While Catholicism isn’t the prevailing Christian denomination in Egypt, there are certainly many Catholics living and worshipping in the land of the pharaohs. The Catholic community in the village of Fayoum was rocked on 8/17, when a young lady, Mona Yacoub, was kidnapped just 10 days before her wedding.
A Muslim guy called Khalid had tried to win her several months earlier, and he is the prime suspect (unofficially, anyway) in the case.
Unfortunately, though, the officials aren’t being all that helpful. That’s why we’re taking matters into our own hands (but I’m getting ahead of myself).
Before I tell you how YOU can help, I should probably let you know the latest in this case.
You may be wondering why it’s taken nearly three weeks for the case to make headlines, and the truth is that the officials have been appeasing Mona’s friends and family for some time now, assuring them that they were on the case, and even making dates to bring Mona back to her family.
These officials, however, keep standing the Yacoub family up.
Unsurprising, of course (since this IS Egypt and the Yacoubs ARE Christians), but hardly welcome behavior from the people who are supposed to be protecting the people in their town. (What was that old saying about the fox in the henhouse..?) In any case, a video has recently come out, depicting a drugged up Mona, saying that she is still a Christian, but that she signed a paper for a “gawaz orfi”(marriage by agreement, rather than church wedding) and is now married.
For those who wonder what the big deal is “since she is alive and well and can just divorce Khalid or her kidnapper and marry her fiancé,” they must not know the mindset of the Egyptian man, and especially, the mindset of the Saiidi man. Men from Upper Egypt (the Saiid) are quite keen on family honor, pride, and the like. So it could be that the kidnappers were striking at the pride of the family, knowing that her father and her fiancé would never welcome her back if she had either married or lost her virginity (to a Muslim, no less).
Another reason that she may have been kidnapped is that Arab and Egyptian (and particularly Muslim) men can easily become obsessed with the object of their affection.
So perhaps this Khalid pulled this stunt in order get her, or, more insidiously, to get her back for spurning him in the first place.
A third reason that this could have happened is because of the family Mona came from. Her sister is a nun at a local convent, and her uncle is a priest in the Catholic church.
This may not make sense to Western readers until they read the following excerpt from “Confessions of a former Islamist.”
“The cost in the seventies and early eighties was about five thousand Egyptian pounds for the entrapment of each girl. The money was split so that the Muslim man who lured the Christian woman into conversion received half and the members of the police and collaborating associations would receive the other half. The work of the proselytizing associations in Egypt continues to take place and the payments for deceptive conversions are now higher. Today the average payment for an ordinary girl is ten thousand Egyptian pounds and payments can be as high as two hundred thousand Egyptian pounds if the girl is from a well-known Christian family, or is the daughter of a university professor, a deputy minister, or related to someone from the clergy.” (From : http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18167 )
So, as you can see—straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were—there are some pretty nefarious agents out there, and it’s clear that they work for “Allah,” aka “The Devil.”
So what can we do, then?
The Call to Action
It’s very simple; if you ask yourself “Self, how many kidnappings have I heard of in the past six or twelve months?” the answer won’t be a huge number.
This is likely because not many people hear about this string of sadness, and those who do make it their business to follow what’s going on in Egypt or the Coptic Church.
This time, however, a new angle has been introduced—Catholicism.
I wonder if the international Catholic Church will do more to help their daughter than the Orthodox church has “done” in the past? (This is not a slam on the Coptic church, only an exclamation of disgust from someone whose blood is BOILING over the dozens and hundreds of girls that get kidnapped, attacked, or even seduced EVERY SINGLE MONTH.
Anyone who says that it’s an uncommon practice doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (You’ll notice I said “he’s talking about,” and that is because most women know the stunts that men can pull, especially when money, sex, or “paradise” are the carrots dangling in front of them.)
On to what YOU can do, it’s very simple (as I may have mentioned above).
Just pretend this is the Gospel and SPREAD the (not-so-Good) news. TELL people about this poor girl.
Tell your friends online, skip the gossip and share THIS around the water cooler, or even just forward this and other articles to people who might be interested.
Also, educate yourself about kidnapping. It happens all over Egypt, and most cases end up in tragedy, not with a “happy ending.”
That’s not to say that there’s NEVER a happy ending, only that they’re few and far-between. Here are some great articles that elucidate what’s going on:
and this is an excellent analysis by Magdy Khalil:
Finally, for the Catholics out there, WRITE to your bishop or priest, and ask them to tell the Pope about his Egyptian daughter whose status as a Christian is hanging in the balance.
Our ultimate goal is to get the Pope to ask Mubarak to intervene and BRING MONA BACK.
You know, I just finished listening to an audio file from www.copts-united.com (it’s in Arabic, just in case you happen to understand the language) and I was blown away by her fiancé’s interview; lots of Egyptian guys would (in their insecurity) either write off a missing wife-to-be, or be discouraged by a video that stated she was married to another.
This guy, however, is a prince, and unequivocally stated that he wouldn’t believe her sham of a “gawaz orfi” unless he heard it from her own lips.
May God protect Mona and bring her back to her prince of a fiancé, and give them many wonderful years together, serving Him and using their sad experience for good, and for the protection of a whole generation of girls who simply can’t believe that the Ahmed, Mohammed or Khalid next door could ever be capable of the crimes their “religion” allows, and, in fact, encourages.
By Sara Ghorab