Egyptian Court Sentences 17-Year-Old Christian Boy To Three Years In Jail For Cartoons of Mohammad on Facebook

We have for years been following the rising number of blasphemy prosecutions not only in the Muslim world but, even more worrisome, in the West. Now, an Egyptian court has added a new outrage in sentencing a 17-year-old Christian boy to three years in jail for publishing cartoons on Facebook deemed mocking of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. It is the latest example of the abuses of Sharia law and the danger of intermingling religion and government.


Gamal Abdou Massoud showed the drawings to school friends in a village in the southern city of Assiut, which has a large Christian population and is the hometown of the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda. Christians have faced increasing pressure and violence in Egypt since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime and the rise of Islamic fundamentalists.

Local muslims reacted to the kid’s cartoons with outrage and burned down Christian homes and assaulted Christians in retaliation.

As I have mentioned before, the efforts of the Obama Administration to work with countries like Egypt on an international blasphemy standard is a threat to free speech around the world. After first supporting an international blasphemy standard, the Administration sought to get Egypt and other countries to adopt the Brandenburg standard as the basis for such prosecutions. These cases show the mentality of countries pushing for a “balance” between free speech and religion. It also shows why the use of the Brandenburg standard is so dangerous in the hands of such officials who view free speech as the cause of imminent violence. Because any joke or image of the Prophet can trigger violence, the standard is immediately satisfied in countries like Egypt, which can then claim some legal legitimacy under the standard created with the United States. Free speech is under attack around the world and I view this effort as facilitating, rather than curtailing, such crackdowns on dissidents and intellectuals. While I truly believe that the Obama Administration officials are well-intentioned and believe that they can moderate this trend against free speech, I am fearful that their effort will only legitimate these abusive cases.

Source: Times

64 thoughts on “Egyptian Court Sentences 17-Year-Old Christian Boy To Three Years In Jail For Cartoons of Mohammad on Facebook”

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  2. There won’t nobody would say that you wear a dummy one. The king of late night and his guests sip out of similar mugs during the show.

  3. Bron,

    “I think in this century and the last century, Islam has been pretty bad.” I’m not disagreeing with that as a point, but in the end, I think there is enough blame to spread around and do so fairly. Just because some asshole isn’t trying to burn me for being a witch today doesn’t eliminate the ethical responsibility and stain of him trying to do it yesterday.

  4. Gene H:

    I think in this century and the last century, Islam has been pretty bad. There really isnt much of a comparison. Going back to the 1100’s and up until around the late 1600’s you might have a point.

    One lone gunman isnt an indictment on Christianity. Most Christians are like Eloi.

  5. Diblertnomore,

    I’m not sure what my personal faith has to do with you saying Jesus didn’t tell sombody to sell all his possesions and follow him around, but what you appear to be saying is that if I come at a religion from ignorance, I might not be the best person to judge its finer theological points. We’re in agreement, that’s actually been my entire point. Now if you’d just apply that same standard to your views on Islam, you might find yourself better for the reflection.

    For what it’s worth, I know quite a bit about Christanity, and quite a bit about both the text of the Bible and the historical context. I also know that the Nicene and Apostolic creeds aren’t all that important to more than a few protestant sects. Christanity as a whole is a wildly diverse and fragemented religion. What’s important to your personal version may be viewed as backwards or even heritical by another.

    Oh, and if you’re curious:

    http://bible.cc/luke/18-22.htm
    http://bible.cc/1_timothy/2-12.htm

  6. “Christianity requires…”

    Says you.

    You’ll forgive me if I doubt the theological chops of somebody who thinks that the Biblical Jesus didn’t advocate selling off all your possessions and joining his commune. Or that the Epistles (you know, the letters of the people who founded the religion on how to set up and run churches) don’t specifically forbid having women teaching men.

    Now if you want to ignore those parts, I’m not going to tell you what you need to practice your religion. I suggest you give others the same token of respect.

    “To be a good Muslim.. ”

    Again says you. See Above, you don’t even get your own religion right. I sure don’t trust you to get someone else’s right.

    1. Gyges, my flawed human side, damaged by “original sin” tells me to lose you like a bad habit because you have become tiresome and seem incredibly dense. My Christian duty, however, requires me to make one final attempt to reach you and that duty must supercede.

      Here is my final council to you. The essence of Christian belief is crystallized in either the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed. As it seems from your unfamiliarity with Christianity you likely have no knowledge of the creeds, you can search for them on Google to read them. The words are straightforward and can be taken at face value.

      I hope you take them seriously. I believe your life depends on it. You have been told all you need to go forward. Goodbye

  7. “Ever wonder why this type of action is almost exclusive to Islam?”

