Egypt Sentences Cleric To 11 Years For Burning Bible

441px-Coat_of_arms_of_Egypt_(Official).svgThis is one of those stories that can put some in a difficult position. On one hand, it seems like progress that a hateful Islamic Cleric was sentenced for destroying a Bible in light of the litany of prosecutions of people for insulting Islam. However, in the end, it is simply the same denial of free exercise and free speech under blasphemy laws. Whether it is a Koran or a Bible, the act (as hateful and obnoxious that it is) remains an exercise of free speech and should be protected as a basic human right.

Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, was arrested after tearing up and burning a Bible during a protest against an anti-Islam film outside the U.S. embassy last year. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 3,000 Egyptian pounds, or $430. His son was sentenced to eight years in prison and a fine of 2,000 Egyptian pounds, or $286.

Egypt’s continued crackdown of anti-religious speech is part of its long-standing blasphemy abuses. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Egypt to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech.  We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.

The crackdowns in Saudi Arabia and Egypt show again how unwise this effort by the Obama Administration was from the start. The Administration has given credibility to these efforts to curb anti-religious speech. Whatever desire it had to “moderate” such actions by cooperating on an international standard has proven, as many of us predicted, an utter failure. There can be no compromise between free speech and blasphemy. These nations stand against the most basic right of all men and women to speak freely and worship (or not worship) as their values dictate.

We of course disclosed this week that we would be continuing to send over a billion dollars in aid to Egypt despite its imposition of Islamic controls and the denial of free speech to its citizens.

18 thoughts on “Egypt Sentences Cleric To 11 Years For Burning Bible”

  1. well the fact that nobody contested the nuclear war in 2008 was done and NOBODY said a word about it. other things not said on this site or removed should tell you that anus waters cup runneth over. so cut off your head hold it to your greedy, sick breast. you were all dead since aug. 2008 was posted.

  2. I don’t have to prove you’re not God.

    You’re the one making the claim you are, therefor, the burden of proof rests with you.

    So make me a castle in Kyoto. Turn the Moon plaid. Make Russell Brand actually funny.

    You know.

    Perform a miracle.

  3. know that the fbi can do nothing to stop Me…

    you must prove prove that I am not god, is written…! I don’t care about your personal beliefs, or yore petty eyes and ears. so don’t count on light being the speed limit. you want CHANGE, so sit there and piss and moan.

    the mormon church wants to crucify my son. they can say what ever they want. but they will die just like you, and you won’t have any doubts about any thing i’ve posted.

    so go play with yourself!

  4. If you’re really God, then you’d know not to use one of the four words limited from this space, namely b*tch. The other three are f*ck, b@stard and a$$h*le. Otherwise, you’re free to say what you like so long as you comply with the civility rule. Your cooperation on these matters is appreciated.

    BTW, that whole “light is the speed limit” is a pain for interstellar travel. Knock it off.

  5. NO straw. seven fore teen Isa revel-lay-shun a-swell of 18: 1-7 and 22: 18-20.

    jai alai missed-her. ed. and the doll-lea lam’-ah.

    the first thing that happens is you disarm the people and they revolt some sum sum-her thyme is on the way. the daze will be getting short-whore and langer at the same time. just for the record – all things have been recorded that “WE” posted in the proper places.

    in fact, that is one of peoples complaints right now, is monitoring emails.
    a STRANGE HUSH is happening on this site
    those chicken shits hide behind the cross they killed MY SON on. then claim that JESUS will lead them in war.
    those who want freedom of speech, censor GOD. you gained the worlds attention and proved that there is no such thing as freedom of speach as you profess.
    of course, I make it easy for you to do so don’t “I” !

  6. while your moderating GOD mister turley you better think about the souls-to-ice…

  7. from the: “coaching center”, if you could ask GOD any question what would it be? hundreds of students were recently asked this question and came up with five. then the cylcle-all-adjusts had the order-acididity to give their opinions. so where is the blasphemy stop.

  8. What about the ancient stone Buddhas the Taliban blew up? Is it just a matter of scale?

    Intentional desecration (of anything) is a distasteful act. act. But maybe 11 days (not years) public service in a Christian church would be more appropriate punishment for the Bible burner. And the Taliban might be put to work in the nearest stone quarry.

  9. Stupid is…. Stupid does… What’s amazing is the Coptic Christian is alive and well in Egypt….

  10. This is how Egyptian courts attempt to portray themselves as equitable and just.

  11. No one should be prosecuted simply for the act of desecrating some religion’s holy book. In this case though, considering the rise to power of Islamic Fundamentalism in Egypt, I suspect something else is afoot. My guess is that Abu Islam has offended the “powers that be” and this is being used as an excuse to take revenge.

  12. It is curious that Egypt is now also over protecting the bible. Maybe that was the payback for the dollars being sent to Egypt??

  13. I just stole a bible out of one of the hotel rooms and threw it off the marina into the ocean. Land of the free. But seriously, we in Europe and America must treat that vast stretch of north Africa and middle east to far east muslim countries as Pirate Territory. Do not consider them to be civilized nation states and trade with them should be restricted. Likewise, allowing their citizens to visit or emigrate should be denied or limited. They have to realize that if they are going to act like pirates and savages that we will treat them as such and not give them some “pass” because of custom or religion. East of Corfu the Ten Commandments Don’t Apply so there is no need to send them bibles– or toilet paper for that matter.

  14. How about making these holy books flame retardant so the retards don’t burn them. We get the San Diego Union Tribune when we’re out there for the winter. We used to save them for fireplace and beach fires. But, the mofo’s don’t burn! They just sort of blacken. I believe they use recycled paper.

  15. Christian and Jewish places of worship have been in Egypt for thousands of years.

    Some of the oldest manuscripts have been found in attic spaces (“genizah”) of such churches and synagogues (see e.g. The Cairo Genizah).

  16. I agree totally but should there not be a provision which protects from insults? Certainly American judges take no insults, (see Chad Johnson) police demand respect and American states move in mysterious ways with different laws – sometimes challenged in courts. It is interesting to note that a Islamic country demands respect for everyone’s God and they feel a cleric should know better. It provides some insight into why an event like Florida Pastor Terry Jones burning copies of the Quran caused such a disturbance.

  17. they put him in jail for touching a bible. he may have read some of it.

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