Demand Security Amidst Rising Attacks
01/04/2017 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern): International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 2, 2017, an Islamic radical killed a Christian shopkeeper outside of his own store in the popular Montazah District of Alexandria. Youssef Lamei was smoking a pipe outside of his shop when he was brutally murdered. The perpetrator, reportedly a 48-year-old Salafist, yelled out “Allah Akbar” when he cut Lamei’s throat.
“The killing of my brother was planned and carried out accurately as the killer visited the shop many times before committing the crime and knew that my brother used to sit in this place,” Nasef Lamei, Youssef’s brother, told ICC.
Youssef was known as a peaceful man who politely obliged to demands from Muslims in the neighborhood in previous encounters. According to his brother, Youssef agreed to close his shop for the whole month of Ramadan as to not offend his neighbors. He was even known to close his shop during the five daily Muslim prayers.
“He would obey them to prevent any trouble from occurring,” Nasef told ICC.
Tony, Youssef’s son was inside the shop when his father was killed.
“I’m grieving for the loss of my father; he was slain in front of my sight,” Tony Youssef told ICC. “I’m sad that we live in a country that doesn’t have the security and safety…He was my father, friend, everything sweet in my life.”
The man responsible was arrested early Wednesday morning near the Al-Montazah police station in eastern Alexandria. This shocking attack comes less than a month after one of the deadliest attacks against Christians in Egypt, during which 27 Christians were killed in the bombing of St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo on December 11, 2016.William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We are deeply concerned and saddened by the news of Youssef Lamei’s death. Sectarian crime in Egypt has spiraled out of control with continued property destruction, terrorist attacks, and now murders. Christians cannot continue to live in fear in their own countries. ICC condemns the killing and grieves with the Lamei family. The Egyptian authorities must do more to curtail such hate crimes and ensure equal protection under the law, regardless of an individual’s religious identity.