Hard-line Salafi Muslims cut off Copt's ear, terrorize his family.
A judge in Upper Egypt has dismissed all charges against a group of Salafi Muslims who cut off the ear of a Christian in a knife attack and tried to force him to convert.
The Salafists, who say they base their religion on the practices of the first three generations of Muslims after Muhammad, had falsely accused 46-year-old Ayman Anwar Metry of having an affair with a Muslim woman, the Christian told Compass. On April 22 the judge exonerated the assailants only after Metry, under intense pressure in a "reconciliation meeting," agreed to drop charges, said his attorney, Asphoure Wahieb Hekouky.
"Him dropping the case and accepting the reconciliation meeting is shameful," Hekouky said of the Egyptian justice system.
The same Salafi Muslims who attacked Metry terrorized him and his family for a year, Hekouky said.
On the afternoon of March 20, 2011, in Qena, in the province of the same name, a group of about 20 Salafi Muslims attacked Metry. Earlier that day, someone had set fire to an unoccupied rental apartment he owned in the city.
While waiting in another part of the city for workman to arrive to fix a metal door on the burned-out unit, two men approached Metry and convinced him that he needed to go back to the remains of his apartment. After his arrival, the Salafi Muslims pounced on him. They accused him of having an inappropriate relationship with one of his former female tenants and began beating him.
"I didn't know that there were any more of them than the two who were talking nicely to me at the beginning, so I was shocked when I went with them to the flat," Metry said. "There were 20 more waiting for me there, and they caught me and started beating me up."
The men interrogated Metry as they beat him, demanding he "confess" to the affair and tell them where the woman was. Metry said he told them he didn't do anything wrong and didn't know where the woman was, but the Salafists were able to find her and brought her to the charred apartment.
They demanded that the woman admit to an affair of some sort, but, like Metry, she said they had never been romantically involved. Then the men broke into two groups; one set upon the woman, and the other began beating Metry. During the beating, the men restrained Metry, took a knife and began sawing open the back of his neck. They told the woman that they would kill him if she didn't say she had had some type of affair with him. She did as they ordered.
Metry said his attackers demanded he say the Shahada, the Islamic creed for conversion, and that when he refused, they cut off his ear.
Covered with puddles of his blood, the apartment looked like a slaughterhouse, Metry said.
"If you saw how I looked then ... My shirt, if you squeezed it, it dripped an unbelievable amount of blood. With all the blood that was on the floor, it looked like there was a sheep slaughtered there," he said. "They thought that I was dead, so then they called the police and said, 'We took our sharia [Islamic law] rights, now you come and take your civil rights from him.'"
The police came and took Metry and the woman to the hospital. The two, along with a Muslim friend of Metry's who witnessed the attack and happens to be a police officer, were then taken into police custody.
"Officer Khaled was with me and worked hard to help me - he witnessed the whole thing and he testified at the police station," Metry said. "Also, the girl came to the police and said that there was nothing between me and her. She said that the Salafi men forced her to say there was."
Somehow the Salafists found out what the woman said to police, and when officers released the woman after questioning, the hard-line Muslims caught up with her, Metry said.
"Then when they heard that the girl didn't say what they wanted her to say, they beat her up again and broke one of her fingers and threatened her and told her if she didn't change what she said at the police station, they would kidnap her sister," Metry said.
None of the Salafi Muslims who committed the attack were arrested.
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SOURCE: Compass Direct News