Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/17/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Grim sign for President Morsi's ostensibly 'Democratic' regime

The democratically elected administration of President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt has led to widespread disappointment in the West. A few months in power, Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood party has granted himself sweeping powers that aligns him with the dictators of old. In yet another grim sign that all is not well in Africa's most populous nation, a Christian there has been sentenced to three years in prison for "insulting religion."

Alber Saber, a Christian, was reportedly convicted for a video he produced in which he was criticized of organized religion, likely Islam. While human rights advocates protest, Morsi has vowed to frame the country's constitution around shariah law.

Alber Saber, a Christian, was reportedly convicted for a video he produced in which he was criticized of organized religion, likely Islam. While human rights advocates protest, Morsi has vowed to frame the country's constitution around shariah law.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/17/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Mohamed Morsi, blasphemy, Christian, Egypt, persecution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Upheaval in the Middle East, demonstrated by a terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya that left four dead has been blamed on an amateur video. "The Innocence of Muslims," an inept film that blasphemes against the Prophet Mohammed has been used as an ostensible reason to enact anti-blasphemy laws across the Arab world.

An Egyptian court last week sentenced Alber Saber to three years in prison for insulting Islam. These instances of blasphemy prosecution cases have been on the rise since Hosni Mubarak's ouster and are only likely to intensify if the country's draft constitution is approved.

Saber, a Christian, was reportedly convicted for a video he produced in which he was criticized of organized religion, likely Islam. While human rights advocates protest, Morsi has vowed to frame the country's constitution around shariah law.

"It's a heavy sentence, and any independent court looking into the case would release him because there are huge procedural mistakes . never mind that this is actually a crime that shouldn't be on the books to begin with," Amr Gharbeia, civil liberties director at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights says.

Blasphemy laws in Egypt were not part of the previous constitution but are indeed included in the country's new charter, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The current charter includes a clause specifically prohibits slandering "prophets." Such a clause only makes overturning convictions all the more difficult on the grounds of their constitutionality.

"In a somewhat unusual step, the judge ruled that Saber could be released on bail today until his appeal is heard. But though his lawyers paid the bail, about $162, police returned him to prison instead of releasing him. Lawyer Ahmed Ezzat says he will attempt to secure Saber's release tomorrow. [...]," an article in the Monitor reads.

"According to his lawyer and family, his mother called police when an angry mob gathered outside his home in a working-class area on the outskirts of Cairo and accused him of burning the Quran and insulting Islam. The crowd threatened to kill him and burn down his house, they said."

Authorities reportedly found a video in which he criticizes organized religion. The prosecutor used this as evidence to charge him with insulting religion under a vague clause in Egypt's penal code that criminalizes the denigration of religion.

Gharbeia maintains that the case against Saber should have been thrown out since the evidence was obtained without a warrant, but his lawyers are also challenging the ambiguity of these new blasphemy laws. Due to their vagueness, interpretation of what constitutes blasphemy and often falls in the hands of those with an agenda and is subject to gross abuse in its use against minorities.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Africa

Obianuju Ekeocha: Western Giants Launch Dangerous and Controversial Contraceptive in Africa Watch

Image of Obianuju Ekeocha - I am only one African woman, but from where I stand I choose today to speak up, to lament, to complain and to shed silent tears for my fellow African women, with the hope that by the end of today, my words and tears may reach and touch the hearts of people of goodwill around the world who will join me in defending the dignity of the African women.

By Obianuju Ekeocha

Who will speak up for the women of Africa? Who will lament the crass disregard for their well-being? Who will complain about the cruel disrespect with which they are being treated? Who will shed tears for the irreparable damage that could befall them? I am only ... continue reading


Boko Haram undermines stability of Nigeria Watch

Image of At least 45 people were killed in a Boko Haram reprisal attack on a village in northeastern Nigeria, the epicenter of the Islamists' five-year insurgency.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the Nigerian army has made movies to retake two small villages overrun by the Islamist sect Boko Haram, another terrorist attack was launched by the terrorist group claimed the lives of 45 people. The mood here is one of confusion with the population ... continue reading


Humanitarian truce declared in Libya to evacuate civilians Watch

Image of The truce doesn't appear to have been respected.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Forces loyal to the retired General Khalifa Haftar fighting Islamist groups such as Ansar Charia in Libya has reached a boiling point. The two sides have since agreed to a humanitarian truce in order to evacuate civilians from battle zones. ALGIERS, ALGERIA ... continue reading


Former African child slave speaks out Watch

Image of Anti-slavery campaigner James Kofi Annan is pictured at a school run by his charity Challenging Heights, which helps former child slaves.

By Emma Batha, Thomson Reuters Foundation

At six years old James Kofi Annan was sold into slavery. For seven years he risked his life diving into the murky waters of Ghana's vast Lake Volta to untangle fishing nets. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Today Annan runs a charity which is credited with ... continue reading


Terrorist threat remains relevant in Egypt Watch

Image of Said group, Ansar Beit al Maqdes, doesn't intend to give up and threatens to go far in its war against the Egyptian decision-makers, including military power which toppled former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Egypt is likely to become a favorite target among militant Islamist groups. The alleged interference of Marsha al Sissi coupled with his commitment to wage war against Islamist militias is likely to inflame like-minded terrorist groups in the region. ALGIERS, ... continue reading


21st Century SHAME: Almost 36 million people living as slaves worldwide Watch

Image of Mauritania was again the country where slavery was most prevalent by head of population while Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, rose up the rank from 96th place to be listed as the fourth worst country by percentage of the population.

By Katie Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe with an index on Monday listing Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Walk Free Foundation, ... continue reading


Eleven drug smugglers arrested south of Algeria Watch

Image of The connection of these smugglers with Islamist armed groups is heavily felt among the civil society, wherein security remains the chief concern.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Eleven smugglers were arrested this past weekend in Algeria's south by the People's National Army. News of the arrest was made in a statement released by the Ministry of Defense and was relayed in local newspapers. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - In the ... continue reading


Sixteen people injured in Cairo metro train explosion Watch

Image of Since the fall of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt has been regularly shaken by the attacks.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

An explosion injured at least 16 people in a subway car in Cairo. The attack came day after Egyptian terrorist groups pledged their allegiance to Islamist State. These groups wasted little time, detonating the train bomb on Thursday. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic ... continue reading


VIDEO: What's scarier than a shark? How about a GIANT COBRA on the beach! Watch

Image of A man strolling along the beach encountered a Cape Cobra, while it was taking a dip in the pool to soak its skin prior to shedding.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A South African man had the shock of his life while strolling along a Cape Town beach, when he encountered a deadly snake. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jeffery Rinks, a Cape Town local, photographed the deadly Cape cobra in the shallows of Hout Bay, as it was ... continue reading


Ansar Beit al-Maqdess, Egyptian jihadist group pledges allegiance to ISIL Watch

Image of In an audio posted on its Twitter account, a reported Ansar Beit al-Maqdess recording says

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The Egyptian Ansar Beit al-Maqdess jihadist group, announced its allegiance to Islamic state earlier this week. The group's loyalty to al Baghdadi's organization comes as no surprise as other groups in North Africa have already pledged their allegiance to ISIL. ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter