EGYPT: Maher El-Gohary attacked in Cairo

Maher and Dina El-Gohary (July 10) Two men on motorbikes attacked Maher El-Gohary with daggers as he walked in Cairo last week. Maher and Dina (pictured) have been attacked on several occasions since he applied to change the religious section of his ID card from Muslim to Christian.

“They were aiming at my neck to behead me,” said Maher in an interview with the newly launched US-based Hope Coptic TV Channel. “Something inspired me to turn and give them my shoulder, instead of facing them, which was lucky.”

Maher fell to the ground covered in blood. “Had it not been for the interference of passers-by who were unaware of my identity and my efforts to quickly stand up and defend myself, I would have been dead by now,” he said.

During the attack, one of the men shouted the Islamic Jihadi cry of “Allah is Great,” while stabbing him. The attackers called him an infidel, and cursed his Christian faith. Maher said that he was left with heavy wounds, but he fears seeking medical treatment.

Maher said in a recent interview with ZDF German TV, “We live in constant fear ever since radical sheikhs have called for my blood to be shed because I left Islam. We are mostly afraid of the uneducated people on the street.”

He added that ever since he openly made known his Christian faith, “our future is ruined. We are discriminated against. I do not believe that we will receive justice.” (See more at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrjqyUQn3_s )

Maher, aged 57, has been living in hiding with his 16-year-old daughter, Dina, since August 2008, when he took a case against the government to allow him to change the religion listed on his state-issued ID from Islam to Christianity.

Earlier this year, acid was thrown at Dina as she and Maher ventured out from their then hiding place in Alexandria to get some bottled water.

Maher and Dina were prevented from leaving Egypt in September 2009 and a court case to have their passports returned to them was recently adjourned until November. (AINA)