Egypt jails student for insulting Islam

2012-04-04 22:25

Cairo - An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced a 17-year-old Christian boy to three years in jail for publishing cartoons on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, actions that sparked sectarian violence.

Gamal Abdou Massoud was also accused of distributing some of his cartoons to his school friends in a village in the southern city of Assiut, home to a large Christian population and the hometown of the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda.

"Assiut child's court ordered the jailing of Gamal Abdou Massoud... for three years after he insulted Islam and published and distributed pictures that insulted Islam and its Prophet," the court said in a statement seen by Reuters.

The cartoons, published by Massoud in December, prompted some Muslims to attack Christians. Several Christian houses were burned and several Christians were injured in the violence.

Human rights lawyer Negad al-Borai said the jail sentence was the maximum penalty under Egyptian law for such a crime.

Christians, who make up about 10% of the country's 80 million population, have long had a difficult relationship with Egypt's overwhelmingly Muslim majority.

Tension between Muslims and Christians has simmered for years but has got worse since the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Christians have become increasingly worried by a surge in attacks on churches, which they blame on hardline Islamists, though experts say local disputes are often also to blame.

  • johncarlos.biza - 2012-04-04 22:31

    Although punishment for exercising free speech is ridiculous, if you know your words and actions will lead to violence in your society you should be prosecuted for going through with it. We do not live in a perfect world/

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 04:17

      So you would sit idly by while others are persecuted for their beliefs and for exercising their basic human rights. Thank goodness their were people who stood up to Hitler or you would have no rights at all today.

      johncarlos.biza - 2012-04-05 11:31

      Your mention of Hitler actually proves me right. He also attacked a religion (Judaism) and was not punished for his 'free speech'. His words lead to violence eventually and he knew it would lead to that when he made his utterances. Sounds like the story in this article.

  • Koos - 2012-04-05 02:47

    It is not good to speak ill of the dead, but this muhammed guy must have being a real insecure dude.

      Muhammad - 2012-04-05 05:10

      It is because of people like you we have sectarian violence. Have you ever heard of a muslim assaulting the character of jesus (may peace be upon him)? The problem is that you and others who think like you place freedom of expression above anything else even if it defies basic human courtesy.

      Koos - 2012-04-05 06:23

      Muslims prefer killing the followers of Jesus.

      Koos - 2012-04-05 08:27

      Yip, blame it all on apartheid.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 08:41

      @Koos - don't be a 'box'. I'm not blaming it on Apartheid; I was merely illustrating how it was in your glory days... if you have nothing constructive to contribute, then it is best that you hou your bek... if you think that this issue is morally and legally wrong according to your standards than enlighten us. My responses are based either on insult for insult or if you respond rationally, you WILL receive a rational response.

      Carla - 2012-04-05 10:58

      @Muhammad - So are you actually making excuses for the burning down of innocents homes???? Just because someone does not agree with your religious beliefs and mocks them (an no, I'm not saying it's ok to mock another's religious beliefs), that gives you the right to burn down homes? Is that not defying basic human courtesy?

      Muhammad - 2012-04-05 11:30

      @ carla why do you look at the end result and not the cause? You are commenting with pre judgements about Islam, any discerning indiviual and sanity will see my point. And by the way, All messengers of God be it Muhammad, Jesus, Moses (peace be upon them all) are held in high esteem in Islam.

      Muhammad - 2012-04-05 11:38

      @ koos, you say we prefer killing the followers of Jesus(pbum) you are terribly uninformed! Since when are you the follower of jesus? He presented himself as a messenger yet majority of christians today falsely take him as the son of god. he had a beard do u have a beard ? He said pork and wine is forbidden, why do u still consume it ? He presented the original bible as the word of god why do you read the new testament ? I can go on and on. End of the day you are not the follower of jesus as you falsely present yourself as.

      Carla - 2012-04-05 11:39

      @Muhammad - cause??? Really? Kindly don't put words in my mouth. I'm not passing judgment on Islam. Just because I don't agree with your point of view, you choose to perceive my comment as an attack on Islam. If we all go around setting things on fire everytime someone mocks our religious beliefs, what exactly is it going to achieve?

      Ask - 2012-04-05 14:41

      @ D00s, I beg your pardon, Koos... this was how South Africa was before 1994... say anything against the boere or the NG Church you got detention WITHOUT trial... atleast this guy had a trial. @zatheist - your mother was probably raped by a WASP - and when you were born, she kept the afterbirth and threw away the baby. The world Paedophile was specifically invented and created because of Christian priests that to this day are raping kids. the Poep, I mean Pope has apologised so often to this day. @Koos - Now it makes sense why Muslims would want to kill you guys.. look at your responses... it also makes sense of the revelations in the Quran about people like you... you haven't changed and you never will; even Jesus would spit at you.

  • wesleywt - 2012-04-05 03:04

    I thought these Jesus and Muhammed are super best friends. They are always clowning around together up there. These followers of imaginary friends should really lightening up.

