Muslim sentenced to death for killing Coptic Christian

A Muslim man has been sentenced to death on Thursday by an Egyptian court over the murder of a Coptic Christian who sold liquor in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, according to security and judicial officials.

(REUTERS / Asmaa Waguih)People sit in Costa Coffee near the oldest flower shop on Fouad street in Alexandria, Egypt, February 6, 2016.

The court in Alexandria handed 50-year-old Adel Abu Al-Nur el-Sayed the death sentence for the murder of 61-year-old Youssef Lamei on Jan. 2. The sentence was given after the mufti, who officially interprets the Islamic law, approved of the verdict, Arab News details.

In an interview with the AFP news agency, the victim's son Tony recalled how he saw the Muslim suspect walking up to his father and slitting his throat while he was sitting outside his liquor store in Alexandria. Sayed, on the other hand, stated in court that he would kill all who sell alcohol, according to judicial sources.

It is worth noting that Islam forbids the drinking of alcoholic beverages, and Sayed reportedly appears to be a practicing fundamental Muslim. Although he has already been sentenced to death, he can still appeal against the verdict.

Based on some reports, Lamei had earlier on agreed to stop selling alcoholic drinks during the month of Ramadan. The Muslim holiday runs from the start of June to the start of July. PJ Media suggests that the killing of the Coptic store owner is an act of "hisba," or an enforcement of Islamic law by any Muslim.

The killing of Lamei came three weeks after 27 mostly women and children were killed in an attack on a Coptic church in Cairo. The string of violent attacks targeting the Copts had raised anxiety among the Christian community.

In December, the Islamic State's affiliate in Egypt had vowed to continue attacking "every infidel and apostate" in the country and elsewhere. Most of the previous jihadist attacks since Morsi's ouster in 2013, however, had targeted security forces in Northern Sinai.