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Melilla: Muslims Mock Virgin Mary and Start Fight During Holy Week Procession
by Cheradenine Zakalwe
The solemnity and devotion of the night of Good Friday was tarnished in Melilla by a fight which provoked scenes of panic between penitents of the Virgin de la Soledad [Our Lady of Solitude] and the public who were watching this procession, one of the most popular during Holy Week in the autonomous city. According to the official version of events, reflected in the statement of the National Police, the public disorder started with mocking and contemptuous comments made by four young Muslims who were dining in the terrace of a bar in the centre of Melilla and, it seems, were the worse for wear due to the consumption of alcohol. The four have been arrested and a family has now filed a complaint against them, which the Agrupación de Cofradías de Melilla [Association of (Holy Week) Fraternities of Melilla] is considering joining.
It all started at around quarter past eleven in the night, when the Solitude procession passed in front of the bar, whose terrace is located in a small street a few metres from the synagogue Or Zaruah. The young men made some contemptuous comment about the Virgin, an attitude which was rebuked by a family that was close to them and able to hear the insults directed at the religious image. But far from retracting them, those have now been detained continued with their mockery. It was then that a fight started, lighting the fuse of general disorder.
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