“Summoned for questioning by state security.” By Jailan Zayan for AFP:
CAIRO — Egyptian police have arrested a blogger who posted comments critical of the country’s Islamic authorities, a security official said Tuesday, a day after a leading media watchdog ranked Egypt as one of the world’s top “enemies of the Internet.”
Abdel Karim Nabil Suleiman, 22, was detained Monday in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria after being summoned for questioning by state security, the official said on
condition of anonymity.
In his latest entry posted October 28, the blogger lashed out at Al Azhar University – the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning in the region – from which he was expelled earlier this year.
“I went to study in Al Azhar at the request of my parents, despite my outright rejection of Al Azhar and its religious ideas, and despite all that I have written which harshly criticizes the rise of religion in daily life and its effect on people’s behavior,” he wrote.
“I was expelled from Al Azhar for my writing on the Net, a free space not under their jurisdiction,” he charged. “I say to Al Azhar and its university and its professors and preachers who stand against anyone who thinks differently to them: ‘You are destined for the rubbish bin of history, where you will find no one to cry for you, and your regime will end like others have’,” he went on.
Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, the grand imam of Al Azhar mosque, is considered the most senior Muslim cleric in the country, together with Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
The blogger was already arrested in October 2005 after posting a vitriolic comment condemning the Muslim reaction to a Coptic Christian play that sparked violent clashes after some Muslims deemed it offensive to their religion.
The arrest took place on the same day that Paris-based international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders published a new list of 13 countries that it describes as “enemies of the Internet.”
“Many bloggers were harassed and imprisoned this year in Egypt, so it has been added to the roll of shame reserved for countries that systematically violate online free expression,” the group said.