    You’ll be waiting a long time. I didn’t know you were a comic, but it’s readily apparent you aren’t a history teacher. Plenty of oppression and violence has been done in the name of Jesus and/or one church or another. When it comes to oppression and violence, no one religion has a monopoly. I point to the irony of people who claim to worship a benevolent loving God who kill doctors performing a legal medical procedure because said procedure offends their “pro-life sensibilities”. Yeah! Pro-life . . . until you disagree with them. There’s a saying about motes and beams. You should acquaint yourself with it. Because all organized religions have done or are doing something horrible.

  8. Gyges, now we get to the essentials of two belief systems.

    To be a good Christian it is not necessary to do any of the red flag things you list. Christianity requires acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior. It is presumed if one sincerely adheres to Christianity one will adapt one life and behavior to model Jesus (who did none of the things you list).

    To be a good Muslim, however, one must conform to the Koran and the teachings of Mohammad. Willful disobedience is a mortal sin. Apostasy is a capital offense. Unlike the Bible which was written over the course of many, many generations by a number of different authors, the Koran is the product of one man written entirely during his lifetime and is compiled in sequence from oldest to newest. Further the Koran provides clear direction for dealing with any internal conflicts – the most recent direction on a topic is to be followed and older parts are superceded. (It is interesting to note the most violent directives in the Koran are the most recent and therefore directive.)

    So, prattle on with your pap of moral equivalency all you want. Facts is facts no matter how much you find them uncomfortable or inconvient.

  9. To channel my inner 1980’s rapper, “Word”, Gyges.

    Although there are exceptions (usually at the fanatical end of the scale), the problem is rarely in a religion itself, but in the practice.

  10. “But it is significant that none of those groups, so far as I know, have ever sought to imprison a Christian Egyptian teen for doing something stupid.”

    Actually, the second group in is the ONLY one that has. At least if you’re using the short hand of referring to a government by the people it governs. Also, don’t dismiss Killer Psychic Helper Monkeys (what on earth was Romero thinking?) .

    Until somebody comes forward and gives their opinion on it (or similar matters), or turns out to be an Egyptian government official in charge of enforcing blaspheme laws, you have no reason short of intellectual laziness to assume their position one way or the other.

    Furthermore, nobody should be required to justify their religion to someone who can’t be bothered to understand that not every member interprets it’s holy text the same way.

    We get it, you read a book or two about how scary Islam is. Since you have no interaction with followers of said scary religion you have no reason to doubt the book. I mean, it appeals to all the sweet spots, it creates an other to fear, they generally look different, the average member of the target audience isn’t likely to have much interaction with or knowledge of the group. In short, it’s tribalism at it’s absolute worst.

    Now, all I ask is that you ask yourself would you like the same standard applied to you as you’re applying here? When somebody of a group you belong to does something fundamentally wrong in the name of that group, do you want to have to scour the web and post on every blog where it comes up (even if it’s not a language you speak), just so that the people on the blog know there’s one “moderate” whatever?

    “But, but, but…. Islam says this” arguments are as valid as the analogue would be applied Christianity. Which is to say, not at all. Stoning witches, not letting women teach men, selling all your possessions and joining some hippy commune, slavery, patricide, matricide, family-member-icide, etc., etc., etc., are all endorsed in the Bible, most in the New Testament, and all explicitly. Just because some power-hungry monsters decide to take their holy texts literally and use them to justify their own power and violence, doesn’t mean that every one of the millions of members of that religion agree.

  11. Awww. Poor long winded you.

    And I don’t require pseudo-intellectual condescending criticisms from a condescending “American ex-patriot (not a misspelling)” sitting on the sidelines instead of working for solutions so I guess that makes us even.

    Your blog? Considering the absolute desert devoid of comment I found, I imagine you are thankful for any traffic you get and don’t have to pay for – much like others areas of gratification in your life. I was mainly curious to see if it was full of poor argumentation and fallacious logic, but to my not much of a surprise, I discovered you have a blog full of turgid dog shit poetry instead, Mr. Straw Man. I think that you should be pretty good at typing by now considering what you’re doing it best described as creative typing. It sure isn’t poetry.

    Like I said, grouse all you like. It is your right, just like it is my right to criticize your bitching from the other side of the planet. However, your grousing should be considered in the light of someone who takes their civic duty so seriously that they ran away. If you don’t like that? Too bad. That 1st Amendment is a two-edged sword, ain’t she? (That was a rhetorical question.)

