Moral Low Ground

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Muslim Mob Attacks Christian Protesters in Cairo; 11 Dead

A Muslim mob attacked a group of thousands of Christians protesting against the burning of a church in Cairo, Egypt last night. The pitched battle resulted in the deaths of at least 11 people, with more than 90 more injured. According to the Associated Press, the two groups fought with guns, clubs and knives. The clashes added to the chaos that continues in Egypt despite the successful overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak last month. Although the Egyptian military nominally controls the country, there aren’t enough troops to guarantee calm everywhere and violent crime and lawlessness are a daily fact of life in some parts of the nation of 80 million people. Cairo, a sprawling metropolis of 18 million people, has been particularly affected.

Sadly, this latest religious violence stems from a love affair between a Muslim and a Christian that sparked a bloody family feud among disapproving relatives. Angry Muslims burned a Christian church, and Christians protesting this crime were set upon by more Muslims last night. At least four Muslims and two Christians were shot to death; the total death toll stands at at least 11 people. The wounded include 73 Muslims and 21 Christians.

There were tensions between the two religious groups even before last month’s uprising. A suicide bombing at a Coptic Christian church killed 21 people on New Year’s Day, sparking angry protests. Days later, a Muslim gunman shot an elderly Christian man to death on a train and wounded his wife and four others.

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