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Egypt Minister Calls for International Law to Criminalize Contempt of Religion

June 7, 2015
Credit: Reuters

Credit: Reuters
Egypt’s minister for religious endowments called for the issuance of an “international law to criminalise contempt of religion” on Sunday.

A ministry official spoke on behalf of Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa during a conference for world religious leaders in Kazakhstan, the state news agency MENA reported.

Gomaa believes the international law, which he is calling for, should criminalise contempt of religion “without any discrimination.”

Gomaa warned from the use of religion for political or sectarian reasons, making the message of heavenly religions the “fuel of endless conflicts”.

In January, gunmen attacked French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris, killing a dozen people. Over the next two days, five more people were killed in France in related shootings and the attack was the cause for much tension in Europe and globally.

The French newspaper has stirred multiple controversies for the way it has tackled Muslim issues, dating back to 2011 when it showed offensive drawings of Islam’s Prophet Muhammed.

The newspaper’s first issue after the attack also depicting prophet Muhammad was described by Egypt’s top religious institution Al-Azhar as “sick imagination” and “hateful futility”.

Within Egypt, contempt of religion is punishable by law and many people have faced trial in recent years, facing this charge.

A local legal organisation called the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, however, said that “simply…anyone could be presented to court” for publishing an article, images or any material on any of the divine religions if the opinion expressed is different from that of the ruling faction.

An Islamic show host called, Islam al-Beheiry was sentenced to prison in absentia for accusations of being in contempt of religion as recently as last week.

Being found in contempt of religion is punishable by between six months and five years in prison and a fine worth 500 to 1,000 Egyptian pounds.

Comments (28)

  1. Minymina says:

    F**k this guy. Sisi needs to sack this lunatic.

  2. Lola Van der Kamp says:

    Not going to happen in countries that were founded on freedom of religion, including freedom FROM religion.

    1. vladtepesblog says:

      It is happening. Check UN resolution 16/18 and in fact Hillary Clinton signed off on it for the USA. She admitted that the US 1st amendment made criminalizing defamation of islam problematic, but said the govt, could seek out and shame those who did and they did. Both Terry Jones was treated criminally by the Obama admin while he was exercising his constitutional rights, and the admin also arrested a film maker for making a movie about the pirate mohamed claiming it was responsible for an Al Qaeda attack in Libya, when they knew at the time it was not.

    2. Lola Van der Kamp says:

      Even if that were true it won’t hold up in the Supreme Court.

    3. vladtepesblog says:

      What a pity that all the muslims who have attacked people they disagree with, successfully like in Paris or unsuccessfully like in Texas do not care what the supreme court says and will eventually attack them for the crime of ‘shirk’. A capital offence in islam.

      It is down to us. We have to make decisions and decide what we value enough to defend.

    4. Johan Krüger Haglert says:

      Yeah. And the problem is that the west won’t be ok with attacking all Muslims because of that.

      So people will have to accept to be terrorized with no means of defense.

      It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for stupid ideas of multiculturalism and open borders.

      I have much more trust in the US though. Like their second Muhammed contest “everyone bring guns!” Sure they could still be attacked. But they could also defend.

    5. Johan Krüger Haglert says:

      It should never had made it into the human rights (rather inhumane rights) but those ones are becoming seriously bloated.

      “Let everyone be.” would be enough. It’s super-bloated.

      Anyway AFAIK they aren’t juridically binding. And of course the Islamic countries has instead signed the “Cairo declaration of human-rights in Islam” which totally isn’t the same thing but rather Sharia laws. So some of them like Saudi-Arabia haven’t signed and don’t care for the UN human-rights. And for instance of course IS won’t.

    6. Johan Krüger Haglert says:

      I wouldn’t say so.

      Sweden is flooded by a shit-load of immigrants including Muslims and Sweden do absolutely nothing to fight the Islamization because one completely buy into the “Islamophobia” bullshit and protection of hateful minorities even though those are the problem. Islamophobia is Islamorealism and only exist because the terrorists exists. Attacks based on Islam is real. There’s nothing phobic about that.

      Doesn’t take all that many very dedicated minds to ruin freedom even by law (and just one to do it in local reality.)

      The problem is rather the opinions like yours. Where people take freedom for granted and assume everyone wants it. Everyone doesn’t and it’s not a thing you get for free and don’t have to fight for. In Europe maybe one haven’t had to for a short while but that will be challenged by the Muslim immigration.

      Whatever dictatorship will win is a different story.

      The US I trust more and Australia also seem to be harsh even though it’s a country with lots of immigrants and AFAIK also Muslim immigrants but they are expected to play by the rules or leave. Canada is even willing to deport second generation immigrants!

      Islam isn’t tolerant or liberal so it doesn’t really deserve to demand anything such.
      Our western societies grant it more freedom than it deserves. But criticism.. Yeah. It should and need to happen or the freedom will be gone.

      And that’s the case in Egypt too of course. Doing it like he suggest just remove freedom for those who want to fight religious fundamentalism.

      With that said good luck to all PEOPLE in Egypt and the middle-east who want to live and allow other people to live free individualistic lives in whatever way they want too.

      “Live and let live” beats any more complicated ideology. Everyone wins if those laws where to be followed.