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”

  1. Dilbertnomore,

    Other groups that don’t exist (because we haven’t heard from someone claiming to be one in the comments section of this post):

    Firefighters
    Egyptians
    Buddhists
    IRS agents
    Little League Baseball Coaches
    Popes
    Former Presidents
    Members of the Mingus Big Band
    Albinos
    Cab Drivers
    Fly-Fishing Guides
    Psychic Helper Monkeys
    Illiterate folks (It’s a joke, get it?)
    People named Bob
    People from Billings Montana
    Employees of the US postal service
    Left Handed folk
    Vegans
    Quakers

    No, I’m not exaggerating that is literally your claim:That because out of the 39 comments here none have self identified as a moderate (whatever that means) Muslim that they must not exist. I’m just applying that exact same criteria to other groups to see if they do in fact exist.

  2. Gyges, to each his own. This thread has been up for more than thirty hours and I have yet to find a single self-identified Muslim express any degree of disapproval of what is essentially a death sentence for a seventeen year old Christian boy. Nuances of Taqiyya and Kitman aside, I find that disquieting.

    Also, were I you, I would take care assuming Islam is just another of the world’s major religions. Even a cursory study of the Koran makes it clear Islam is the whole enchilada – a harshly prescriptive dictat for all aspects of government, law, economy and societal order and, as a bonus, religion, as well. With the possible exceptions of Marxism and radical environmentalism, no other widespread religious belief system even approaches the scope, breadth, depth and extreme level of intrusiveness of Islam.

  3. Dilbertnomore,

    You’ll have to forgive me for not really putting too much stock in what someone who believes everyone involved in one of the world’s four or five major religions behaves the exact same way an believes the exact same thing says about who is or isn’t moderate.

    All things in moderation, even moderation?

    1. Arresting is an attempt to make one human that dies worse than another human that dies.That is imposable. That means arresting should not occur at all. Jesus is perfect. Arresting did not make him imperfect. Arresting is used to give the illusion that one human that dies is worse than another human that dies. Jesus shows mercy. There is no mercy in arresting someone.

  4. Makes ever so much more sense than when human loons try in vain to express a coherent thought in the writing word. -Dilbertnomore

    As history has shown, it’s the “loons” who have often had it right.

  5. Well, the 3 years in prison will not be really 3 years as most probably that poor boy will be killed in there, and (of course, but sadly) killers will not get into trouble for it. A sad story, knowing that US gave support and aid to these ignorant animals.

    The Christian view, but oddly even the realistic view is marked Islamophobic by Moslems, but it’s just really a campaign of those to have the world converted to Islam.

    And tbh I have never really liked Israel but now I see how f***d up their situation is with those neighbooring countries having more and more military power and idiotic relegion like Islam :(.

    “Thank Allah” I live in a country without Moslem minorities and a somewhat working democracy.

    P.s.: I never really understood how a man can harm a woman in any way by the name of “God”, I mean, WOMEN (and only women) ARE ABLE TO GIVE BIRTH to childs, yet men enslave them and execute them by “believes” instead of the rational experience of the way of working of the life that they are an inavoidable and major part of bringing life to the next generation, to our children, how IRRATIONAL IS THIS?

    (- Sorry for bad grammar -)

  6. False equivalence, W=^..^

    There is a difference between an expatriate and someone who self-identifies themselves as an “American ex-patriot (not a misspelling)” as MM does on his own blog and then proceeds to complain. That’s not a call to jingoism or an appeal to patriotism either. That’s the difference between someone taking their civic duty seriously and someone paying lip service to it from a personally safe distance. If you disclaim duty to your country, you have failed to realize that your civic duty consists of more than complaining from the other side of the planet when things get tough. Words should be weighed in the light of actions. Oskar Schindler didn’t do good by his civic (and humanitarian) duty while sitting on a beach half a world away.

  7. “Americans should really have the humility to refrain from commenting upon matters in Muslim countries. We viciously incarcerate — and for far longer periods of time — more people for less criminality than any other country on the face of the earth. We need to shut up about what others should do and get to work cleaning out the corruption in our own government and “legal” system” Michael Murry
    1, April 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm
    —————————————-
    Sir you are sadly speaking the truth.
    There is no justice and legal is become not….

    🙁

  8. Anon Nurse, thanks for the YouTube of the loon calling in nature. Makes ever so much more sense than when human loons try in vain to express a coherent thought in the writing word.

