In October, Egyptian columnist Fatima Naoot wrote several Facebook posts referring to the Muslim sacrificial feast Eid al-Adha. Controversy quickly arose, and she opted to delete the posts. Unfortunately that was not the end of her troubles:
“Happy massacre,” Fatima Naoot wrote on her Facebook page in October during Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of sacrifice.
Animals are slaughtered during Eid to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to fulfil God’s command to sacrifice his own son, although in the end God provided him with a sheep.
“Massacre committed by men over the past 10 centuries and followed by men each year with a smile,” Naoot wrote at the time.
“Annual massacre observed because of a nightmare of one (prophet) about his son… ,” she wrote in Arabic.
“Although the nightmare has passed for the prophet and his son, each year helpless animals pay with their lives the price of this sacred nightmare.”
Naoot, who is Muslim, deleted her posts from Facebook after controversy erupted about them.
But a judicial official said on Saturday that she admitted during questioning that she had written them.
The 50-year-old columnist denied she had any intention to insult Islam, the official told AFP, adding she had also been charged with “making fun of the right to sacrifice”.
“It is the price paid by those who carry torches of enlightenment at every age,” Naoot wrote on Friday after having been informed of her trial which is due to start on January 28.
She said that in October she had posted messages on Facebook to congratulate Muslims for Eid al-Adha but “urged them to respect the offering and not humiliate it by flooding the ground with animal blood”.
Egypt‘s constitution outlaws insults against the three monotheist religions recognised by the state — Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
I’m glad we have the separation of church and state as much as we do in the United States, bc I could easily imagine nationwide blasphemy laws were that not the case. And I loathe blasphemy laws. Walling religious institutions and ideas off from humor, mockery, or criticism while simultaneously harming human beings is immoral. Ideas and institutions are things. They aren’t people, they cannot be hurt, and they should not be elevated in importance above humanity. When religious beliefs and ideas are treated as more important than the well-being of humans, we suffer and die.
Oh, and I find it amusing that you cannot criticize Islam, Christianity, or Judaism in Egypt, but presumably it is A-OK to criticize other religions.
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With regard to the Muslim celebration…da fuq? Celebrating a fictional character who was going to kill his child? It’s like they think the only important element of that scenario is Abraham’s devotion to God. What about the damn child?! I don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest that most moral people would consider a real-world father like Abraham to be a reprehensible scumbag who should lose all parental rights. As well as go to jail. But because he’s a reprehensible scumbag devoted to God, it’s different.