Last Saturday, Egyptian police arrested four students for investigation after a YouTube video mocking Christian rituals and prayers was released.
Posted on the 31st January, the uncivil video was filmed in Sharqia and included a sarcastic imitation of Coptic hymns.
After the video got viral, Egyptian forces were able to identify the location of the four students and arrest them in the area of Abu Hammad of Eastern Province.
According to an official statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, the four individuals included a student from Al-Azhar’s institute in Sharqia, under the name “Moustafa Fakhry”, and another from the 6th of October religious institute.
The statement included that the young men removed the video after realizing the severity of the situation and anticipating serious consequences.
Following their arrest, another video came out where the students deeply apologized for what they did. They stated that the video was merely for laughs, with no intention of offending the Christian community. They even claimed it was inspired by the satirical posts that pervade social media in general, and Facebook in specific. However, authorities are considering necessary legal actions against the accused students.
According to Al-Ahram, Al-Azhar University officials have referred their student “Moustafa” to a disciplinary committee to take necessary action. They have also denied that he has any connection with the Ministry of Religious Endowments officials in Sharqia, as claimed by some on social media.
The video stirred anger, especially among Christian Egyptians, who felt offended by such disdain and lack of awareness of their religion and its holiness.