Christian Girls In Egypt Live In Fear of Being Abducted
"We don't know if our daughter is still alive," Magda told ICC during a recent visit to Egypt. "We haven't seen or heard from her in five years... Her kidnapper called us and said she was dead and buried."
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Mary disappeared in June 2007, but to her mother, Magda, it feels like only yesterday that she was sleeping peacefully in her own bed under the loving care of her parents. For those who lose a child, as Magda had, the pain never goes away.
"There were no warning signs. There was nothing we could do, but the guilt doesn't go away. If only we could have known [what would happen]," Magda explained while fighting back tears.
The abduction took place on an ordinary Thursday evening. After school, Mary went out with friends for pizza and a movie. While sipping cocoa at a restaurant, Mary began to feel dizzy and sick. "You go ahead and go home," said Nahla, a Muslim girl. "The rest of us want to go to the cinema." Nahla was new to Mary's group of friends; they had only known her a few weeks.
Mary left the group to catch a bus home alone. This was the last time her friends would see her. No one knows what happened next, but Mary was gone.
Mary's friends and parents believe Nahla had something to do with it; perhaps she was an accomplice to Mary's abductors who put drugs in Mary's drink. Although this suspicion has yet to be confirmed, after Mary's disappearance, Nahla was nowhere to be found.
Mary's parents stayed up throughout the night waiting anxiously for their daughter's return. Mary's father filed a report at the police station the next morning. He stayed at the station the entire day, determined to see that an investigation was being carried out. Late that afternoon, the police told him they had found his daughter.
Mary was escorted along with several other women into the station by four men in Islamic dress with long beards. The men were Salafis, a group that follows the strict doctrine of Wahhabi Islam from Saudi Arabia. Mary was covered head to toe in a burka. "[My husband] recognized her by her shoes," Magda told ICC.
Two armed policemen stood by, watching the father's every move. When he called Mary by name, a Muslim man hit her in the face. There was no answer.
Then he tried to grab his daughter, but she was quickly taken away by the police. The father yelled after her while struggling desperately to free himself from the grip of the police officers who were holding him down. It was no use. Mary was forced in the back of a van and driven away.
"I went back to the police station that night with my son," Magda said. "They cursed us and humiliated us. They treated us very badly."
SOURCE: ASSIST News Service
Aidan Clay of International Christian Concern (ICC)
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