This case demonstrates one of the many problems with curtailing “offensive” free speech and criminalizing hurt feelings. Simply expressing a belief at variance with Islam can be seized upon as “blasphemy,” or as “offending religious sentiments,” and simply being visible in daily life as an adherent of a non-Islamic faith can be seized upon as “proselytizing.” It is all in the eye of the overlord/beholder.
The move against this station is just a higher-tech extension of Sharia’s traditional ban on the display of crosses, ringing of bells, preaching in public, and of course, evangelization. “Egypt Muslim group orders Christian TV station off air: report,” from the South African Press Agency and Deutsche Presse Agentur, December 29:
An offshoot of Egypt’s top religious institution, Al Azhar, has called on the government to take a Christian television station off the air, allegedly for offending Muslims, the semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper reported Thursday.
The Islamic Research Centre, which made the demand, is headed by Ahmed al-Tayeb, the sheikh of Al Azhar, which is the Sunni Muslim world’s oldest seat of religious learning.
It is based in the U.S. They can’t shut it down, but they might attempt to block it or get its transmission arrangement canceled:
The centre accused US-based Christian broadcaster Al Karma (Vineyard) of insulting Islam and inciting sectarian divisions in Egypt, at a meeting late Wednesday, the newspaper reported.
Al Karama transmits its programmes via the Egyptian state-run satellite NileSat.
Christians, who make up around 10% of Egypt’s population, often complain of being treated as second-class citizens and feel marginalised by the predominately Muslim population…