CAIRO, EGYPT (Catholic Online) - Clashes between Muslims and Christians have claimed 10 live in Egypt where sectarian violence between the groups has been renewed in the face of Mohammed Morsi's administration.
The most recent spate of violence started after children drew crosses on the walls of an Islamic institute in Khosoos, just north of Cairo. That acts of children's vandalism sparked a bloody retaliation from Muslims in which four Christians and a Muslim were killed.
At the Christian funeral, Muslims struck again, this time carrying on until they reached the Coptic cathedral and damaged the structure. More Christians were murdered.
Note that it's Muslims who are attacking Christian funeral processions, not the other way around.
Vandalism committed by children, particularly of a religious nature is unacceptable, however the punishment should not include murder. Nor should Muslims carry on the violence to the funerals of the people they murdered.
Pope Tawadros II, leader of Egypt's Coptic Christians, has openly criticized President Morsi for his failure to stem the violence despite pledges to do so. The Muslim attackers are yet to face any repercussions for their violence.
Copts make up 10 percent of Egypt's population and have resided there since ancient times, even in the centuries before Mohammed.
Unfortunately, the Copts have faced religious intolerance and discrimination, even after the Arab Spring revolution that promised democracy and freedom. Copts have been denied both, having been systematically cut out of the government and with greater restrictions placed on the constructions of churches.
Following this, Christians have done by far, the most bleeding and dying in street battles that are sparked by Muslims at any time they feel a Christian has wronged them. The slightest provocations are used.
This is a common thread through the Islamic world. Conservative, militant Muslims take offense at Christian behavior, often that of children, and convert that into a cause to rally violence against Christians.
Where most of the world lives in tolerance, these militant Muslims still follow the laws of Mohammed, laid down nearly 14 centuries ago - at least as far as violence towards others goes.
These people and their radical beliefs are the problem. They also seek to export these beliefs around the globe. Such extremism cannot be tolerated in any civil society and if Egypt wishes to someday claim to have a civil society, It will first have to deal with these violent extremists and protect all minorities, including Christians.