A man who admitted to an attempt to slaughter a Copt, and who was referred to the Misdemeanours Court has been referred to the Criminal Court instead.
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 was 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, but
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.
Mr Youssef’s contest was accepted, and the case is now before the Cairo Criminal Court.
12 February 2020