Conference for the Abolition of Blasphemy law In Egypt November 10, 2015

Blasphemy law in Egypt
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Egypt Journalist and Press syndicate and a number of prominent writers will hold a conference on November 10 2015 to present a petition to the president for the abolition of the Blasphemy law.
With the Paricipation of Ibrahim Issa, Islam Beheri, Shereef El Shoubashi, George Issac, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Moomen Sallam,and Sayed Hejab.
In Egypt, the law against blasphemy is one of the instrument organized campaign of the Inquisition which the government and the Sunni majority and Wahabi Salafis use to persecute Egyptian minorities who do not subscribe to Sunni religious views. The most persecuted minorities are Christians, Shia, Ahmadis, , Bahai, Sufi, and atheists. The persecution may involve surveillance, harassment, prolonged detention, mistreatment, torture, and jail sentences as well as being labeled an apostate and losing all civil rights.
The law has been applied to p[rominent Egyptians including Dr. Hamed Abu zayd, Dr. Nawal al Saadawi,, Poet Helmi Salem, writers Alaa Hamed and Karam Saber and the latest Islam Beheiri who was recently sentenced to five years in Prison, and many others of different faiths, religions and atheists.
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Islam Beheiri
Most recently harassement in applying the law on October 15 2015 Egypt’s Censorship and Religious Authority contacted the Egypt’s National Security Agency asking to clarify the legal status of the “Story of God” a movie being filemd in Cairo. The film is produced by National Geographic Channel with renowned American actor Morgan Freeman as its executive producer and host.The religious authority wanted see the script and make sure that it confirms with the blasphemy law.
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Ibrahim Issa
The constitution
According to the Constitution of Egypt, the state religion is Islam. The foundation of legislation is Sharia. By the Constitution and the 1981 Education Act, “religious education” is compulsory in public and private schools. A “religious education” requires that all students be taught verses from the Quran. At the age of sixteen, every Egyptian must obtain an Identity Card. The card states one’s religion as Muslim, Christian, or “other”. The card is necessary for most services including banking, schooling, and medical treatment
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Shereef Shoubashi. Attacked for saying the Hijab is not an Islamic law.
The court system
Egypt has three levels of ordinary criminal courts: the primary, the appeals court, and the Court of Cassation. Besides the ordinary criminal court, Egypt has an Emergency State Security Court to hear cases about national security, and military tribunals to conduct hearings about terrorism and national security as well as military matters.
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Nasr Abu Zaid.
Martial law
Since 1981, Egypt has had an Emergency Law, which is renewable every two years. In May 2010, the Egyptian government extended the Emergency Law to May 2012. The Emergency Law gives authorities the power to restrict many human rights, including freedom of religion or belief as well as freedom of expression, assembly, and association. Under the Emergency Law, the security forces arbitrarily arrest and detain persons, mistreat them, and torture them. In 1993, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the President may invoke the Emergency Law to refer any crime to an Emergency or military court. The result of the Court’s ruling is that crimes regarding religious matters are often found not in the ordinary criminal courts but in other courts. Egyptian and international human rights groups assert that the primary purpose of the Emergency State Security Court and the military courts is to punish political activism and dissent, and to persecute individuals who have unorthodox beliefs or practices. In the Emergency or military courts, the accused has no right of appeal but the sentence is subject to confirmation by the President. The President may substitute his decision for a decision by an Emergency or a military court.
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Nawal Saadawi
Blasphemy law
Article 98(f) of the Penal Code, as amended by Law 147/2006 states the penalty for blasphemy and similar crimes:
Confinement for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years, or a fine of not less than five hundred pounds and not exceeding one thousand pounds shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever makes use of religion in propagating, either by words, in writing, or in any other means, extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity.
The “heavenly” religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Sometimes, in place of, or in addition to, blasphemy, the courts hold an accused guilty of “incitement to hate Muslims,” “defaming the President of the Republic,” and “insulting Islam.” By Articles 89 and 110 of decree law 78, all Egyptians have the right to file lawsuits against those who have transgressed an exalted right of God. In 1996 or 1998, an amendment to the law required these so-called “hisba cases” to be initiated by the general prosecutor. Those most frequently accused of “insulting Islam” are scholars, publishers, bloggers, human rights activists, political commentators, novelists, education reformers, professors, theologians, artists, filmmakers, politicians, Muslim liberals and dissidents, members of disfavored religious groups, converts to Christianity, and members of faiths that originated after Islam.
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Moomen Sallam Founder and Editor in cheif Civic Egypt.org
From 1985, Al-Azhar University’s Islamic Research Council (IRC) has been an active advisor to the government on religious matters. Publishing a religious book without the IRC’s approval is prohibited. The IRC has accused many writers of being blasphemous. The IRC has succeeded in having banned or censored many writings and other forms of expression. On 1 June 2004, Minister of Justice Faruq Seif al-Nasr gave clerics from Al-Azhar University authority to confiscate books and audio and videotapes that they believe violate Islamic precepts.
Human Rights Watch notes that the fear of being accused of blasphemy or of insulting Islam has obliged writers in Egypt to censor themselves and has obliged academics to do without intellectual freedom. Find below the case of Nasr Abu Zayd. In May 1998, Didier Monciaud, an instructor from France at the American University in Cairo, learned through the press that his use of Maxime Rodinson’s biography Muhammadgave offense to the parents of some of his students. President Mubarak ordered that the biography be banned. The University did not renew Monciaud’s contract. In 2008, the government proposed to enact laws that would prohibit journalists from saying or doing anything that disturbed “social peace,” “national unity,” “public order,” or “public values.”
blasphemy law

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