Tuesday, February 14, 2006


CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- A number of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian publications were on display at the recent Cairo International Book Fair. Sample images of these books are still displayed at www.baladynet.net, an Islamic news site apparently hosted by an American Internet Service provider.

According to the
Free Copts blog these publications are also sold throughout Egypt.

Publications on display included “It is not holy,” (referring to the Holy Bible) and “Why they broke the Cross,” (attacking Christian beliefs).

Other titles were the role of the crusade church in the fall of Islamic Caliphate, an encouragement to convert to Islam to enjoy security, a publication titled “Christians of Egypt; how many and who are they?” This was described by the blog writer as a “hateful publication inciting Muslims against the Copts, Egypt’s indigenous people.”

Another publication was called, “Who killed the dog?” This, the blog writer commented, referred to “the murder of Egyptian intellectual Farag Foda (www.meforum.org/article/395), a free-thinking Muslim intellectual who was killed because of his anti- fanatic attitude. This book is considered a direct incitement to kill other Egyptian intellectuals who take the same position.”

Another book was called “Islamic Enlightment,” described by the blog writer as “a hate- filled periodical that incites hatred against Jews, Christians and non-Muslims in general. Another publication was named “O ye filthy gypsies,” described by the blogger as “A message to the Diaspora Christians.”

The blog writer commented, “Mosque imams and extremists alike are allowed to publicly insult Jews, Christians, the Bible, the Cross, and Christianity. They have done this, not just through cartoons in the press, but also through the wide use of media such as TV channels, radio stations, and newspapers all over the Arab and Muslim world.”

However, there is, according to the blog writer who spoke by e-mail on condition of anonymity, a lawsuit pending in Egypt about the material.

He said that Naguib Gibrael, a Coptic attorney who visited the Cairo International Book Fair on Jan. 30 2006, saw these books on display.

In an e-mail the blogger said, “Article 98/1 of the Egyptian penal code forbids slander against ‘heavenly religions.’ Usually this law is used against Copts to stop them from criticizing Islam. In reality I have not seen a single Muslim who was prosecuted for defaming Christianity and Judaism. But in this case, the Coptic lawyer has taken the case before the Egyptian attorney General informing him of the books that are considered in violation of the Egyptian law.”


The book publisher is apparently, according to the blog writer, “Mr. Ahmed,” who the blog entry commented, “prefers the name Abu Islam Ahmed (and with many like him) have made it their mission in life to publicly attack the Jewish and Christian faiths, Jews and Copts and Christians in general. They are willing to use all and every method to achieve what they want. Fabrications, lies, and double standards are their usual methods. They are the people who are now crying and screaming that Islam has been insulted by few cartoons published in Denmark.”

Ahmed, the blog writer stated, also runs the “ Islamic Enlightment Center” (www.manalaa.net:8888/islamic_academy.wmv).

According to the Free Copts blog, Ahmed’s center is “a location where Muslim youth receive an intensive dose of anti-Christian and anti-Semitic brain washing and incitement.”

A Dec. 8 article on the International Freedom of Expression (IFEX) website (www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/70981) stated that Ahmed was arrested in Cairo on Dec. 5 2005 by Cairo by members of the Amn-El-Dawla state security agency.

Reporters without Borders (RWB), the IFEX article stated, expressed concern about Ahmed’s detention, saying he was the second website or blog editor to be arrested since late Oct. They called for his immediate release.

Ahmed was a former editor of “Al-Shaab,” an opposition newspaper that was closed down

“Website journalists and bloggers should enjoy the same legal protection and respect as journalists working for traditional media,” IFEX reported RWB said. “The decision to arrest a journalist or blogger is serious and should only be taken in the course of transparent judicial proceedings, which was not the case with the two arrests of website and blog editors of the past six weeks.”

