CAIRO, Egypt - CBN News has learned new information about the recent attack against Christian homes and a church in the town of Soul, Atfif, Helwan Governorate not far from Cairo.
Coptic contacts told CBN News, the Muslim mob that attacked the Christians did so at the urging of Mullah Ahmed Abu El-Dabah.
They said during noon prayers at his mosque last Friday, March 4, the imam told attendees the “kaffirs” (infidels) had caused a lover’s dispute that led to the death of two Muslims the day before. He allegedly incited Muslims to rid the town of all Christians.
Forty-year old Coptic Ashraf Iskander was reportedly in a relationship with a Muslim woman. Village elders— Muslims and Christians agreed that Iskander needed to leave the village.
CBN News has learned that the woman’s father entered into a heated argument with his cousin and the cousin demanded that more be done. He insisted it was not enough for Iskander to leave the village—the woman had dishonored the family and should be killed.
The woman’s father argued that his daughter not be killed; only Iskander should be required to leave. Guns were drawn and the cousin killed the woman’s father. The woman’s brother then killed the cousin to avenge the death of the father.
Some Muslims refused to participate in he assault against Copts, saying that the Christians should be left alone--the incident was the result of an honor killing and only Iskander and his family should be punished.
At approximately 3 a.m. Saturday, a mob of several thousand Muslims attacked, burned and looted Christian homes and the Virgin Mary and St. George Church.
Sources tell CBN News police did not respond to calls for help. Firefighters were reportedly turned away and an Egyptian Army unit nearby was slow to respond.
When soldiers riding in three tanks finally arrived on the scene, some village elders insisted that everything was under control and they turned the soldiers away.
The Assyrian International News Agency reports that the Muslim mob chanted “Allahu Akbar” as it destroyed the church.
No Copts were killed in the incident. The number of homeless Christians is unknown at this time.