  • Marius Bloemhof - 2012-04-05 05:52

    Why is it that this goddamn ( pun intended) muhammed character insists on being above critique? Why is it that the religious always demand special privileges and treatment? And why is jail time neccesary? Can't he (muhammed) just sort him out in the next life? Why is it that these omnipotent gods is always so impotent that they they require their followers to act on their behalf? This situation is so vile that people can be spurred to violence by a mere cartoon - nothing or no one should ever be so venerated that people are willing to kill in(or for) their name - no one

      Ask - 2012-04-05 10:07

      @AntiThesis - the answer to your question is WHY THE HELL NOT? - (It's rhetorical). Muhammed cannot sort out in the next life, because he aint Christian, the belief of slap me on my right cheek and I will give my left cheek does not exist. Well this idiot should have made a cartoon of 12 guys and a prostitute, perhaps he would have got a lighter sentence... what was he thinking? Clearly, he wasn't.

  • Nasiefa - 2012-04-05 07:10

    @ Muhammad i wish i could like you comment 1000000 times !!!it really is ignorant people that don't know about Islam and choose to insult our Prophet (PBUH) I pray that they become educated to understand and not insult!!

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 10:36

      Amazing how religious believers always retreat to "You are ignorant and don't know what you are talking about", as if they have superior knowledge about an invisible magic man in the sky.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 10:56

      @zaatheist - it's amazing what insults can do to your attitude... you sound so nice... Perhaps they DO have superior knowledge than you... all your posts, not only here, but elsewhere is based on hatred and insults... the LORD works in mysterious ways

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 12:31

      Hello Askjoe Your LORD (full caps makes him real) is so mysterious in his ways he has been absent for thousands of years. Wouldn't it be easier just to look up to the sky and ask in a loud and clear voice, "God, are you real?" and if no reply comes take it that you are all alone, along with billions of other fools.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 12:54

      Hello zaatheist Boet, it sounds like you need to go to 'Confession'... you sound very troubled. BTW: where did I say 'Our Lord' - I said 'the Lord'...perhaps if you spend less time worrying about people that have some sort of belief; (whether, it is true or not) this is not your calling in life... I think your calling lies in Christianity, not in Islam or Judaism ...

  • vinny.damoyi - 2012-04-05 08:03

    How pathetic Egypt has become thanks to these religions.Far from the polytheistic days of the Pharoas.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 08:07

      Nothing in Egypt has changed for past 1000 years... only the leadership

  • Rashida - 2012-04-05 08:51

    koos you are a fool.your name says it all.i thought that you were a

  • yusrah.cook - 2012-04-05 08:59

    only nassara will judge, no man can judge the nxt as only god can judge, we live by the sunnah of muhammad(saw) and the revalation of our holy quran: "no ummah will enter jannah until the ummah of muhammad(saw), so muslims stop justifying islam as the day of qiyaamah of non believers will be punished, dont let the nasaarah anger u n waver your imaan, as allah is the all seeing all hearing all knowing!

  • Michael - 2012-04-05 09:16

    The Egyptian authorities (read Islamic authority)like the rest of their belief, are simply a collection of sanctimonius biggots who continually justify their hypocritical frustrations by applying "the law" A 17 year old Christian boy drawing insulting pictures of Jesus would be criticized, and possibly shunned by other Christians - rightly so. Being sentenced to 3 years in jail for immaturity is as ludicrous as the application of Islamic law in this case.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 11:09

      Ladies and gentlemen; we have a NEW expert who has the knowledge and the power to decide that the Muslims are a bunch of Sanctimonious bigots... who 'continually' justify their hypocritical frustrations.... Please elaborate... what makes them more special, then, lets say, the Christianity?

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 12:33

      Yep, they are "Sanctimonious bigots" who behave in the same way hypocritical way as do Christians.

      Michael - 2012-04-05 15:14

      Hey Joe, (- and apologies to Jimi Hendrix..)an expert, no, just your average someone with reasonable intelligence and just enough courage to say what I believe is right. I am a Christian and that entitles me to only one target for condemnation - sin. I certainly do not have the right (or the desire) to condemn the Islamic faith, on the contrary, I have enormous admiration and respect for the depth of belief and devotion of most Muslims. What I believe to be unacceptable though is the complete lack of accommodation practiced by those supposedly appointed to protect the Islamic faith - the Faith Police in Saudi, the ruling of the court in the case of this boy, Imams calling for war in the name of Allah - why is it that these authorities are allowed the lie that Mohammed would be less effective without their earthly help?

      Ask - 2012-04-07 01:29

      @Michael - what a load of tosh... (and apologies to Basson for developing chemical weapons in the name of the church); you say that you do NOT have the desire to condemn the Islamic faith and yet, in your first posting you make sarcastic remarks about e.g. 'like the rest of their belief'. I think you have committed a cardinal sin... I hope you burn on the cross for this... Well, in my opinion, Islam is much better than the 12 guys and a prostitute saga with 26012 and now 13 and now 14 denominations that extort 2 billion people. For your information: Saudi Arabia DO NOT represent the Muslim world; they are bunch of Bedouins that by default are the protectors of the two MOSQUES; for this they are doing a sterling job. If you would like to know more about Saudi policy, then perhaps you contact the Saudi embassy... don't pick up crap info and try and show how intelligent you are... you hypocrite.

