42. Conventional reconciliation sessions and Copts

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Article summary: 
The following presents a review of a book on the conventional reconciliation sessions usually held to resolve sectarian tensions in Egypt as a way of dealing with the issue.
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Al-Fāris presents a review of a book entitled ‘Tansur al-Jānī wa Tadhas al-Dahīyah; Jalasāt al-Sulhal-‘Urfīyah wa al-Aqbāt’ [Copts and the Conventional Reconciliation Sessions that Defend the Adverse and Crash the Victim] by William Wīsā.
The book is published by Watanī, prepared by Nādir Shukrī, introduced by Nabīl ‘Abd al-Fattāh with a critic’s opinion presented by Nabīl ‘Adlī.
The book starts with al-Kushh attack against Christians that resulted in the killing of 21 Copts. The author criticizes the court’s ruling that proved the suspects innocent and did not publish anybody.
The second incident is the crime of Banī Wālmis in 2002 where a number of the Muslim youth of the village broke into a church and stoned the people there. They also climbed the church’s steeples and took off the crosses. The incidents were followed by riots; 13 arsons were committed; 50 people were arrested and all of them were released later as innocent after a conventional reconciliation session.
The same scenario was repeated in 2003 in Jarzā in al-‘Ayyāt in Giza [Reviewer: now called 6 of October ] that received little media attention.
The author of the book also notes the incidents of Manqatīn village in Samallūt in 2004, the incidents of Kafr Salāmah in 2005 and al-‘Udaysāt and ‘izbat Wāsif in 2006, Bamhās, al-Rawdah, Jabal al-Tayr and Isnā in 2007, al-Nazlah, Tāmīyah, al-Tayyibah in 2008, ‘Izbat Bushrá, ‘Izbat Girgis, al-Faqā‘ī, ‘Izbat Bāsīlyus, Hijārah and Abū Fānā Monastery in 2009. [Reviewer: The incidents of Abū Fanā took place in 2008, although the case was completely closed in 2009].
According to the book the law was buried in all those “ugly incidents,” where conventional reconciliation sessions were held instead of letting the law resolve the cases.
The book warns about the possibility of the repetition of such a scenario in the case of Naj‘ Hammādī, especially after the detention of a number of Copts upon the angry demonstrations of Copts of Naj‘ Hammādī after the attacks. Usually the scenario starts with the arrest of a number of Copts whose families surrender and accept reconciliation sessions as a condition to release their detained family members.
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