,decides to intervene in Egypt,in whatever way, this writer is cock sure that he will sympathise with christians.That action would be conceived,by the Muslim community,to mean an assault on their religious values and to which their defence is assured.
The fluidity of the case before the Military Generals running the country makes it a litmus test for them and whether or not they will remain in charge till the next general election will depend on their administrative skills and their ability to deal with the people arrested during Saturday clashes.