Clearly post-Morsi Egypt is still full of people who believe in Sharia blasphemy laws. In the enlightened West, we don’t have blasphemy laws. If someone expresses what Leftists and Islamic supremacists think of as “contempt for Islam” here, the only thing that happens is that you’re excoriated as a racist and bigot, and shunned by all decent folk. Clearly a much more progressive way of doing things.
“Egyptian poet goes on trial accused of contempt of Islam,” by Mahmoud Mourad, Reuters, January 28, 2015 (thanks to Banafsheh):
CAIRO (Reuters) – A prominent Egyptian poet could face up to three years in jail over a Facebook post in which she criticized the slaughter of animals at a Muslim festival, a case which rights activists say shows how the government is muzzling free speech.
Fatima Naoot described the Prophet Abraham’s dream – in which, according to Islamic belief, God tells him to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith – as a “nightmare”. Before Abraham can carry out the deed, God provided a sheep instead as a sacrifice.
In her post, the poet criticized the sacrifice of animals at Eid al-Adha, also called the Feast of the Sacrifice, a festival that honors Abraham’s willingness to obey God.
“Millions of innocent creatures will be driven to the most horrible massacre committed by humans for ten-and-a-half centuries,” she said. “A massacre which is repeated every year because of the nightmare of a righteous man about his good son.”
The poet – whose trial began on Wednesday – has been charged with contempt of Islam, spreading sectarian strife and disturbing public peace, judicial sources and Naoot said.
She denies the charges. If convicted she could face jail terms ranging from six months to three years, the sources said.
“I will not be defeated even if I’m imprisoned,” Naoot, who did not appear in court, told Reuters on Wednesday. “The loser will be the cultural movement.”
Rights groups say a crackdown launched by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, following the toppling of Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, has muzzled freedom of expression.
They also say those seen as offending Islam have been targeted by the state and jailed on charges ranging from blasphemy to contempt of religion – but say this has been happening since the 2011 overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, not just since Mursi was deposed following mass protests.
The country’s courts convicted 27 of 42 defendants accused of contempt for religion in 2011-2013, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
The government denies any accusations of hindering freedom of speech or belief. It says it is committed to democracy and does not interfere in judicial matters.
Egypt’s constitution states that “freedom of belief is absolute”….