Al-Azhar University Hospital,held the body of a Christian-born Muslim convert for three days, refusing to hand it over to his Coptic family because they are not allowed to bury a Muslim.
He died as a Muslim after being a born-Christian. The crucial point was he died in the Al Azhar Hospital’s intensive care unit.
Christian-born Mohammed Abdullah decided some time ago to turn to Islam and moved to live in Mataria district, Greater Cairo, next to his Christian nephew, who had an understanding for his uncle’s position, and both enjoyed an amicable relationship between them for years.
When Muhammad fell ill, his nephew and his Muslim neighbors took him to the Al-Hussein University Hospital, and both parties cared for him while he was there. His condition worsened and eventually he passed away.
The following morning Mohamad’s nephew went to receive the body of the deceased from the morgue, but Al-Azhar University Hospital refused and insisted that any of his Muslim relatives could do that.
He ensured the hospital that his uncle had no Muslim relatives and pledged to bury him in a Muslim cemetery; but the hospital administration insisted on its rejection.
Mohamad’s Muslim neighbors offered to receive the body, but the hospital refused as they were suspicious of them of colluding with the Christian family
Two days after his death, Mohamad’s corpse was still locked up in one of the drawers in the morgue’s fridge, because of the intransigence of the hospital management.
Everyone decided to go to the police in an attempt to release the body of the deceased.. no one cared anymore about the religion of the ‘corpse’
retained in the morgue’s fridge.
A delegation from the two parties went to the police.. One Muslim and one Christian Ahmed Jibril and Atef Fahmy.
The police Commissioner had to draw in the State Security Investigation, which asked him to file a report, in which both parties accused the hospital administration of sectarianism.
Officials from the State security and Al-Azhar University intervened with the hospital which finally agreed to hand over the body to the Muslims neighbors after pledging to bury the deceased in the Muslim cemeteries.
After three days of negotiations, the body left the hospital with dozens of Muslims and Christians demonstrating, angry at the intolerance of the hospital administration.