According to IFEX, in addition to editing Balady Net, Ahmed has also written a number of books and is a member of the Union of Egyptian Journalists. He was arrested while at the Center for Islamic Enlightenment. Before going to his office, IFEX reported that state security agents searched his home, confiscating notes, books and computer disks.

However, the blog author said by e-mail that Ahmed only remained in custody for a few days, was released and that no action has been taken against him.

There was no immediate response to an e-mail sent to Ahmed requesting comment.Balady Net is registered to Ahmed Islam and appears to be hosted by the Dallas-based Planet.com. An e-mail to Planet.com requesting comment was answered with an automatically generated response

The blog writer asked, “Will (Egyptian) President Mubarak who warned the West against the ‘Prophet Muhammad Cartoon,’ and the Egyptian government, do something to stop the ongoing incitement and offenses against Christians in Jews in the Egyptian media and bring to trial those who are promoting hatred? Or (are) Muslims superior to everybody and it's a fair game to attack Christians and Jews?”

He added by e-mail that Ahmed “is not the only case, but it's just an example of how Muslims get away with slander of other faiths and consider this freedom of speech at the same time that anyone who dares to utter a word against Islam or Muhammad is liable for imprisonment.”

* Jeremy Reynalds is a freelance writer and the founder and director of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter,
http://www.joyjunction.org/ or http://www.christianity.com/joyjunction. He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. Jeremy Reynalds at jgreynalds@aol.com.


At 7:39 PM , Blogger Egypeter said...

Wow. They should stick this Abu Islam in a dark prison for the rest of his life. Why doesn't law enforcement work in Egypt. This fanatic is obviously "slandering against heavenly religions" so why is he not in jail? Why was he arrested and then released shortly thereafter? I don't get it.

At 1:51 AM , Blogger Nicco Knight said...

Should Copts be fighting to stifle free speech? I'm fine with anyone saying whatever they want, whether honest, insulting, or what have you. As long as enjoy the same freedom.

We should be fighting for Coptic free speech, i.e. the right to publish and broadcast the truth IN Egypt. Let's not worry about what some moron puts in a pamplet.

At 7:08 AM , Anonymous Nady said...

nicco: free speech should be for all, but not limited to Muslims. imagine you go to court, and you have all sorts of accusations raised against you and the judge tells you to shut up and put you in jail each time you try to defend yourself. This is exactly what's happening to Copts and non- Muslims in Islamic countries...it's a fair game to insult your faith but you are not allowed to utter a word in defense.

At 11:30 AM , Blogger Egypeter said...

"Should Copts be fighting to stifle free speech? I'm fine with anyone saying whatever they want, whether honest, insulting, or what have you. As long as enjoy the same freedom."

What you are saying here nicco makes complete sense...to an outsider. I don't think anyone in Egypt would argue your point but, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

Copts would get their tongues ripped out if they were to write ANYTHING SLIGHTLY critical of Islam. They simply cannot. While Islamists are free to publish whatever lies they want against Judaism or Christianity. And they don't simply publish explicit lies against other religions, some even incite violence against non-muslims.

I'll bring to your attention an Egyptian MUSLIM writer by the name of Farag Fouda. An incredibly gifted and enlightened writer who spoke against fanaticism in Egypt. What did the fanatics do? They killed him, plain and simple.

Another example, there is this guy by the name of Al-Khalmy (spelling is off). He used to write against fanaticism and then had his and his family's life threatened. What did he do? He stopped writing.

So as you can see, Freedom of Speech DOES NOT EXIST in Egypt. Until it does (for everyone and not just Islamists) then these types of books should also be banned.