  9. “Personally, I remain profoundly pessimistic that killing and disappearing and dispossessing millions of more Muslims will do anything but train our own vaunted Visigoths to return from their barbarities abroad to join our Homeland Stormtroopers in brutalizing and sacking us instead.

    Sure glad I don’t live in the Asylum anymore. My driver’s license has expired.”

    To steal the punchline of an old joke, “What do you mean by ‘us’, kemosabe?”

    You aren’t here.

    You’ll be nice and safe there on your bar stool in Taiwan tut-tutting the news of “how bad things are back in America” when the shit hits the fan. All the while patting yourself on the back for leaving instead of staying and trying to change things from within. You may have a topic of conversational to swap over G&T’s with your English and Australian buddies down at the Pig & Whistle, but as you sit in the comfort of your faux-British bar ogling the young Taiwanese girls who’ll have nothing to do with you unless you’re spending money on them, consider that you’re by your own admission out of the game.

    Some of us are here asking the tough questions every day.
    Some of us are fighting the war against propaganda.
    Some of us are fighting to retain and restore our civil and human rights.
    Some of us still have skin in the game.

    You don’t. You’re as far away from the U.S. as you could get without going to the moon. There are two kinds of ex-pats (and I know a lot of both kinds, all in the Ring of Fire). There are the kinds who are Americans living elsewhere and there are the kinds running away from America. Your last line leads me to believe you are the later.

    Grouse all you like. Grousing isn’t having skin in the game. Your comments are armchair quarterbacking at best and backseat driving at worst and should be weighted as such. Ex-pats running away from America should have the humility to refrain from commenting upon matters in a country they’ve abandoned and no longer have a stake in. Think about that next time you want to pontificate from your Taiwanese perch.

  10. As for “moderate Muslim” commentary, I recently came upon some while reading the late Chalmers Johnson’s “Blowback” trilogy, specifically Nemesis: the Last Days of the American Republic:

    “Despite the administration’s endless propaganda about bringing freedom and democracy to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, most citizens of those countries who have come in contact with our armed forces (and survived) have had their lives ruined. The courageous, anonymous young Iraqi woman who runs the Internet Web site Baghdad Burning wrote on May 7, 2004: “I don’t understand the ‘shock’ Americans claim to feel at the lurid pictures [from Abu Ghraib prison]. You’ve seen the troops break down doors and terrify women and children … curse, scream, push, pull, and throw people to the ground with a boot over their head. You’ve seen troops shoot civilians in cold blood. You’ve seen them bomb cities and towns. You’ve seen them burn cars and humans using tanks and helicopters…. I sometimes get e-mails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today’s lesson: don’t rape, don’t torture, don’t kill, and get out while you can – while it still looks like you have a choice…. Chaos? Civil war? We’ll take our chances – just take your puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go.”

    And you should hear what the “American extremists” — like Professor Noam Chomsky — have to say. Incendiary stuff like:

    “The scale of the catastrophe in Iraq is so extreme it can barely be reported.”

    Ditto for Afghanistan.

    Americans should really have the humility to refrain from commenting upon matters in Muslim countries. We viciously incarcerate — and for far longer periods of time — more people for less criminality than any other country on the face of the earth. We need to shut up about what others should do and get to work cleaning out the corruption in our own government and “legal” system

    1. Blasphemy is against the holy spirit. As it turns out the Muslims doing what they are doing to that 17 year old artist in Gods name is blasphemy doing what Jesus would never do.. Not repenting of that is unforgivable. To be able to for give is godly. That is showing mercy.

  11. “The word ‘sacred’ generally means a fear that anything so denominated cannot withstand investigation.” — F. C. S. Schiller

    Professor Turley states that “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.” Agreed.

    Professor Turley also laments “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.” Agreed.

    Yet all agreement with the obvious aside, when I grew up our parents admonished us: “Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you.” Letting anything someone else says overcome you emotionally they said, only testifies to your own willing powerlessness over your own mind. So we grew up understanding that “saying” and “doing” bore no necessary relation to each other. Anyone wishing to break my bones will have to pick up a stick and some stones to do it — risking getting them back in their own faces — because just mouthing off won’t do it.

    The real rub here, in my view, comes from the mistaken and pernicious notion that one can “negotiate” or “balance” away what formerly we considered “unalienable” rights. We have no control over what other people do in their own countries — although our imperial presidents proclaim their own blundering omnipotence everywhere — but we should have the capacity to insist that our fundamental rights lie beyond the purview of government authority. I’d like to see someone ask President Obama or Attorney General Holder: “Concerning our Constitutional rights, what part of the word “unalienable” do you not understand?” If they didn’t answer “un-” I would know that — as I suspected all along — they didn’t even understand the question.

