An Egyptian blogger was sentenced on Thursday to four years in prison by an Alexandrian judge, for the supposed insulting of Islam’s Prophet, Mohamed. Judge Ayman al-Akazi found Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, a 22-year-old former student at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, guilty of insulting Mohamed in an article he published on his blog that described the angry mobs of Muslims attacking a Coptic Christian Church in 2005, due to a play they were putting on that they deemed offensive to Islam. Nabil wrote:
“Muslims revealed their true ugly face and appeared to all the world that they are full of brutality, barbarism and inhumanity,” Nabil said of the riots. He called Muhammad and his 7th century followers, the Sahaba, “spillers of blood” for their teachings on warfare”
Abdel Suleiman also has sharp words for his former alma mater, Al-Azhar, calling it the “university of terrorism”, and had been expelled from the same institution, according to the Guardian:
“for criticising the curriculum and attacking religious extremism.” And “at the university’s urging he was then charged with spreading information disruptive of public order, incitement to hate Muslims and insulting the president.”
So it would appear that the university was initially responsible for the authorities’ “crackdown” on the brave blogger, who had been taking a stand against the religious extremism being promoted at Al-Azhar, as well as in the streets of Alexandria.
The West should now rise to the occasion and demand from the Egyptian government the release of Suleiman. If there is any hope for the future of Egypt and the rest of the ME, it will be found in the brave voices of people like Abdel Suleiman. *L* KGS
Note: Suleiman’s blogspot is still running and can be accessed here.