    Have a nice day, PFCADB (that’s pasty faced candy ass douche bag – I don’t know if it’s military terminology but it sure is accurate).

  12. To all REMFs like Gene H.

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I plan to have many more poems and expository essays posted there soon.

    I have an honorable discharge from the United States Navy that credits me for “honest and faithful service.” I earned that salutation for six years of penurious (meaning, dirt poor) military duty during deployments “half a world away.” Since my government had no qualms about abusing me and wasting six years of my life wherever it wanted to waste them, I reserve the right to criticize my government’s many and manifests stupidities — especially its endless quagmire blundering abroad — from wherever I live.

    When I came back from a year-and-a-half in the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72), I understood utterly what Civil War veteran Ambrose Bierce meant when he wrote in his Devil’s Dictionary:

    Patriotism — combustible rubbish, ready to the torch of anyone ambitious to illuminate his name.”

    And,

    Patriot: — the dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.”

    Although I only served in the American military because my government threatened me with Conscription, Prison, or Exile if I didn’t, “I went where they sent me and I did what they told me to do” — apparently to the satisfaction of the U. S. Government. Nonetheless, like Bierce, I realized that my “patriotism” (as conventionally misunderstood) had only served as flammable trash fuel for a global fire illuminating the disreputable names of Lyndon Baines Johnson and Richard Nixon. Moreover, I learned through biter experience that my government considered me a useful “patriot” only in the sense that it could cavalierly manipulate me as a dupe and tool of nationalistic desk-murderers. Hence, I became an “ex-patriot,” a free-thinking citizen, one no longer a dupe or tool of bureaucratic bunglers, and one impervious to knee-jerk, bonfire “patriotism.” The self-designation “expatriate” (one who lives abroad) “ex-patriot,” then, accurately describes me for good and numerous reasons. The poet in me additionally liked the similar sounds of the two different words juxtaposed sequentially.

    I don’t require lectures from REMFs — i.e., Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers (military terminology) — who somehow suppose that where an American lives or works or serves has any bearing at all on the merit of his comments or criticisms regarding any subject. The last time I visited the United States, the bitter and underpaid rent-a-cop immigration officer looked at my U.S. passport and stupidly inquired: “What nationality are you?” Apparently, all too many American morons think that any work, travel, or residence outside of the continental United States makes one less of a citizen the the provincial bumpkins who have never traveled or thought outside their own town, city, or state.

    I lived, worked, and raised my family in the United States for most of my life, and I would have died in the United States without health insurance (too young for Medicare) had I not sold my home before the real estate bubble burst and moved to my wife’s country where the national health care system saved me. America has meant “death” to me in so many ways that I can hardly begin to enumerate them, but it testifies to my sense of civic duty that I go on caring enough about the damaged and declining former republic to comment upon it at all. I do have a younger brother, two sons, and a few friends who still live there. Until they can escape to civilization and a better life, I will always worry about their lives and prospects for genuine happiness.

    If America doesn’t like my criticisms, America can stop deserving them.

    And Barack Obama and Mitt Romney do not reassure me in the least.

    Finally, when you speak of my commenting “from a safe distance,” what on earth could you possibly mean by that? Safe from whom? And What? Do you mean “safe” from some form of violent reprisal for expressing my citizen’s rights under the Constitution? My, what a petty little Brownshirt your comments reveal.

    Thanks for allowing me another opportunity to dump all over you again. I can always use a few minutes of typing practice a day.

  13. Gyges, of course, you are correct that no members of the many groups you enumerate are represented among the commentaries listed here. I’d be willing to stipulate to dozens more if that would help..

    But it is significant that none of those groups, so far as I know, have ever sought to imprison a Christian Egyptian teen for doing something stupid. Islam prescribes such disposition and worse for blasphemy by dhimmi and gruesome death for apostates. Dhimmi are those who adhere to a belief system not Islam. People like me and perhaps you and other discussants here assembled.

  14. KJV, Proverbs 6 ;16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
    A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
    An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
    A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
    Humans against the this 17 year old artist, gays, bestialists zoosexuals ,naked humans, third gender,and furry are being froward against them being abominable not being affable friendly. KJV, Pro; 3, 32;For the froward is abomination to the LORD: That means the Muslim religion is seen by Good to be abominable. Let that kid go.

  15. KJV, Proverbs 6 ;16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
    A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
    An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
    A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
    Humans against the this 17 year old artist, gays, bestialists zoosexuals ,naked humans, third gender,and furry are being being froward against them being abominable not being affable friendly. KJV, Pro; 3, 32;For the froward is abomination to the LORD: That means the Muslim religion is seen by Good to be abominable. Let that kid go.

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