Altercation between Copts and an Interior Ministry representative in the Shura Council about the Cathedral events
The Shura Council’s National Defence Committee witnessed a heated verbal altercation between Copt Shura Council members and Assistant Interior Minister General Abdel-Fatah Othman, against a backdrop of the Shura Council members directing accusations against the Interior Ministry of colluding with thugs to attack the Cathedral in Abbaseyya.
The altercations started when Assistant Interior Minister General Abdel-Fatah Othman expressed his resentment at Copt Shura Council members’ accusation that the Interior Ministry colluded against Copts. He presented a large number of events that demonstrate Coptic youths’ responsibility in the Cathedral events. He pointed out that Copts attacked shops and cars as well as policemen using birdshot and Molotov cocktails. The Coptic Shura Council members became angry, especially members Mahmouh Ramzy and Gamil Halim who said that the Interior Ministry colluded and attacked the Cathedral.
General Abdel-Fatah Othman presented the Interior Ministry’s version of events at the start of the session. “We negotiated with the church for the victims’ funeral procession to be from El-Matareyya rather than the Cathedral. However, individuals receiving certain political instructions from Copt politicians and others insisted that the funeral procession start from the Cathedral in order to exploit it for purposes serving their interests.
He added that they attacked security forces accompanying the funeral which compelled us to take the decision to monitor it from a distance. Some troublemakers amongst the mourners were intent on provoking and attacking police officers.
“He continued” the funeral reached the Cathedral and the prayers took place in a calm not free from chants from some elements known to the Maspiro Youth Union and others outside the church’s control
He continued saying, “800 Coptic and Muslim protesters went into one of the streets by the Cathedral and attacked cars in a sudden and hysterical manner.