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Bible-burning Egyptian cleric jailed for 11 years

soot

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I found this interesting/encouraging when I heard it on the news this morning.

May be apropos of nothing, and I'm sure we can all find creative ways to shout it down or dismiss it, but with all the Islam bashing/"The Muslim Brotherhood Now Owns Egypy" nonsense that populates the discussion corners of the Interwebz I thought it was a counterpoint at least worth mentioning.

Bible-burning Egyptian cleric jailed for 11 years

A Cairo court sentenced an Egyptian Muslim preacher to 11 years in jail for blasphemy on Sunday for burning a Bible during a protest last year outside the U.S. embassy.

Convictions for insulting Islam are common in Egypt, ruled by Islamists after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but more rare for cases involving the minority Christian faith.

Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud, known as Abu Islam, who runs his own religious television channel, led a demonstration in September against a U.S.-made anti-Islam video posted on the Internet.

His son was sentenced to eight years in jail for the same offence. Both will remain at liberty pending appeal.

The video’s depiction of the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant set off anti-American protests across the Muslim world.

The film was later attributed to a Californian born in Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, a group that has expressed concern about the rise of Islamist political power.

Bible-burning Egyptian cleric jailed for 11 years | FaithWorld
 

digsbe

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Blasphemy laws are stupid regardless of what they protect. If someone wants to burn Bibles or Korans that they personally own in protest then that's fine. People should also be allowed to speak out and have freedom to change their religion or live without one.

Was he charged with blasphemy against Christianity or is it blasphemy against Islam because some Biblical text is considered scripture in Islam?
 

shlunka

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I'm sure they wouldn't have gotten any sentencing, have they had burned Charle's Darwin's Origin of the species...
 

Paschendale

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No, this is not encouraging. This is punishing someone for dissent. It is tyranny. It doesn't matter which religion they're protecting from criticism with the force of law. It's wrong to stifle speech like this, no matter what speech they're stifling.
 

Deuce

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I'm sure they wouldn't have gotten any sentencing, have they had burned Charle's Darwin's Origin of the species...

Because evolution isn't a religion.
 

soot

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No, this is not encouraging. This is punishing someone for dissent. It is tyranny. It doesn't matter which religion they're protecting from criticism with the force of law. It's wrong to stifle speech like this, no matter what speech they're stifling.

A lot of times when the topic of "such and such a state has just passed such and such a law" comes up I'll offer my opinion but I'll always modify it with something along the lines of, "but I don't live in that state, so it's really no hair off my ass".

I tend to take the same approach when it comes to foreign countries and this is no different.

Do I think that stifling dissent is the best policy?

No, of course not.

But when your policy is to stifle dissent then I find it encouraging that you apply the standard equally.

The laws may not be to my liking, but equal protection under the law is admirable nevertheless.
 

Paschendale

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But when your policy is to stifle dissent then I find it encouraging that you apply the standard equally.

The laws may not be to my liking, but equal protection under the law is admirable nevertheless.

But it's not equal, because religious texts are being treated as special. As shlunka said above, no non-religious text would receive this extra protection.
 

soot

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But it's not equal, because religious texts are being treated as special.

That's because to them religion is special.

I'm not going to pretend that you don't understand the different signifigance that, pretty much as a rule, people place on religion and religious texts in the MENA.

I don't. I think religion is (and I'm being charitable here) silly.

From your little signature line I expect you feel much the same way about it.

But they do think it's special.

I mean, we're talking about a country that democratically elected the first Islamist head-of-state in the Arab world and passed a constitution that makes Sunni Shariah the guiding principal behind all legislation.

I don't go in for ethnocentrisim to the extent that I think that "our" way (or "my" way, in any event) of doing life is the right way, or the best way, or the only way.

If they think that religion should be afforded a special, exalted, place in society then that's their business.

I don't have to like it, or agree with it, or live there and deal with it.
 

Your Star

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Just one more reason I'm glad I don't live over in that part of the world.
 

Quag

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I agree with those that say blasphemy laws are stupid.
 

StringBean

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There is nothing encouraging about jailing people for exercising their free speech.

Shame on you for thinking it's okay because they applied their arcane logic to a religion you approve of.
 
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