Religious vigilantes claim to have killed student in Suez

Religious vigilantes claimed responsibility for the death of a Student in Suez on Facebook Monday, after attacking him for walking with his fiancée.

The student passed away in Ismailia University Hospital, the state newspaper Al-Akhbar reported.

Suez security chief had received reports that Ahmed Hussein Eid, an engineering student, died of stabbing wounds.

Al-Akhbar said that victim, a 20-year-old engineering student, was walking with his fiancée and cousin towards a minibus stop in the Arbaeen neighborhood, when three bearded men wearing white Galabeyas on a motorcycle stopped him.

They asked him about the girl accompanying him. When he told him that she is his fiancée, they warned him against walking with her because it is "haram, and it is an abomination.” The student shouted in their faces and told them that he is free to do what he wants and it is none of their business.

One of the three men then stabbed him in the groin with a knife and they ran away with their motorcycle.

The Facebook page “Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Authority” that adopts the Saudi model for religious police, who search for those violating Sharia, said on Monday that they are responsible for the killing of the student. The page said that the killed student was standing with a woman and they were advising him not to do that. But the student insulted them and they later attacked him with the knife, killing him.

The victim did now know the men, according to his father, who Al-Akhbar said suffered a nervous breakdown after hearing of his son’s death.

The incident comes amid increasing reports of attacks against individuals by some religious men. Last week two middle-aged men were killed by “bearded people” because they work for a musical group.

Some commentators argue that these attacks are driven by people who thought that the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy to the presidency is a chance to adopt strict interpretations of Sharia.

On Sunday, some human rights organizations, political parties and public figures called on Morsy to take urgent measures against violence toward women, calling on him to safeguard their dignity and the security of the society as a whole.

Morsy has said that security authorities will stringently deal with groups seeking to impose religious discipline in an extremist manner.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Morsy said he completely rejects practices by extremist groups seeking to apply the Islamic concept of “hisba,” which is related to the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice.

Though Morsy did not refer to a specific incident, his remarks coincided with the murder of the student.

The victim’s brother, Mohamed, told the same newspaper that the murderers stopped Ahmed and his fiancée and told him that she should not walk alone with him without a “mahram,” a woman’s father, brother, or son. When Ahmed shunned them, they stabbed him with a metal object, he said.

Meanwhile, Jama'a al-Islamiya in Suez denied any links to the murder in a statement late Monday.

“Reports circulated by satellite channels about Jama'a al-Islamiya’s involvement are intentional lies and part of a campaign led by checkbook media hosts against the Islamist mainstream,” it said.

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