In Minya, vandals cut off the head of a 10-year-old marble memorial bust of Taha Husayn in a square named after him, according to the Al Ahram Weekly. Husayn was a famous Egyptian writer who wrote novels and political opinion. He went blind at the age of two and in 1902 he went to study Islam at al-Azhar, the most important Sunni center of learning. He clashed with the conservative views there and later moved to study in secular institutions, including the Sorbonne in France.

He was named the minister of education in 1950 and some of his writings angered religious authorities and Islamists, which helps explain why his monument was targeted.

This follows news from late last year that Islamists want to destroy the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx. Sheikh Murgan Salem al-Gohary, who is linked with jihadists, called for the destruction of the historical landmarks in an Egyptian TV interview at the end of last year and said, “All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” he said according to Al Arabiya.