A Facebook post incited violence against an entire Coptic Christian community in Egypt.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), a Muslim mob attacked the homes, businesses and cars of Copts living in the village of Tawa. Three people were injured.
The post that brought on the violence was written last May after an attack by Islamic extremists killed Coptic Christians traveling to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor.
“Are we (Copts) Egyptians not from Egypt? No matter that you try to hurt us, one day all your ways will fail. Do you think that I cry? Never! I don't cry because I trust in Jesus very much, I prostrate to him and he loves me. He never leaves me one day. When you demolish the homes of his children, you attack himself. I ask Jesus to touch your heart and change you. Our Lord knows and see what is happening to us. Continue and increase your terrorism, but I'm not afraid because it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God,” 22-year-old, Bassem, a resident of Tawa, posted to Facebook.
The message was deleted a day later, but not before it went viral.
Four months later a Muslim resident of Tawa saw it and quickly spread it among other Muslim villagers--they considered the post an insult to Islam, according to ICC.
On September 14, a Muslim mob began to attack the Tawa Coptic Christian community.
"Many Muslims gathered and the mob began to attack Christian homes and shops. They were pelting stones at the homes while shouting 'Allah Akbar.' They hurled bricks and stones at Mar Girgis (St. George) Coptic Orthodox Church despite the presence of some security guards who had been assigned to guard the church, but the guards couldn't confront the huge number of the mob. The police then arrived in the village, controlled the situation, and arrested Muslim villagers. The security forces have now deployed across the streets of the village," Essam, a Christian resident in the village told ICC.
The governor of the area ordered that the Muslim attackers be detained, but also called for Bassem to be arrested for insulting Islamic figures with his post and incting violence. Bassem fled the village before he could be taken into custody, according to ICC.
Muslim radicals and terrorists have been carrying out unprovoked attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt for years: