Egypt prosecutor-general restores disputed land to Coptic church
[al Ahram] Egyptian Prosecutor-General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud officially restored possession of a parcel of land owned by Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo's Shubra Al-Kheima district to Bishop Morcos, Coptic Bishop of Shubra Al-Kheima, after the land was briefly occupied by Salafist Mohammedans earlier this week.

After entering the land illegally on Monday, a group of Salafists
...Salafists are ostentatiously devout Moslems who figure the ostentation of their piety gives them the right to tell others how to do it and to kill those who don't listen to them...
erected a sign bearing the words 'Al-Rahma Mosque' and performed Islamic prayers on the premises.

The Salafists only left when church authorities informed the interior ministry of the incident. Security forces took down the sign on Tuesday morning.

Subject to disputes between Mohammedans and Coptic-Christians, the land in question was formally restored to the latter after investigations by the prosecutor-general's office confirmed Bishop Morcos' ownership of the land.

Mahmoud also ordered police to adopt any security measures necessary to protect the disputed land.

In a statement to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website, Bishop Marcos expressed his gratitude to Mahmoud for the latter's swift response to the incident, saying the prosecutor-general's actions indicated his impartiality.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian Coptic Coalition issued a statement holding President Mohamed Morsi responsible for the episode and urging him to impose harsher punishments for such incidents. The group also called for an investigation into Monday's episode.

In an earlier statement, Egypt's Maspero Copts Youth United also denounced the incident, attributing it to the state's failure to respond to earlier outbreaks of sectarian violence, including the burning of Christian churches in the wake of last year's Tahrir Square uprising.

Posted by: Fred 2012-11-09