Christians will not, of course, riot over this. Christians realize that the Muslim cleric who destroyed this copy of the New Testament has harmed neither them nor the New Testament, and that to harm or kill innocent people because of this would be criminal madness. And as for his being charged with blasphemy, while it is good to see that Muslim Brotherhood Egypt is willing to enforce its blasphemy laws even against Muslims, blasphemy should not be a matter of criminal law anywhere: it is too much a matter of judgment rather than an objective reality, and it risks establishing an ideology as protected from criticism, which is the road to tyranny.
“Blasphemy or democracy? Egypt cleric tears up, burns New Testament at US Embassy,” by Ayman Mohyeldin for NBC News, September 26
Updated at 3:49 a.m. ET: CAIRO — An ultra-conservative Islamist cleric in Egypt faces charges of blasphemy after he allegedly tore up and burned copies of the New Testament at a protest in front of the American Embassy in Cairo.
Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud Abdallah, also known as Sheikh Abu Islam, is part owner of a private ultra-conservative Islamic TV station known as Al Uma and was participating in demonstrations against a U.S.-made movie denigrating the Prophet Muhammad that swept the Muslim world in the last month.
Egypt’s General Prosecutor accused Abu Islam and his son, the channel’s executive director, of insulting religion — in this case Christianity.
The case is a rare example of the country”s often-criticized blasphemy laws being used against someone who allegedly insulted a religion that is not Islam. That trial is scheduled to begin September 30…..