Egyptian Muslim Sentenced to Death for Killing Coptic Christians

In the midst of all of the recent sectarian violence in Egypt, the trial of a man accused of killing six Coptic Christians and a Muslim police officer during Coptic Christmas last January finally concluded.  The man, Mohamed Ahmed Hussein, also known as Hamam Kamouni, was sentenced to death for “premeditated murder” in the drive-by shooting, which took place in southern Egypt.

This particular shooting resulted in protests from thousands of Copts.  But because southern Egypt is much less developed than the northern port cities, the recent violence in Cairo and Alexandria against Coptic Christians seems to have much more political resonance.  Last week, however, a Muslim policeman was charged with killing a Christian man on the subway in a southern Egyptian city; he will also be tried for premeditated murder. 

This smaller episode of violence followed another attack in northern Egypt on New Year’s Eve, when two dozen Coptic Christians were killed in an attack on a church in Alexandria where hundreds of people were attending mass.  The incident resulted in much renewed discussion of the extent to which the Egyptian government allows persecution of the Copts, who number about 10 percent of the Egyptian population, to continue.  Some people protested the suggestion that Egypt is rife with sectarian violence, and many Muslims stepped up to be “human shields” for Egyptian churchgoers during this year’s Coptic Christmas.

Interestingly, this attack seems to have been very personal: it was thought to be revenge for the alleged rape of a 12-year-old Muslim girl by a Christian man.  The attack in Alexandria has been couched mostly in terms of larger, more fundamental differences between Egyptian Muslims and Christians, which of course is probably not an accurate depiction of the country’s religious complexity.

Photo from Flickr.


jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Religious differences = Murder.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

RELIGION -- it's a glorious thing.

Stephanie B.
Stephanie B.5 years ago

Great, more violence.

Beth S.
Beth S.5 years ago


You bring up many points, so I’ll try to address them in the order in which you made them.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say “this was a Muslim man, who killed a specific type of Christian.” Would you mind clarifying what this means and its relevance?

When were the last two or three Christian wars where one type of Christian went to war for religious reasons?

When you say that in the USA Christians went out literally on witch hunts. When do you mean?

Do you mean to imply that there are no witch hunts in Islam? Are you aware that there are and that they are relatively current – i.e., in the past year?

“…..must not be real Muslims since they’re good people”

Close. What I am saying is that Muslims are commanded not to be friends with the Kuffar, unless it is for the purpose of spreading Islam and Taqiyya.

There are genuinely good people that are Muslim and treat other people as friends. I know some. However, they are not in compliance with the dictates of their religion.

I agree that it would be inappropriate to call you sweet.

I also agree that there are good people and bad people in all religions. But I think what you’re talking about here is how is a ‘good’ Muslim, specifically one acting in accordance with Islamic religious law vs. a person who is good by your/our standards, and who is a Muslim, but necessarily not in compliance with Islamic law. (contd)

Beth S.
Beth S.5 years ago

To Lika, pt. 2 of 3.

We also need to allow for differences in Islamic sects. For instance, if the people you are friendly with are Sufi’s, I would readily agree that that can be true, kind friends with you.

“…and there are people of all faiths that believe in the death penalty despite the "thou shall not kill" commandment.”

Are you saying that the commandment, “thou shall not kill” implies that there should be no capital punishment?

“Would you mind and not hate on other faiths?”

I am not familiar with the use of “and not hate on”. Does that mean the same thing as “do not hate” other faiths?

“I would say you are very intolerant of Islam.”

I am for mutual tolerance. The preponderance of evidence strongly shows that Islam is tolerant of other religions when it, Islam, is in the minority. The history intolerance of majority-rule Islam is largely dismal.

“Just remember, here in the States, we have freedom of religion.”

Yes, and I am very grateful. In many Islam-dominant countries, there is a mass exodus of Christians, the collapse and persecution of Christian and other communities, even though these communities pre-existed the birth of Islam.

We also have freedom of speech, for which I am very grateful. Interestingly, the OIC in the U.N. is trying to pass a binding resolution on UN-member states where it would be illegal to say anything critical of Islam, including u

Beth S.
Beth S.5 years ago

To Lika, pt. 3 of 3

“Its those of any extreme on the religious front that is hurtful and kills people”

Generally, I would agree. There are some caveats, though. For instance, when a religion commands its adherents to wreak violence on non-adherents.

“This generalization about the evils of Islam makes you appear very naive at best, and ignorant at worst on this topic.”

Lika, if you have information that somehow negates what I have, I would be very interested to learn it. Can you tell me what it is that you think that I am either naïve or ignorant about specifically?


Lika S.
Lika S.5 years ago

It seems as if we're still labeling situations. Sure this was a Muslim man, who killed a specific type of Christian. Christians have been killing fellow Christians in religious wars for centuries, just look at parts of Eastern Europe. Here in the USA, Christians went out literally on witch hunts.

Beth, to say that people may only be nominally in their faith makes it sound as if you're saying the only reason that Alan's friends must not be real Muslims since they're good people. I, too, have Muslim friends, and they are some of the dearest people I've met. And don't patronize me by calling me sweet, either. The fact of the matter is, there are good people and bad people in all religions, and there are people of all faiths that believe in the death penalty despite the "thou shall not kill" commandment.

Would you mind and not hate on other faiths? I see on your profile that you want religious tolerance, yet you're here speaking out about how the Muslims are generally bad by all these links to articles that point to the bad deeds they do. I would say you are very intolerant of Islam. Just remember, here in the States, we have freedom of religion.

Its those of any extreme on the religious front that is hurtful and kills people. This generalization about the evils of Islam makes you appear very naive at best, and ignorant at worst on this topic.

Beth S.
Beth S.5 years ago

Egypt says Palestinian Group Behind Church Attack 2011-01-24 05:37:09

In October, he sent information about the possibility of attacking three worshiping places in Egypt, including the Saints Church and sent many photos of the church to the group.

The Army of Islam group had asked him to provide their members with a place for accommodation and hire a car to facilitate their mission, but Ahmad suggested to conduct the attack traditionally by committing suicide.

Addressing the Police Day, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he will not tolerate whoever tries to undermine the national unity and to drive a wedge between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Mubarak stressed he will "not be lenient with any sectarian strife from either side" and will firmly confront the perpetrators by the law.

The president vowed to confront, defeat terrorism and track down terrorists inside and outside the country.


Beth S.
Beth S.5 years ago


The suicide bombing attack outside the al-Qiddissin (Saints) Church in Alexandria, which killed more than 21 and injured nearly one hundred, was the deadliest attack against Christians in Egypt in more than a decade, which triggered the fears of sectarian violence in the Muslim majority country.

The fatal church attack was followed by a train shooting on Jan. 11 by an Egyptian policeman, killing a Coptic Christian and injuring five others. The Egyptian Ministry of Interior reaffirmed on Saturday it was not a sectarian act.

The Army of Islam firstly appeared in 2006, when it joined Islamic Hamas movement in capturing an Israeli soldier near the Gaza Strip. A year later, Hamas took over Gaza by force and its ties with the Army of Islam sagged due to security, religious and ideological differences.

The group was behind the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, a BBC reporter in Gaza, in 2007.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman5 years ago