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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 09/19/2012
EGYPT
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."


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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
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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