Hundreds of people have lynched two men in Egypt’s rural Nile Delta village (Gharbiya province) on Sunday. The two were killed on the suspicion of kidnapping two children and other crimes.
Ever since the ‘Islamist’ government took over Egypt in 2011, public lynching has become quite common. Cases of civilians, especially conservative civilians taking the law into their own hands to impose stricter Shariah Laws, are increasing with time.
But the fact is that Shariah or the Islamic Law doesn’t support punishment and such kind of lynching to be performed by regular people, merely on the basis of suspicion. In earlier cases, a student was killed in the city of Suez when he was attacked in a park while he was with his fiancée by unknown attackers. They thought that the boy was engaged in illicit activities and therefore considered him deserving of harsh punishment. In another case, a teacher cut two 12-year-old girls’ hair because they were not wearing the traditional scarf. Both of the punishments, by the way, are not in accordance with the Islamic laws.
Egypt’s Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki has said that a state that allows this kind of punishment executed by the civilians is an unjust state and called these incidents as an indicator of ‘death of the state’. And he is absolutely right. If the Islamists-backed government thinks that the people who are involved in lynching are in any way helping to spread the message of Shariah, they are deeply wrong. It only makes the government look even more inefficient than it already is.
People are also resorting to public lynching because they do not trust the police anymore. Many girls, especially in the Gharbiya province, do not report cases of rape because they are afraid of what the Muslim Brotherhood-backed police force would do to them. The men, who were hanged in Mahillat Zayad, allegedly belonged to a group that kidnapped girls and boys for ransom and even raped in some cases. They were lynched because the villagers thought that the police would not help them.
Whether the lynching is performed out of helplessness or forcing the pseudo-Shariah laws, it proves that the government of Egypt has failed to provide protection and justice to its citizens.