    Yet having willingly allowed our government to “alienate” us from our fundamental freedoms, how do we as a people ever get them back? Do a majority of Americans even want them anymore? History does not provide many examples of nations who gave up their freedoms ever again enjoying them. Personally, I remain profoundly pessimistic that killing and disappearing and dispossessing millions of more Muslims will do anything but train our own vaunted Visigoths to return from their barbarities abroad to join our Homeland Stormtroopers in brutalizing and sacking us instead.

    Sure glad I don’t live in the Asylum anymore. My driver’s license has expired.

  12. “No one ever does evil quite so cheerfully or completely as when he does it from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

    Certainly, no one in their right mind would mix religion and state power — unless, like Emperor Constantine did in the Fourth Century — they seek to obtain a little short-sighted political support from squabbling Christian sects lusting for dominance over other religious communities. So when you launch a zealous religious crusade — like, the 10th one, begun in 1948 with the establishment of the Apartheid Zionist Kingdom (hereafter, the A.Z.K.) — you can expect to provoke a reaction in kind from those of other religions whom you seek to dominate, dispossess of their ancestral lands, and destroy through self-aggrandizing, ever-escalating violence. By the time your military “professionals” grow weary and rebellious from abusive and inconclusive deployments-without-end, you start recruiting already dead and diseased mercenaries (Hessians in Humvees) to inflict your crumbling empire on those who will have none of it. Predictably, you get:

    Peace With Horror

    A leper knight rode into view
    Astride his mangy steed
    A harbinger of violence
    A plague without a need
    An apparition of discord
    Upon which fear would feed

    His unannounced arrival meant
    He’d lost his leper’s bell
    And yet his ugly innocence
    Could not conceal the smell
    His good intentions only paved
    Another road to Hell

    With mace and lance and sword deployed
    He vowed in peace to live
    Through rotting lips he promised not
    To take, but only give
    He swore to only kill the ones
    Whom he said shouldn’t live

    He did not speak the language and
    He did not know the land
    So why the healthy shrank from him
    He could not understand
    Why did they want the water when
    He’d offered them the sand?

    Committing to commitments he
    Committed crimes galore
    As steadfast in his loyalties
    As any purchased whore
    A mercenary madman like
    His slogan: “Peace through War”

    His slaying for salvation masked
    An inner, grasping greed
    A lust for living good and well
    While looking past his deed
    A dead man walking wakefully;
    A graveyard gone to seed

    He planned to leave in “phases,” so
    He said to those back home
    Who’d heard some nasty rumors rife
    From Babylon to Rome
    Of murders in their name meant to
    Exalt their sacred tome

    But still he needed to “protect”
    Some pilgrims on the road
    Who for “protection” glumly paid
    A portion of their load:
    For this decaying derelict,
    An object episode

    When asked to give a summary
    Of what he had achieved
    He shifted to the future tense
    The gains that he perceived
    And spoke in the subjunctive mood
    To those he had aggrieved

    “The future life to come portends
    More suffering than now
    Through me alone can you avoid
    What I will disavow:
    The promises I never made
    While making, anyhow.”

    “I unsay things that I have said
    And say I never did;
    Then say them once again to pound
    The meaning deeply hid,
    Down where the lizard lives between
    The ego and the id.”

    “I’ve given you catastrophe
    And called it a success;
    If you want other outcomes then
    Step forward and confess
    That you believed a pack of lies
    With no strain, sweat, or stress.”

    “You know the meaning of my words
    Lasts only just as long
    As sound takes to decay in air
    So that you take them wrong
    If you assign significance
    To my sly siren song.”

    “A ‘propaganda catapult’
    I’ve called myself, in fact;
    A damning human document
    Which I myself redact
    At every opportunity
    With no concern for tact.”

    “If you think what I’ve done before
    Has caused me to repent
    Or dream that I, in any way,
    Might let up or relent
    Then I’ve got wars for you to buy,
    Or maybe just to rent.”

    “I’ve little time to live on earth,
    So why should I reflect
    Upon the dead and dying souls
    Whose lives I’ve robbed and wrecked?
    I care not if they hate, just that
    They know to genuflect.”