  • zaatheist - 2012-04-05 10:37

    Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name. Our accommodation of this psychopathic skewing of priorities has, more and more, taken the form of craven and blinkered acquiescence. – Sam Harris

      Ask - 2012-04-05 11:02

      Have YOU any articulate opinion...? It's one man's view point... the underlying essence of your message and that of the esteemed author is 'It's our way or the highway' well other cultures and religions also have similar opinions to yours and your pals... they may articulate it differently, and they may not look like you, so all sorts of phobias creep in...what can I say.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 12:36

      @Askjoe So you play a thinly disguised race card. Is that you best response? You want my opinion as well. OK. I think Islam is a psychotic death cult, riddled with insane beliefs that turn the stomach of normal people. Now what?

      Ask - 2012-04-05 13:02

      @zaatheist - is that what it was; a thinly disguised race card; sadly, it was not my best response. I can give you one if want. Just Ask Joe. Now that you have articulated your hatred; don't you feel better. and then you asked; "now what?" Now you go and seek true knowledge without any influence from any third party source... Go forth and seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave and when you have found true knowledge impart it to all races... 'I have spoken'

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 14:04

      @AskJoe A quote off on the religion of peace and subjugation of women. Great! Unbelievers are enemies of Allah and they will roast in hell. - 41:14 When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. - 47:4

      Ask - 2012-04-05 14:51

      @zaatheist - thank you; are you trying to tell me something or you trying to impart knowledge - (my you are a keen student)What exactly are you trying to tell me... your comment has no structure - You've inserted a quote from the religion of peace. Do you want my take on it - it appears that this revelation was written specifically for idiots like you. There are many others, which makes perfect sense; as it implies that you cannot be trusted... am I getting warmer or am I wrong. It may be a good idea if you read the reasons for these revelations and not take it out of context from Christian Avangelists.. Boet don't be lazy... do some REAL research...

  • Greg - 2012-04-05 12:03

    Faith is a personal act in a revelation. For athiests they need proof before they will believe. For muslims they believe Mohammed is God's final messenger and deny the crucifixion, resurrection & divinity of Jesus (Arianism / Nestorianism heresies in Christianity). For Christians Jesus is the final revelation of God to humankind, who warned about false prophets and false messiahs. A pity that so many people have been misled by nothing more than a businessman come extortionist. No amount of PR will change the real credentials of Mohammed and we wonder where the mafia came from.

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 12:37

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Pot meet kettle. Anyone who believes in any gods does so for no other reason than somebody else telling them to. If their religion has a holy book, they only believe the book to have authority because someone told them it does.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 14:07

      @Greg - I think the only idiots that are misled are followers of 12 men and a prostitute; who btw all denied the Christ... then many years later wrote Gospels according to these men and a prostitute and guess what almost two billion people were suckered into the biggest extortion racket known to man... business was so good 26012 denominations or franchises were sold and new ones opening every day... This is not an exercise in PR - like you say 'Faith is a personal act...' perhaps you should follow your advice.

      Anwar - 2012-04-05 14:12

      Just to clarify Greg, Muslim also believe in Jesus as the messenger, we dont believe in the crucifixion, we do believe he was raised up and will return

  • Anwar - 2012-04-05 13:36

    As muslims we have become a nation that only reacts to the negative propaganda and in our reactions we display the most undesirable characteristics of a human being, intolerance, unjust and oprressive behaviour at times. Looking at the responses I can only see attack upon attack from each side. We as muslims should be more understanding especially towards people of other faiths as they donot hold the same understanding we do of our religion, they each have their own opinion or view of the religion. Before we adopt a stance based on our understanding we should try to educate people on why certain acts may be seen as blasphemous before we start dishing out verbal attacks and sentences.. Is that not what Islam is about.. spreading good faith and the message. As muslims I draw your attention to the incident of the prophet (S.A.W) at Taif when he was stoned till blood filled his shoes, did he jail, opress any of those people, His only wish and prayer at that time was for those people to, through the will of the Almighty , be spared so that they may one day embrace Islam. After all that will be said and done, are the ones to judge a persons actions or is that for the Almighty, will this persons actions in anyway decrease the might and power of the Almighty? Will our violent , verbal reactions strengthen the might and power of the Almighty? I think not This type of media coverage on events of this nature only server to deepen the divide between human beings.

      Anwar - 2012-04-05 13:52

      So muslims, if we are true followers of the GOD's message and the teachings and actions of the Prophet.. then we need to look at our actions in comparison to he reaction of the Prophet (S.A.W) with regards to his mannerism and conduct during his persecution in Taif. Just some food for thought. Have a great long weekend

      zaatheist - 2012-04-05 14:07

      If only more Muslims (and adherents of other faiths) adopted that attitude there would be a lot less strife and distress in the World.

      Ask - 2012-04-05 14:52

      @zaatheist - don't worry; all these comments are placed to ensure that you are a happy chappy...

      Anwar - 2012-04-05 17:33

      Sorry Joe.. Its not to please any person ... that is the true spirit of Islam.. one of forgiveness, love and compasssion. Ufortunately Men with evil hearts have distorted this message.

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