An Egyptian school caused controversy this week when it dramatised the Sinai mosque attack of last week, with children acting as the victims and perpetrators, according toAl-Masry Al-Youm.
The school in Egypt’s Dakahlia province performed the play on Tuesday to an audience of younger students and teachers. It featured children acting as bloody corpses on the ground and as militants, depicted as holding the flags of Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Iran, implying the states were responsible for the incident.
The outrage sparked on social media has mainly centred on the school forcing children to take a stance on issues of a political and graphic nature. Education’s Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Khairi has since clarified that the department had not authorised the school to organise the play, and that the school’s director has been removed from her position.
Some 27 children were killed in last Friday’s attack, the deadliest in Egypt’s recent history that killed over 300 people and injured 128.
So far no group has claimed responsibility; however Egyptian authorities claim that the gunmen were carrying a Daesh flag.
Following the bloody attack, social media activists have launched an attack against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi criticising his “failure to provide the security to Egypt despite all the powers and authorities he had obtained”.
Egypt has been battling a Daesh insurgency since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was ousted and imprisoned in a military coup. Since then, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in attacks across Sinai, especially in the peninsula’s volatile north-eastern quadrant, which shares borders with both Israel and the besieged Gaza Strip.
Friday’s attack was a shift for Sinai militants who have mostly focused on targeting police and soldiers on the peninsula. Since December 2016 they have also begun hitting Coptic Christian churches and pilgrims on the mainland.
Following the attack, Turkey announced that Monday would be a day of national mourning with flags flying at half-mast.
The Egyptian government has been critical of Qatar, which it is boycotting, and Turkey for their alleged support of terrorism. Both states deny the accusation, but recent months have seen the two countries frequently referred to as financiers of militants in the Egyptian media.