Sectarian Tensions After the Disappearance of a Coptic Handicapped Girl

Sectarian Tensions After the Disappearance of a Coptic Handicapped Girl

By | 2009-01-27T18:18:00+00:00 January 27th, 2009|News|0 Comments

Bishop Warns: Security Authorities' Discriminatory Attitude Threatens Social Sacredness!

Copts rallied to express their anger in front of Naga Hammadi archbishopric in reaction to the disappearance of a Coptic handicapped girl. Her family accuses a Muslim man of abducting and exploiting her. The crowd chanted, demanding the return of the girl to her family, and the perpetrator, who exploited the young girl’s physical and mental disability, to be brought to justice.

They condemned the negative attitude of the security authorities which has not taken any measure to reveal the whereabouts of the couple, despite the man’s disappearance from the town of Qena, where he lives.

According to Boutros-Makram Luka, the girl’s brother, his 22-year-old sister, Mariam, went out at 6 AM on Sunday morning, walking on her crutches, to attend prayers at church, but failed to return home. Later they discovered that she has absconded after taking her golden jewelry with her.

After unsuccessfully searching for her everywhere, they filed a report with the police, naming as suspect Ibrahim Abdel-Hadi, 42-year-old, married, a restaurant worker.

Luka commented that his sister suffers from multiple ailments, among which is a defective heart valve, partial paralysis after suffering a stroke, walks on crutches, is mentally retarded and is under psychiatric treatment, and that he has all the medical reports to support his claims.

He demanded the return of his sister and the arrest of the perpetrators who tricked his sister, adding that the prosecution is neglecting them to the extent that they did not even call for the family to complete their investigation of the incident, and have just recorded what his other brother Romani, said to them.

The brother also said that it is so unfair and cruel to take advantage of an afflicted girl, emphasizing that all what the Muslims are aiming at, is conversions to Islam, and that his sister would be just an increase in the number of Muslims, although she does not comprehend what she is doing. He wonders whether a religion is assessed according to the number of gained adherents, despite their metal incapacity.

Anba Kirillos, Bishop of Naga Hammadi, commented on the disappearance of the girl, saying that she suffers physical and psychological disabilities and what this man has committed is both immoral and contrary to all social values; he played games with the feelings of an unstable girl and took advantage of her.

He also complained of the attitude of the police which he described as being ‘very negative’, in addition to their refusal to record any submitted proof of the girl’s handicaps, to enable the man to evade punishment, All what the security authorities did was to advise the accused man’s family to close their pizza parlor for a few days for fear of Coptic anger, provide protection for him, and reproach the taking place of the Coptic rally at the archbishopric, to express their anger at the disappearance of the girl. The security do not appreciate this, and all what is now essential for them, is to prevent the Copts from demonstrating, which is asking for the impossible. "One cannot prevent a family from demanding the return of their daughter. Or the Copts from supporting them especially that this is not the first time they attempt to entice Coptic girls. How many times warning was given as to the seriousness of these actions on the safety of the community, national unity, and social peace, and this is what the security should understand and comprehend" commented the Bishop.

Article based on a report by Nader Shoukry/Copts United