Another Atheist in Egypt is Jailed
As reported yesterday by Agence France-Presse, Karim al-Banna, a 21-year-old student in Egypt has been sentenced to a 3 year prison term because he professed his atheism on Facebook. This was deemed to be an insult to Islam, and therefore a crime. Banna was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Baheira this past Saturday. He was taken in by the authorities when he went to the local officials to complain about the fact that he was being harassed by his neighbors because he is an atheist. If Banna can post bail (about $140), he would be released until an appeals court can (hopefully) overturn this verdict, scheduled for March 9.
This is not a lone incident in Egypt. In August of 2014 there was another case where activist and writer Karam Saber was sentenced to five years in jail last June for writing a book that allegedly promoted atheism in the country. Saber published a collection of short stories titled “Where Is God?”, for which he drew sharp criticism and scorn.
In 2013, another student, Sherif Gaber Abdel Azim, was held for 15-days of incarceration. He was charged for contempt of religion when he created a group on Facebook titled “atheists.
Last August, the Ministries of Religious Endowment and Culture signed a joint protocol, by which the ministry will be confronting both religious extremism and atheism and to further spread and promote the religion of Islam. The Egyptian constitution states that Islam is the religion of the State and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation.