Egypt’s Public Prosecution has launched an investigation into a possible blasphemy case after screenshots purporting to show an exchange on Facebook during which one user uses derogatory language to describe Prophet Muhammad went viral on social media.
According to Al Ahram Online, Public Prosecutor Hamada El Sawi has described the investigation as “urgent” and his office has stated that the suspect’s anti-Prophet Muhammad comments amount to “contempt of religion” charges.
Authorities said the alleged offender, who goes by the name of Geo Hany on social media, lives in Ismailia. The city’s prosecution office has reportedly launched its own investigation after receiving a number of complaints and reports against Hany.
The Interior Ministry has also begun taking measures to locate the alleged offender and uncover as much information about the conversation during which the suspect wrote the ‘blasphemous’ comments.
This comes following last month’s French cartoon row, which culminated in the murder of 47-year-old French teacher Samuel Paty at the hands of an 18-year-old Muslim student.
The student reportedly committed the beheading after he took offense to Paty’s showing of a Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression. French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the act as a terrorist attack and proclaimed that his government would not renounce the cartoons, citing the country’s secular values and freedom of expression, prompting calls for mass boycotts against France in the Muslim world.
The murder was also condemned by the leaders of many Muslim countries and institutions, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.