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October 12, 2006

Egypt: Christian Girl Escapes Muslim Kidnappers

Laurence Wagih Emil.jpgAn attempt at "kidnap conversion" in Egypt goes wonderfully awry:

... An Egyptian Christian teenager escaped her Muslim kidnappers last week hours after they had drugged her on a public bus. While holding her captive, they threatened to rape her and convert her to Islam if her family did not leave their Nile Delta city of El-Mahala el-Kobra.

... At 10 p.m. last Tuesday (October 3), Laurence Wagih Emil, 15, escaped the ground-floor room where she was being held in Cairo's southern Helwan suburb while her captors were away breaking their Ramadan fast with an evening meal.

The girl asked Helwan area residents to help her contact her parents in El-Mahala el-Kobra, 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Cairo. Earlier that day, El-Mahala el-Kobra Christian community had staged a demonstration, 1,000 strong, to demand Emil's immediate recovery.

... The girl's aunt and uncle, residents of Cairo, immediately drove to Helwan to locate her, but they were forced to wait at the SSI station while police met with Emil from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Wednesday (October 4).

According to Emil, the officers were friendly and offered her a sandwich and a soft drink. But 15 minutes later, she said, she was unable to move though fully conscious.

"You should say that you took the bus to Tahrir Square [located in central Cairo] and met a guy named Fady, who took you to sleep at his house with his mother," Emil said police told her. "Say that; otherwise you won't see your parents again."

... "If Laurence went to Cairo with a friend as police claim, how could this have threatened Egyptian State Security in any way, and why was Mr. Sa'ad detained for two days?" asked Watani writer Nader Shukry in an October 8 article.

Shukry reported that 12 Christian girls under the age of 21, the age of majority for most legal transactions other than conversion, have disappeared in 2006. The list includes 17-year-old Dina Amin, who disappeared from her family's home in El-Mahala el-Kobra on the same day as Laurence Emil.

Read the rest of this incredible story of attempted "kidnap and rape conversion" and the death threats to her family. From the article we learn that to many Christians in Egypt, Laurence's case appears to be clear evidence of police complicity in the kidnapping of Christian girls. Apparently Coptic Christians make up at least 10 percent of the Egyptian population, and while it is illegal for Egypt's Muslims to convert to Christianity, "kidnap conversions" to Islam have long been the subject of protests by Christians in Egypt.

Hat tip - Dhimmi Watch

Posted by Richard at October 12, 2006 12:56 PM

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