Secular novelist accuses Salafis of attacking his home

Novelist Alaa Hamed, representative of the Egyptian Secular Party, accused Salafi leaders of destroying the fence around his house with bulldozers on Tuesday. He said the reason for the destruction, which took place in the village of Zefta, Gharbiya Governorate, was that he was distributing leaflets among village residents and asking them to join his party.

He told police that 50 people attacked his residence, called him an infidel, and destroyed the 60-meter long fence that surrounded his house, in addition to 120 trees on his property.

He accused a Salafi leader for ordering the attack in response to books that he wrote calling for secularism, which the Salafis consider atheism.

He also said that someone continues to summon village residents, by use of a megaphone, to destroy his house, and accused the police of being passive and afraid of Salafis.

“I’m not as sad about them attacking my home as I am about them attacking freedom of thought,” he said.

A security source, however, said the residents assaulted the house due to disagreements concerning canal water that flowed near the fence. The source said that residents use the water to irrigate their land, and that Hamed was keeping the water for himself.

Hamed was imprisoned in 1990 for his book “A Distance in a Man’s Mind”. At that time, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who is currently imprisoned in the United States, ordered that he be killed.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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