The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.
Alexandria’s Coptic Christians Suffer from Violent Hate Crime
12/15/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on December 10, 2020, three extremists attacked Coptic Christians living in Alexandria (al-Wardyan district), Egypt. This resulted in the murder of one Christian man, the injuries of two, and significant damage to three Christian shops.
A relative of the victim explained about the attack’s instigator, “The extremist was in jail because of so many cases. Usually he was bothering Copts and bullying them so much. His mother was sick and she died on the night of December 10. He left his mother’s body, revealed his swords, and attacked three Coptic shops. He broke the goods and insulted the Copts. Then he slaughtered one Coptic man named Ramsis Bouls Hermina, stabbed his brother named Adel, then attacked a clothes shop owned by Tarek Fawzi Shenouda.”
Ramsis died as a result of the injury to his neck. Adel and Tarek both received treatment in the hospital. The Bishop of the West Alexandria Churches further stated, “Ramsis Bouls Hermina, owner of a plastic shop, was injured in his neck and stabbed in his left side of his belly. He was moved to the hospital and then died there. Adel Bouls Hermina, owner of an accessories shop, was tied by one of thugs and another stabbed him in his left side of his belly. Adel was moved to the hospital and is still alive. Tarek Fawzi Shenouda, owner of a clothes shop, was hit by thugs with a club weapon and stabbed in his chest near the heart. He was moved to the hospital and is still alive.”
Nasser Ahmed Muhammed, who goes by the name al-Sambo, and his two brothers, Ali and Anwar, instigated the attack. They have a history of frequent disputes with the Christian shop owners on their street. Sambo has a criminal record for thuggery and escalated his harassment of Christian shop owners following his parole, believing that they testified against him. When the mother of the three died on December 10, they blamed the Christians and carried out the attack.
Although arrests were made, local Christians have expressed fear that the extremists will be declared mentally ill and thus not receive the full punishment according to the law. This fear is based on an established pattern of Egypt using claims of mental illness to reduce the penalties of those who attack Christians. While acts of violence against Christians are commonplace in Egypt, it is noteworthy that this incident occurred in Alexandria, where sectarian tensions are normally subtler in comparison to Upper Egypt.
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “The Christian community in Egypt is not okay, despite messaging from the authorities to the contrary. This tragedy not only shows the dangers Christians must navigate in Egyptian society, but also the hopelessness among Christians that help will come in the form of justice. Persecution is more than violent cases; it is also about how the authorities respond to these injustices. We mourn with the families of the victims, but also join with the voices of the broader community in asking the authorities: When will Christians in Egypt be equally protected under the law?”