Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article first appeared on Coptic Solidarity.
A Muslim man attempted to slaughter a Coptic Christian woman with a sickle in the village of Sharona, Minya governorate, Egypt.
According to a June 15 report, Qassim Falah Muhammad attacked Mona Wafdi Marzouk, 35, as she was walking to her family farm early in the morning to assist her sick and ailing father. Muhammad crept up behind her and began to strangle her; then, according to the report, “he grabbed a sickle [a sharp tool used for cutting weeds] and tried to slaughter her with it.” Luckily, the sickle had dulled over the years and did not fully slice though the arteries of her neck.
Muhammad then fled the scene, as reported by Mona’s cousin, Makari, who saw the incident from a distance and ran to the butchered woman’s aid. He and other family members instantly transferred her to the nearest medical center, where she received seven stitches to her neck.
Although she survived, “Mona lives in a state of terror and panic after the harsh experience of this extremist person.”
While it is unclear why Muhammad targeted Mona, it is clear and well established that he hates Christians and has targeted them before. In fact, the day before he tried to slaughter Mona, he invaded the home of another Copt in the same village and robbed him of his money and other possessions.
In response to a police investigation, Muhammad’s family instantly produced a certificate indicating that he is “mentally ill”—a tactic on regular display in Egypt whenever a Muslim is caught after attacking a Christian, to get him the most lenient sentencing. But as the report notes,
“If he is mentally ill, why does he exclusively target Copts? Is it sensible to promote the ‘psychopath’ narrative in every single incident against the Copts—as if the mentally ill only see and try to kill Copts?”
This is hardly the first time a fanaticized Muslim man ambushes a Coptic Christian woman in Egypt. In an earlier, and eerily reminiscent, incident from 2020, a Muslim man crept up behind a Coptic woman walking home with groceries, pulled her head back with a hand full of hair, and slit her throat with a knife in his other hand. In this instance, Catherine Ramzi, who was also rushed to a nearby medical center, received 63 stitches to her throat; doctors told her she came within an inch of dying. It is believed that her Muslim would-be murderer—who was, incidentally, also portrayed by Egyptian media as “mentally ill”—may have identified her as a Christian for not wearing a hijab around her hair or for having a cross tattoo on her wrist.
Also, in April, 2021, a Muslim man butchered a Coptic woman and her toddler son with a machete—“as if he were slaughtering chickens,” said eyewitnesses. He also tried to slaughter the Christian woman’s young daughter, who managed to flee.