    Thus did the ruin of a world
    Continue in its curse;
    The great man on his horse relieved
    The faithful of their purse
    And gave them bad to save them from
    What they feared even worse

    Then onward to Jerusalem
    He staggered as he slew
    In train with sack and booty that
    He only thought his due
    For spreading freedom’s germs among
    The last surviving few

    Michael Murry, The Misfortune Teller, Copyright 2006-2007

    You can’t say that history never provided ample example and warning of what not to do in the Middle East. Honest people who wanted someone’s oil would simply pay for it. Trying to steal it through self-bankrupting violence never works. Which, of course, highly recommends mindless violence as policy to American political/military/corporate/media “elites.”

    Anyway, the 17-year-old sentenced to 3 years in Egypt should consider himself lucky. An American citizen (and his 16-year-old son) with a Muslim name who exercised their right to free speech in criticizing American abuse of Muslims, worldwide, would find himself not arrested, tried, and convicted, but drone-murdered according to Erick Holder’s “do process” doctrine — secret, but take-our-word-for-it “legal.”

    1. Don’t see Jesus ,and don’t see a Christian. Religion from the day of Christ is against Christ.
      See someone who is froward, and see the rest of what is written not being a Christian.
      All the gay wants is for humans to be is affable, friendly toward them, but humans end up being froward, and the KJV says that a human that is froward is an abominable thing to be toward a human.
      Lying lips are also connected with a human that is abominable too. That means the human against the zoosexual, bestialist is also abominable.
      Proverbs 11:20
      20They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
      Someone who is froward is openly rebellious, just the opposite of someone who is toward “affable, friendly”, What we needed are affable; and friendly humans. To arrest anyone is not being affable, friendly therefore whoever is being abominable with whoever.
      Humans not being affable, friendly to the gay, furry, zoo, clothing optional human or bestialist are abominable.

      Proverbs 12 22Lying lips are abomination to the LORD:
      Lying lips will pervert the way of judgment.
      Proverbs 17 :23A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
      The human against the Gay, zoo etc are perverted.
      Those lying words are meant to destroy the zoosexual, and the furry too. That makes the destroyer a hypocrite too.
      Proverbs 9An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
      Those lying words will defile the soul of the human.
      Matthew 15:11 ,King James Bible
      Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
      The humans that lie are also full of Deceit.
      ,Proverbs 12 20,Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellers of peace is joy.
      The human that has Deceit has no integrity. Thereby being a fool.
      Proverbs 19 :1Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
      Therefore in Gods eyes the human that persecute,and oppress the gay etc are froward,. abominable, wicked, perverted, thieves, hypocrites, that are defiled, being deceitful, having no integrity, thereby being a fool.
      KJV,;Romans 12:19;Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
      Legal system fly’s in the face of this verse..
      KJV,1 John 3;.15;Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
      That means the humans in the Egyptian Court are abominable hating murderers being influenced by Islamic Sharia law that is abominable.

      Ephesians 4:32 :King James Bible
      And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Luke 6:37:King James Bible
      Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. 14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
      Humans over history have done the opposite to what is write in the KJV bible.

  13. GH, sadly I remain unconvinced of the existence of the ephemeral ‘moderate’ Muslim. And, I am afraid, the orthodox Muslim practices of Taqiyya and Kitman render any sympathetic expression by any Muslim suspect absent close examination of the assertion. I continue to wonder, is it possible for a believing Muslim to be truly moderate?

  14. Dilbertnomore,

    We have had moderate Muslims post here in the past in response to similar stories. Given that: 1) although the blog has an international following most of the traffic is still from North America and 2) that Islam is not the predominate religion in North America; I would say that the appearance of moderate Muslims in this forum is probably proportionate to the appearance of moderate Christians in this forum. The extremists, being as focused on religion, are far more likely to comment in the vein of theology (as exemplified above). That being said, I do wish a self-identifying moderate Muslim would weigh in on this particular thread.

  15. Let’s see. The entry had to do with the sentencing of a Christian Egyptian teen to three years in an Egyptian prison – the equivalent of a life sentence in Super Max here. And yet the loons come out of the woodwork lambasting anything American armed forces they can think of. Weird. Strange. Sadly, all too normal for that ilk.

    To the topic at hand, I’m just curious where the ‘moderate’ Muslim community is on this. All I can hear is the customary soothing sound of crickets chirping. If such a creature as the elusive ‘moderate’ Muslim does actually exist, I would posit this circumstance would present a great time to stand up and decry this gross injustice. But alas, I have come to believe, based on observable fact, the mythic creature, the ‘moderate’ Muslim is far more uncommon than Bigfoot.

    I would welcome being acquainted with evidence to the contrary. I am not optimistic.

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