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Egypt Casino Attacks Blamed On Islamists
February 19th, 2011 Author: S. Taylor
Following Egypt President Hosni Mubarak’s forced resignation from office a week ago, one of the biggest concern was that religious groups would gain control in the country before democracy even had a chance to grow.
Although still early days, a series of targeted attacks on some of Cairo’s most famous casinos has signalled a possible shift to religious intolerance in Egypt’s troubled capital city.
Over a week’s period, the Europa, the Arizona, the Andalous, the Gandool and the Ramses have all come under attack by gangs of rioters hell bent on destroying these businesses.
For instance, on Tuesday the Europa Egypt hotel was attacked by “about 1,000 young guys” who either destroyed or pillaged property from the establishment, while a little earlier the Ramses casino was firebombed causing two fatalities.
As these attacks continue, “the ones with the beards”, as a policeman described them, were largely being blamed for the attacks on casinos labelled “dens of vice” by Muslim theologians.
As quoted by the Financial Times, the policeman then went on to explain: “We are all religious, its just that some of the people in our society, a narrow current of them, take this to an extreme. They destroy anyone who is not like them. They have been using the chaos to their advantage.”
In the Islamic faith playing games is fine but as far as money is concerned, it is decreed “There should be no prizes except for contests in archery, camel-racing or horse-racing.”
Consequently, the Islamic Sunni transnational movement known as The Muslim Brothers is being seen as a possibly perpetrator of the attacks in an attempt to enforce their religious agenda on the country.
However, the group’s Cairo spokesman Essam al Erian was keen to dispel the rumours and said they were not responsible and that it was probably anti-revolution police trying to stir up sectarian violence.
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As the situation in Egypt threatens to escalate, outside observers are left wondering just who is responsible and exactly which direction the people’s revolution in Egypt will eventually head.