Since its inception in 2013, Eshhad has documented over 400 sectarian incidents occurring in Egypt on or after August 14, 2013. In the first quarter (January through March) of 2016, Eshhad recorded 15 sectarian incidents in Egypt, compared to 39 in the previous quarter (October to December 2015). In addition to the 15 new incidents recorded in the reporting period, Eshhad has added significant numbers of incidents that occurred prior to the reporting period of this quarterly report. Notably, in the previous quarter (October through December 2015), the 33 documented incidents increased to 39.
Eshhad’s quarterly reports provide an overview of the trends of sectarian incidents in the country while providing analysis of the significant developments that occur with respect to attacks, legislation and court cases, as well as representation and developments in the newly formed parliament. This report is Eshhad’s second quarterly report, covering January, February, and March of 2016. Section II discusses trends that Eshhad has identified over the past three months compared with prior quarters and/or years. Section III discusses sectarianism and security, particularly the relationship that security personnel have with minority groups in Egypt as well as what role they play in perpetrating or quelling sectarian incidents across the country. Section IV follows court developments and decisions pertaining to sectarian incidents or other forms of discrimination. Section V discusses relevant lawmaking and parliamentary affairs. Section VI tracks developments in the media pertaining to sectarianism. Finally, Section VII is a brief summary of Eshhad’s methodology and research models.
Since the last reporting period, two developments are worth noting:
- The Eshhad team has continued to add entries from previous quarters; specifically, more than 90 incidents occurring between August 14, 2013, and December 31, 2015, have been added to the database.
- MidEast Christian News (MCN), one of the most prodigious news sources reporting alleged sectarian events, suspended its operations on March 1, 2016. This contributed to a significant drop in the reporting of alleged sectarian events in Egypt, one possible factor in the lower number of incidents this quarter. (For more on Eshhad’s methodology, see Section VII.)