News ID: 2867
Publish Date: 23 September 2010 - 15:11
Number of comments: 1 Comment
This is the true story of Camelia Shehata Her name is Camellia Shehata Zakher, she was 25 years old , and was born in one of the upper Egypt cities (AL MENIA) and raised as a Christian. She married after finishing her college degree in science to a priest named Tadros Samaan.
She was working as a science teacher in the same town where her husband was living, after some time she found out about her husband's misbehavior of stealing money from the church and hiding it in a private bank account under her name so it would not be questioned.

They had a son, and when he became six months old she was introduced to Islam through dialogues with her Muslim colleagues. She became eager to know more about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (P). She heard one Friday from the roof of the house, a sermon or khotba about the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (P). After reading about Islam and studying it she reverted to the true religion of Islam, and her colleagues made a small party for her and were witnesses for her. She began to read Quran and memorized four chapters of it.

At that time, she stopped breast-feeding her son because she was convinced that she will leave him to the family of the father. Camellia didn't know that she had the right to take her son as it was told later by Abu Yahya, and was ready to take actions in court to have custody over him. Of course her family knew about her accepting Islam; and they were fighting her by all means and since the day that she declared her testimony of faith, and for the next year and a half her husband was not allowed to touch her.

On 17thof July 2010, she made up her mind and went to the bank to cash the money that her husband was stealing from the church and hiding it in a her bank account. She went back home, left the money which was thirty five thousand Egyptian pounds, kissed her child for goodbye,took some clothes and left for Al Azhar. She heard about a man who could help her in preparing the documents so she could get her certificate of being a muslima done in Al Azhar... his name is Moftah Mohamed and called Abu Yahya

Before she reached Abu Yahya by phone after leaving home, the security forces called him many times asking him if Camellia was with him. He was known in the region by the security forces as a person who helps people to revert to Islam and tests them if their reversion to Islam is true or only based on a romantic story with a Muslim or some other domestic reason. The security forces insisted that if she contacts Abu Yahya he must call them immediately. At the same time her husband gathered many Christians to demonstrate pretending that she was kidnapped by Muslims.

Abu Yahya searched the net about her story and found out that the Christians were saying that she was kidnapped and that she was a wife of a priest. After the night prayers Abu Mahmud from Almenya a friend of Abu Yahya was with Camellia and they were invited to come and see if he can help in this case as he had done with others in the past. He welcomed her to his house and Abu Mahmud wanted to be sure about her case so she was asked some questions to be sure that she accepted Islam by her own choice. In the meeting she declared to Abu Yahya that she needed to pray first and that she was a muslima for a year and a half and has separated in practice from her husband since then. She told him that she wants to declare Islam officially, and she even recited to him “Sourt Qaf” fully with the correct way of reciting, and she said that she had with her two thousand pounds in order to perform Ummrah in Ramadan to realize the dream of visiting the Holy Masjid (mosque).

Abu Yahya realized that she was serious and during all the talk she insisted that she was a muslima for a year and a half. She was wearing the niqab and whenever he would leave the room and come back he found her praising Allah swt or making supplications. Abu Yahya advised her at the end to call her mother so she will not be worried and she promised to do it and then phoned the officer of security but couldn't have a clear connection until later. The officer promised to call back.

In the morning on their way to complete the documentation needed to declare Islam at Al-Azhar Abu Yahya was with Abu Mahmud escorting Camilla to Al-Azhar mosque at the noon prayer time. They performed prayers and went to the office Inside Al-Azhar. The employee in charge of dealing with reverts was given the necessary documents to begin the procedure. The document was signed by Camellia and the witnesses but he stopped when he took from drawer small cards with names and saw the name of Camellia among them. He asked her,” Are you Camellia, 25 years old, teacher of science?” By hearing the affirmative answer he brought forth a paper from the drawer of the Bureau and  said that Camellia must come back tomorrow because she must be tested by some priests to be sure that she left Christianity and left the room for a few moments. Abu Yahya saw the name of Camellia on the small paper and some information about her. A few minutes later, the employee returned with a changed behavior and told them that Sheikh Saeed, who had the seal to conclude the procedure is not in Al-Azhar (it was after salat a dohr noon prayer) and took the seal with him and will not be able to end the procedures that day and they had to come back the next day.

