Muslims in Egypt set fire to a Christian church in Fayoum Province over the weekend, the second such assault against the village's Coptic Christian population in just more than a month.
The backlash, which includes self-defense courses for women and even threats of violent retaliation, is fueled by ultraconservative Islamists who suggest that women invite assault by attending anti-government protests where they mix with men.
Egypt is on high alert, as protesters have begun rallying in remembrance of the second anniversary of ex-president Hosni Mubarak's ouster, according to various media.
Thousands of protesters denouncing Egypt's Islamist president marched on his palace in Cairo on Friday, clashing with security forces firing tear gas and water cannons in the eighth day of the country's wave of political violence.
Ousted President Hosni Mubarak watched the uprising against him unfold through a live TV feed to his palace, despite his denial that he knew the extent of the protests and crackdown against them, a member of a fact-finding mission said Wednesday. The finding could lead to the retrial of the 84-old former leader, already serving a life sentence.
Thousands of Egyptian protesters marched on the presidential palace and Cairo's downtown Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest a contentious Islamist-backed draft constitution, after the country's Justice Ministry ordered a probe into allegations of widespread voting irregularities during Saturday's first round of voting on the document.
Egypt's judges Tuesday said that most of them would not oversee a nationwide referendum on a contentious draft constitution, as tens of thousands of opponents and supporters of the country's Islamist president staged rival rallies in Cairo, four days ahead of the vote.
Egypt's political crisis deepened over the weekend, as judges shut down the country's highest court Sunday after crowds of Islamists backing the government surrounded the courthouse.
More than 100,000 protesters took to the streets in Egypt vowing to stop a draft constitution that Islamist allies of President Mohammed Morsi approved early Friday in a rushed, all-night session without the participation of liberals and Christians.