At 11:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mark Galli, managing editor of Christianity Today, the American willingness to offend Christianity, but extend deference to Islam regarding the current batch of Muhammad cartoons, can be understood through a series of cultural and political differences.
First, he notes, Christians worship a man who was persecuted, beaten and killed. The sense that people might persecute Christ's followers is an inherent part of the Christian ethos, he says, so Christians are inherently likely to tolerate offense. Muhammad, a prophet who died after an illness, did not leave behind a religion with that mindset, he says.
The second factor, he theorizes, is that American society assigns different rules of social conduct for majority and minority cultures, in which the dominant culture isn't supposed to ridicule smaller ones. It's done, of course, but it's seen as bad form.
"Christianity is fair game for mocking because it's an established presence here, it's always been a majority, and there's no sense of followers being a persecuted minority," he says. "When people can be publicly mocked in this country, it means you're a player, and you're going to take your lumps with everyone else. There's not that sense with Muslims. People are more cautious."
Last year, Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" drew protests that it was anti-Semitic -- and yet was a blockbuster. When Ayatollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa calling for the murder of Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie for alleged blasphemies in "The Satanic Verses," the book became an American bestseller and Rushdie an icon of free speech
The above is from:


At 2:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

ابقى سلملى على البلوج بتاعك

احسن حل انك تجيب البندقية الرش بتاعتك و تخلص على الراجل ده ههههه

At 4:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

other religions in Egypt:

في شهر ديسمبر من عام 2003 ، أصدر مجمع البحوث الإسلامية بالأزهر . فتوى غريبة جاء بها " أن الإسلام لا يقر أي ديانة أخرى غير ما أمرنا القرآن باحترامه، فلا ينبغي، بل يمتنع أن تكون في مصر ديانة غير الإسلام ثم المسيحية واليهودية لأن كل ديانة أخرى غير مشروعة ومخالفة للنظام العام"

ثم خصت الفتوى الديانة البهائية بقولها " إن هذا المذهب البهائي وأمثاله من نوعيات الأوبئة الفكرية الفتاكة التي يجب أن تجند الدولة كل إمكاناتها لمكافحته والقضاء عليه"(4) .

وفضلا عن التحريض الواضح من الأزهر ضد أتباع مذهب مختلف ، فقد تجاهلت فتوى المجمع المذكور - وهو نفس الجهة التي عرف عنها افتئاتها على حرية الرأي والتعبير ومصادرتها للعديد من الكتب دون وجه حق - أن البهائية كديانة ، لا تستمد شرعيتها من قبول بعض رجال دين مغاير لها - وإلا تم الصدام بين اتباع العديد من الديانات الأخرى - بل بقبول أنصار هذه الديانة لأحكامها .

فضلا عن ذلك ، فلم تذكر الفتوى الموقف من بعض البهائيين الذي قدموا من دول أخرى لا تجرمها ، إذا ما شاءوا الإقامة في مصر و كان موقفهم القانوني سليما ، هل يتم طردهم لكونهم يعتنقون المذهب البهائي؟ وماذا عن الأطفال الذين يولدوا لأبوين مصريين بهائيين ؟ وما أقرته اتفاقية حقوق الطفل التي صدقت عليها مصر و أصبحت جزءا من قانونها الداخلي ، لاسيما المادة 14 التي تنص على :

"تحترم الدول الأطراف حق الطفل في حرية الفكر والوجدان والدين.
تحترم الدول الأطراف حقوق وواجبات الوالدين وكذلك، تبعا للحالة، الأوصياء القانونيين عليه، في توجيه الطفل في ممارسة حقه بطريقة تنسجم مع قدرات الطفل المتطورة.
لا يجوز أن يخضع الإجهار بالدين أو المعتقدات إلا للقيود التي ينص عليها القانون واللازمة لحماية السلامة العامة أو النظام أو الصحة أو الآداب العامة أو الحقوق والحريات الأساسية للآخرين."


At 10:29 AM , Blogger Nicco Knight said...

I understand the realities of Egypt and that we should work within those realities. However, as an international community, we should not let the backwards, secular, and discriminatory environment of Egypt dictate our core principles. Otherwise we will be discredited.

They will say, "those Copts, they're the same people who oppose free speach, demand appointments to elected offices, etc. etc."

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