A man who admitted to an attempt to slaughter a Copt, and who was referred to court on 18 January 2020, had his case adjourned to 27 January.
Muhammad Awad, 32, a bearded Muslim, had on the evening of 14 January 2020 approached the Copt Rafiq Karam, 56, who was then sitting at the vehicle paintshop which he owns in the district of al-Marg, northeast Cairo. Cursing Christians and branding them “sons of Lot”, Mr Awad tried to slit Mr Karam’s throat with a cutter, and ended up causing him a 7-centimetre gash from the ear to the front of his throat. Locals rushed to move Mr Karam to hospital where his wound was stitched and he was given the necessary treatment.
Mr Awad caught and handed to the police. He admitted to attempting to kill Mr Karam who he said he did not personally know, but hated him for being a Christian. Copts, he said, were “sinful sons of Lot” who warranted execution according to Islamic hudoud. Hudoud are legal Islamic penalties that must be meted for certain crimes; in this case, according to Mr Awad, the penalty was death. Mr Awad said he hated “al-Nassara” which literally means Nazarenes and is commonly used as a derogatory term to denote Christians. He said he never knew Mr Karam, but assaulted him on account of his infidel Christian religion.
Al-Marg prosecution directly referred Mr Awad to al-Marg Misdemeanours Court, and the case is now due to be seen tomorrow 27 January following adjournment on 18 January.
Lawyer Ihab Attiya Youssef who represents Mr Karam said that he would contest the referral of the case to the Misdemeanour’s Court, since it was, according to the defendant’s confession, a case of intended murder. As such, Mr Youssef said, it should be seen by the Criminal Court.
A few days earlier, on 11 January, another fanatic Muslim had attempted to slit the throat of a Coptic woman in the Giza district of al-Warraq. The woman, Catrine Ramzy, in her late forties and a mother of four daughters, was walking on the street to shop for household needs when a man in a white jilbab passed her. The next thing she knew he was holding her from the back, covering her eyes with his hand, and trying to slit her throat with a cutter, saying that she should know better than to leave her hair uncovered [meaning he was killing her because she was not wearing the Islamic headscarf]. It was a very cold evening, and Ms Ramzy was wearing a thick shawl around her neck; it was this that saved her life. Her assailant, Mamdouh Ramadan, 38, apparently sensing he could not get any further with the cutter, pushed her away and started to flee. But Ms Ramzy called on the passers-by to catch him; they saw the blood the had started trickling down her throat and rushed to her help, while others caught Mr Ramadan and handed him to the police.
Ms Ramzy had to have 63 stitches in her throat. She is mending, and have been talking to the media.
Official investigations revealed that Mr Ramadan suffers mental and psychological problems, and has been in and out of mental hospitals since 2006. Two years ago, he attempted to slit the throat of another Coptic woman, and spent 11 months in prison. He did a number of attempts at self- destruction, but survived. He is in police custody, and the prosecution is awaiting a medical report on whether or not he could be held responsible for his assault of Ms Ramzy.
26 January 2020