An Attorney and his Sons Hire a Mob of Thugs to Destroy an Historical Church in Rasheed, Egypt
An attorney of law and his two sons who are public prosecutors, accompanied by a mob of about 50 thugs attacked an historical Roman Orthodox church in Rasheed, Egypt. The attack took place on the 19th September 2008 directly after the early morning Muslim prayers.
The attorney, Mohammed Moustafa Kamel and his sons Mohammed and Mahmoud and their mob destroyed the fences around the church and ransacked the church itself destroying invaluable icons and the remains of saints that were kept in the historic building. The church gatekeeper, Ashraf Fahmy Abdalla was injured in the attack, and many shops owned by Christians next to the church were broken into and looted
In spite of the church being in close proximity to the local police station, there was no attempt made by the police to stop the attacks.
Father Luca Assaad Awad from St Mark’s church in Rasheed, and who leads prayers in the attacked Roman Orthodox church also, says he doesn’t understand the reason for the barbaric actions taken by the attackers. Mr. Mohammed Moustafa Kamel claims that he bought the almost 1300 year old church and the shops next to it from the previous Roman Orthodox bishop. The current Patriarch denies any knowledge of this sale.
It is worth noting that there has been an agreement between the Coptic Orthodox church and the Roman Orthodox church that the Copts may use the Roman Orthodox churches for prayers. Hence Father Luca has been holding mass celebrations in the historic church.
Dr. Naguib Gobrail, president of the Egyptian Association for Human Rights condemned the attacks especially that the perpetrators are law professionals whose responsibility is to uphold the law and ensure justice for all citizens. He also condemned the lack of action on the part of the police who failed to prevent this barbaric attack on a place of worship. Dr. Gobrail wonders if the attack was on a Muslim place of worship, that we would have seen such inaction.