A murder crime rocked Cairo last week when a Coptic man who lives in the district of Amiriya west of Cairo, Ramy Atef, 35, shot to death his Muslim neighbour Ahmed Salah, 25, who had married Atef’s sister Mariam, 22, some three years ago. Mariam was injured as was her two-year-old daughter; both were moved to hospital and doctors say their conditions are improving.
Salah’s funeral saw an outpouring of Muslim rage against the Copts; his family harshly rejected condolences from any Coptic neighbours, and threatened to avenge their son’s blood. Atef was caught by the police last Thursday and, together with his father, are detained.
Father Girgis Nathan of Amiriya church condemned the murder act, and told Watani that Mariam Atef had converted and married Salah three years ago. They then came and lived in a flat next door to her parents which, considering the prevalent social norms, was a flagrant provocation. Father Girgis said he had gone to the head of the security authority in Amiriya and drew attention to the explosive situation, following which Salah and his wife moved for a few months but were later back again.
It is hoped that the situation does not degenerate into outright sectarian violence.