Abu Yahya noticed the sudden change and confusion clearly evident on the face of the employee who went quickly to the office and then to his home.

The National Security Officer called Abu Yahya and asked him about the presence of Camellia and what actions would be taken in case they went to Al-Azhar. Since there wouldn’t be any contact between him and Abu Yahya all day, the officer asked Abu Yahya not to change his location unless there were direct orders from him or he must ask permission in case he wanted to leave his location because ten buses full of Christians were traveling from Almenya to Al-Azhar which meant trouble was on the way.

At twelve o'clock on Thursday, the National Security officer called Abu Yahya asked him to go immediately to Al-Azhar to finish the procedures thinking that by stopping the buses to go from Almenya there would be no trouble but they were other Christians informed about the case from the church.

The presence of priests around and inside Al-Azhar was abnormal for every Muslim who is familiar with the institution of Al-Azhar. They asked everyone with the help of the police security about who enters Al-Azhar and requried his identity card. Abu Muhammad and Abu Yahya were suspicious and left Camellia near the car and went to Al-Azhar to prevent any trouble and since she was with the niqab and no one will recognize her. Then they were approached by a priest with a civil policeman and asked them for their IDs. Abu Muhammad refused to give his present his to them since they are Christians and have no authority in Al-Azhar. Inside Al-Azhar he was approached by an employee asking them if they are from Almenya with al shahada case, if so it was better to leave Al- Azhar because they were searching for them and they would be arrested .

Abu Yahya said: At that time I felt that something was wrong, also Camellia noticed some individuals pointing to us, so I hurried up and took a taxi and left the keys of the car with the witness Abu Muhammad. I took her to the office of the company where I work, we stayed there for sometime, my mobile phone battery went dead and when I reached the office I opened it and found out that the National Security officer called and sent me a message to call back so I called. He told me to take care of her and asked me where I was, I told him I will reach home soon but he insisted that we must go back to Al-Azhar and continue with the proceedings.

I was very worried then and decided that I will not follow these orders and I took Camellia to my home and so I went to my car which was brought by Abu Muhammad. We were accompanied with the lawyer of the company since he was on my way home.

Inside the car, she asked the lawyer at that time to help her raise a case against her husband for the custody for her child if possible. Meanwhile, we were on Kasser El Nile Bridge and suddenly we were surprised by a group attacking the car and one of them screaming: You are busted Sheikh Moftahy. I thought they were Christians trying to kidnap her and I fought them since they called Camellia the worst names, which increased my conviction that they were Christians. Still, I was confused untill I heard a voice from a radio saying: “strike them until they faint" and then I knew they were National Security”.

They grabbed me out of the car and so they did with sister Camellia while she was screaming: “why are you doing this... leave me... I am a Muslim... God won’t leave you... Fear God … don’t you have passion inside you... don’t you have mercy? “ and she kept screaming and crying and this was the last time I saw her.

I kept on struggling till they put me in a car and put her in another car and put a bag over my head so I could not see. I took it off when they told me that I was at the center of National Security in Nasser City but because of the amount of the blood that I lost and the wounds on my head I was taken to the hospital, the result of the beating was twenty stitches on my head and a concussion.

This is the sad and true story told by the witness Abu Yahya and until now we don't have any news about her. The church refuses to admit that Mrs. Camellia Shehata is a Muslim and she is in their prison exerting pressure on her to change her mind as well as torturing her by all means to make her return back to denied the right to choose her way on her own, on the other hand, Father Shenoda the third, declared that she was to be confined in one of the churches and won’t be allowed to be exposed to media or anything.

"… do not send them back to the disbelievers—they are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them…" (Al-Mumtahinah 60:10).

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error”
[al-Ahzaab 33:36]
Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe... (Al-Baqara:221)

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Source: Islamwomen
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