4 October, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 09/19/2012
As Coptic teacher is jailed for insulting President Morsi, the Arab Spring enters its twilight
Bishoy Kamel gets two years in prison for posting a Muhammad cartoon on Facebook, and three for insulting President Morsi. Not since the king's era did anyone get such punishment. Moderate Muslims are now wondering if the authorities would defend Christian symbols as forcefully as they do Muslim ones.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - Christians and moderate Muslims are concerned and shocked by the six-year sentence inflicted on Bishoy Kamel, a Christian teacher who posted online satirical cartoons on Islam on 30 July, and allegedly insulted Egypt's president. In front of the courthouse where the trial was held, hundreds of Salafists gathered ready to lynch the offender. Sources close to Kamel's family say that he was beaten in prison. The sentence was passed yesterday, but Kamel's lawyers have already appealed for a retrial by a less biased court.

Nagui Damian, a young Catholic Coptic activist, and a leader in the Jasmine Revolution, told AsiaNews that the sentence has shaken Christians and Muslims, who are afraid of some peculiar positions taken by the president. The last time someone got three years in jail for insulting the head of state, King Farouk was still in power. He was overthrown in 1952.

Nagui Damian said that many Muslims protested and wrote letter to newspapers and online forums, saying that six years in prison for posting cartoons offensive to Islam and insulting President Mohammed Morsi was too much.

During his 30 years of power, even Mubarak was more indulgent. In 2007, a young blogger, Kareem Amer, got only one year for insulting the president.

Other cases involving insults to Islam or the president were settled with fines or a few months in jail.

In the recent wave of anti-American demonstrations caused by the blasphemous Muhammad tape, some Muslim journalists have asked whether the same punishment would have been inflicted on someone who insulted the symbols of other religions, like Christianity.

For the moment, police arrested another activist, Albert Saber, who posted the blasphemous movie trailer online.

According to Nagui Damian, religious minorities and moderate Muslims must speak out to stop Islamists from influencing international organisations and hijack the Jasmine Revolution.

"All Coptic religious authorities have criticised the offensive acts against the Islamic religion. For every Egyptian, Christian or Muslim, insulting religion is a shameful act that must be punished, but there must be impartiality. For this reason, it makes no sense to ask the United Nations to adopt a law on Islamophobia as some Muslim leaders have suggested. The Egyptian state and the International community must defend all religions, not one in particular."

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/04/2013 EGYPT
Al-Azhar rejects Salafist threats, extends Christmas greetings to Orthodox Copts
03/13/2013 EGYPT - LIBYA
Benghazi, Coptic Christians denounce torture and attempts to convert them to Islam
05/08/2011 EGYPT - ISLAM
At least 9 dead and two churches burned near Cairo
05/07/2012 EGYPT
Soldiers and ordinary citizens together against Muslim extremists
05/02/2012 EGYPT
Clashes between demonstrators, soldiers and hooligans leave 11 dead, 50 wounded

Editor's choices
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.
Pope in the US: Without the family, the Church would not existFrancis met bishops gathered in Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families. “We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to ‘waste’ time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.” Young generations should not be blamed if they grew up with distorted values. “As pastors,” we must extend “a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.”
As the pope’s visit to Cuba raises hopes, a sclerotic regime exploits it
by Tony Pino V.*As soon as he landed in Cuba, Pope Francis issued a message of faith, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and mercy, urging people to be child-like. As the regime conducts picture-perfect parades, ordinary Cubans pray to Our Lady of El Cobre asking for help to leave the island to live elsewhere. The US embargo has been an excuse to stifle dissent and development. So far, Cuban leaders have not done any ‘mea culpa’.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.