Egyptian Court Sentences Florida Pastor and Six Others To Death In Absentia For Insulting Islam

Egyptian judges are in the news for their resistance to the attempt of President Mohammed Morsi’s claim of unchecked power. However, progressive values can mean radically different things in some parts of the world. An Egyptian court this week convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor of insulting Islam and sentenced them to death.

The case was prompted by the low-budget film, “Innocence of Muslims,” produced by an Egyptian-American Coptic named Mark Basseley Youssef. He and the other defendants were found guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information.

Among the defendants is Florida-based Terry Jones, who has acquired international infamy for his burning of a Koran and other anti-Islamic acts.

While the resistance to unchecked power is heartening, Egypt continues to maintain blasphemy laws that punish religious minorities and agnostics.

Source: Washington Post

27 thoughts on “Egyptian Court Sentences Florida Pastor and Six Others To Death In Absentia For Insulting Islam”

  1. RE: rafflaw 1, November 29, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Crazy legal actions based on religion! Just another example why we need to keep a separation between church and state!


    While I may plausibly concur about the “predicament” of “Crazy legal actions based on religion!” there may be a lack of concurrence among the participants of the Turley blog as to what is, and what is not, “church” even if there is near perfect agreement as to what is, and what is not, “state.”

    To me, in the sense of separation between church and state, a church is a social organization in which doctrines and/or dogmas are ranked as more truthfully important that scientific findings achieved through direct observation.

    To me, doctrine and/or dogma which is held to be immune to being challenged, and which is therefore authoritarian and not authoritative, is the hallmark of a church; and any social organization which promotes doctrine and/or dogma as having greater truth than skilled scientific direct observation has, is of religion and the organization is, by its form and function, regardless of legal definition, a church.

    When I find a social organization that promotes its self-serving doctrines in ways that I find appear to endanger public safety, I find impossible to elude the suspicion that I have found a form of church.

    During my three years as a Carleton College liberal arts physics major, I took a class taught by a Carleton College physics professor, Ian G. Barbour, the topic of which was contemporary religious thought. Barbour was professor of religion and professor of physics at Carleton.

    One of the books used in that class was Philip H.Phenix, “Intelligible Religion: A key to understanding religion in its various forms a differing expressions of five basic universally-shared aspects of human experience.”

    My approach to church as a form of expression of religious belief is grounded on the notion that religion is a useful name for human brain activity centered on life experiences which are not accurately understood for lack of any yet-achievable way to accurately interpret them; therefore, to me, all religious doctrines are actually hypotheses subject to scientific scrutiny whenever science has evolved sufficiently to test them.

    In my work as a theoretical biologist and Wisconsin-licensed Registered Professional Engineer having both B.S. (High Honors) and Ph.D. degrees in bioengineering, I find that the legal doctrine of proximate cause and the legal doctrine of avoidable accident culpability to both be religious doctrines the falsification of which has been accomplished in my doctoral thesis and made public in my thesis-in-written-form as my doctoral dissertation. In my view, the ideas comprise my thesis and the written expression of the ideas comprise my dissertation. Thus, while my dissertation is an expression of my thesis, they are not the same, because the thesis is a proper superset of the dissertation.

    Consider the legal doctrine that ignorance of the law is no excuse. One day, I set out to test whether the law, in its present form in the United States of America is something of which ignorance is possible to avoid. I find that ignorance of the law is structurally unavoidable, all protestations of the legal profession to the contrary notwithstanding.

    To me, from my perspective as a biologist who is also a professional engineer, the view of one religious establishment that another religious establishment is a violation of the separation of church and state is confounded with self-referential conundra.

    Within Islamic fundamentalism, the Anglo-American Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence is accurately identified as a false religion. Seemingly, within Anglo-American Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism is accurately recognized as a false religion.

    “O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us
    An foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an gait wad lea’es us,
    An ev’n devotion!”
    Robert Burns

    The test is simple. To not be ignorant of the law, it is necessary to know all of the law, for not knowing all of the law is contiguous with being ignorant of such of the law as one does not know.

    To know all of the law, it is necessary to know exactly how many laws there are, for, without knowing exactly how many laws there are, there is no way for a person to discern accurately whether one or more laws is missing from one’s understanding of the law.

    So, I met, in the fall of 1987, with an attorney who had done some work for my family with respect to our wills. I showed the attorney some posters I made which, to me, summarize my understanding of why ignorance of the law is, from a biological perspective, an excuse.

    The attorney informed me, “No, ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

    I asked the attorney, “How many laws are there?”

    Attorney, “I don’t know.”

    I remarked that I had checked with the American Bar Association headquarters, and they could not tell me how to find out exactly how many laws there are.

    The attorney did not reply, so I said, “Is it reasonable to expect people to do the impossible?”

    Attorney, “I don’t know.”

    I said, “Is it decent to require people to do the impossible and punish them for the inescapable failure?”

    Attorney, “I don’t know.”

    I said, “What is the law?”

    Attorney, “I don’t know.”

    It is my present conjecture that there is no attorney, and no combination of attorneys, who can, at feasible financial cost to me, accurately inform me of the law such that I, in accord with the dictates of my conscience, can be absolutely and completely law-abiding according to law, regardless of the circumstances and situations of my life.

    If I cannot be law-abiding according to the dictates of my conscience, is that because I, as a real person, am intrinsically “flawed.” or because the law, as a set of “make-believes” is internally inconsistent?

    If the present structure and function of the Anglo-American Adversarial System of Law and Jurisprudence is, however unwittingly or unintentionally, a religious establishment, because, like all religious establishments that have mandated doctrines, its doctrines are actually, from a biological science view, testable hypotheses, and one of the religious doctrines of the religious law establishment is that its doctrines are not testable hypotheses, will not the truth eventually become impossible to suppress?

    Engineering, I observe, has two main aspects, analysis and synthesis. if analysis is not accurate, inaccurate temperature-related analysis of the structural properties of some o-rings may lead to a teacher in dead space. Without accurate analysis, accurate synthesis cannot be assured. Without synthesis, engineering has no product, and nothing has been engineered.

    1. .
      KJV,Proverbes 3:30 Strive not with a man without a cause, if he hath done thee no harm. QWhat does islamic law do? Just the opposite. What does God law say?
      Romans 12 >>
      King James Version
      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.

      What dos islamic law do? The opposite to what this says.

  2. Bruce said it right. Cut off all aid to Egypt. Also all of the mid east and far east countres. If we are on a fiscal cliff then why pay these pirate countries a dime. Write your Congressman.woman. Withold taxes.

    1. Those barbarians lusting, yearning not satisfied unless they find a supposed reason kill a person refusing to repent with a stiff stubborn neck determined to hunt humans like a hunter stakes their prey have no idea where they are heading. Those people should not be supported in their endeavors. They are proving themselves to be like what Jesus calls swine. When they repent I will say differently.

  3. Actually the meaning of the separation of church and state is quite clear in both the jurisprudence surround the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses and in the writings of the Founders to say that ours is a secular government. That atheism is a secular belief as opposed to an ecclesiastical belief is immaterial to the clear protection the Constitution applies to not allowing any religious group including Christians to force their beliefs upon others via the mechanisms of law.

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