Dozens protest against Egypt Coptic bishop statements

CAIRO- Dozens of Egyptian Muslims gathered outside a Cairo mosque on Friday to protest against a senior Coptic Christian bishop who cast doubt on the authenticity of some verses of the Koran.
Around 150 men gathered outside the Al-Fath mosque in central Cairo after Friday prayers calling for an Islamic state and condemning statements by Bishop Bishoy, a security official told AFP.

"They were very angry about some of Bishop Bishoy's statements," the official said, adding that the demonstration ended quickly without incident.
Bishoy, secretary of the Coptic Church's Holy Synod, angered Muslims last week when he said that certain verses of the Koran contradicted Christian faith and were added into the holy book after the death of Prophet Mohammed by one of his successors.
Muslims believe the Koran was handed down to Mohammed verbatim by the Archangel Gabriel over a period of around 23 years.
In statements carried by many local papers, Bishoy reportedly also said that Muslims were "guests of the Christians," because Christians were the original inhabitants of Egypt.
"Bishoy, Muslims are not your guests," the demonstrators shouted at the Friday demonstration.
On Sunday, Pope Shenuda III, the head of the Coptic Church, said he was "very sorry that the feelings of our Muslim brethren have been hurt" following Bishoy's comments.
Copts make up six to 10 percent of Egypt's 80 million predominantly Muslim population and complain of systematic discrimination and marginalisation.

Saturday, October 2nd 2010

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