Egyptian Christian who sold alcohol murdered in apparent Islamist attack

Published January 4th, 2017 - 10:59 GMT
Moments before the fatal attack, captured on CCTV (screenshot)
Moments before the fatal attack, captured on CCTV (screenshot)

An Egyptian Christian who worked selling alcohol has been murdered in an apparently Islamist attack, according to local reports.

A “bearded man” slit Yusuf Lama’a’s throat as he sat smoking a shisha pipe in front of his shop in the northern coastal city of Alexandria. The incident was captured on the store's security cameras, and security forces have since been able to identify the killer as Adel Abdel Nour al-Said Suleiman, al-Tahrir news reported yesterday.

Local police have so far suggested that the incident was not religiously motivated, but rather the result of a disagreement between the two parties.

However, one member of Egypt’s Coptic minority alleged that the attack was carried out by a “Salafi”, indicating that the Islamic religious leaders in Alexandria often put pressure on local shops selling alcohol to close during Ramadan and the five daily prayers. In the Facebook post below, Michael Armanuous also suggested that the murder was premeditated and that the killer waited for Lama’a to leave his home, before attacking him in front of his children.

Others have suggested that the episode was an act of “hisba” or the extrajudicial enforcement of Islamic law:

Many have taken to social media to condemn the attack, sharing shocking footage of the killing. One Facebook user wrote “Oh God! You have no religion, and you do not know our God. May God take revenge.” Another commented “Horrible what happens in Egypt!”

The killing of an alcohol vendor in Alexandria. It reminded me of the murder of the woman in Fiyaum (who was killed for converting for Christianity) in 2015. We are living in a time of backwards people who think that they have God-given right to judge others.

This is not the first attack against Egypt’s Coptic community in recent times. Twenty-five were killed last month when Cairo’s Coptic Cathedral was bombed in an act later claimed by Daesh. Christians make up around five percent of the Egyptian population, or around four million people.

RA

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