The BBC reports:
An Egyptian court has sentenced an internet blogger to four years’ prison for insulting Islam and the president.
Abdel Kareem Nabil’s trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt.
He had used his weblog to criticise the country’s top Islamic institution, the al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.
A human rights group called the verdict “very tough” and a “strong message” to Egypt’s thousands of bloggers.
Nabil, 22, was tried in his native city of Alexandria.
A former student at al-Azhar, he called the institution “the university of terrorism” and accused it of suppressing free thought.
The university expelled him in 2006 and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.
During the five-minute court session the judge said Nabil was guilty and would serve three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mr Mubarak.
Specifically, he was charged with apostasy.
According to Francis Sedgemore:
Kareem’s imprisonment comes despite massive massive international support for his cause, and almost universal condemnation of the Egyptian authorities for taking this case to trial. I say almost universal, as, within Egypt, Islamists have called for the execution of the unfortunate blogger. Even Kareem’s parents are reported to have disowned their son, calling him a “monkey” who imitates western secularists. Kareem’s father wants his son killed if he doesn’t repent.
Here is the Wikipedia entry.
Here is Reporters without Borders on the case.
Can somebody keep a watching brief on this campaign to make sure that Kareem is not forgotten, and that the fight for his liberty continues. We should be showing as much support for Kareem as possible.
Update, via Pub Philosopher
Here is one of the articles which resulted in the jailing of this blogger:
The Naked Truth of Islam As I Saw It In Maharam Bey Riots
The Muslims have taken the mask off to show their true hateful face, and they have shown the world that they are at the top of their brutality, inhumanity, and thievery.
They have clearly shown their worst features and have shown that in dealing with others they are not governed by any moral codes.
From what I have seen yesterday of the events at Maharram Beh, which were quite shameful, and have shown me more facts that they have tried to cover over the centuries.
They have indicated that Islam is a religion of peace and forgiveness, but their true face has been uncovered to show barbarism and thievery and fanaticism and not acknowledging others, and attempting to remove them from existence.
Some may think that the actions of the Moslems does not represent Islam and has no relationship with the teachings of Islam that was brought by Mohamed 14 centuries ago, but the truth is that their actions is not different from the Islamic teachings in its original form when it has urged people to deny others and hate them and kill them and take their property, things that they know well but they try to deceive people by falsely defending the teachings of Islam by extremists and they are hiding from the truth and they prefer living a lie.
I have seen with my own eyes the thugs as they break into our Christian brothers’ stores after the whole area of Maharram Beh was completely out of control of the government authorities, and I saw them as they ransack the contents of the store right and left, amidst cheering and shouting extremist Islamic slogans, and I saw them stealing the money from inside the drawers of the cash registers and splitting it among themselves as if it is justified by being owned by what they call the infidels and the worshippers of the cross.
I saw them break into a liquor store owned by a Coptic merchant Labib Lotfy and I saw them smash everything they can get their dirty hands on, including the refrigerator and the scale and the boxes and liquor bottles. I saw some of them stealing liquor bottles so they can get drunk after a hard day’s work against the Coptic infidels.
It is worth mentioning that although some people may think that this Christian-owned liquor store was particularly targeted because the owner is selling the forbidden alcoholic beverages that is forbidden in Islam, but another liquor store in front of the Christian-owned store happens to be owned by a Moslem merchant, and none of the thugs dared to attack, as they did with the Christian-owned store. Now you can see the hateful sectarian actions.
What the Moslems did yesterday in a very vulgar and criminal and horrible way proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that they don’t acknowledge others or their rights of existence or their rights to live with the freedom of expression and also consider them less than them, and these actions should be fought and exterminated for is it right to leave these horrible human beings to do what they want and kill, destroy, steal, and burn??!!
The Islamic teachings that was brought by Mohammed 14 centuries ago should be faced with courage and boldness, we should expose and show its faults and warn humanity of its dangers. We should, even though we are different –look with reason to these teachings that urges people, human beings, to become monsters that don’t know anything in life except killing and looting and plundering and raping and pillaging.
We should stand courageously and boldly against these teachings that became a plague on humanity and is not supported except by extremists like bin Laden and al Zarqawi and al Zawaheeri and the thugs that assaulted our Coptic brothers and burned their homes and stole their properties, and tried to assault their religious men and destroy their churches.
We should take off the religious and sectarian gown and look at matters in a more humane way. We should hold trials to all the acts of terrorism and extremism, that our Islamic history have kept their names and their criminal actions starting with Mohamed ibn Abdullah and his company of murderers like Khalid ibn el Waled and Omar ibn el Khattab and Saad ibn Abbi Waqqas and Moiizah Bin Shaabah and Samra bin Gandab and the kings of Beni Ummaya and Beni al Abbass and al Osman, and ending with the Moslem criminals of the modern day that became more famous than movie stars and singers.
We should show the world the truth of these criminals that unfortunately have become role models for our youth and our children and our women. We should expose their false teachings and show the world that they are a big danger that should be exterminated and removed from its roots.
Before you put on trial the people that are responsible for the crimes that occurred on Black Friday in Maharram Beh, you should first put on trial the dirty teachings that caused them to go on a rampage of stealing and plundering and looting.. put Islam on trial and sentence it and its symbols with a figurative execution so that you can be sure that what happened yesterday will never be repeated again.
For as long as Islam exists on this planet all your efforts to end wars and disputes and upheavals will fail because Islam’s dirty finger will be found behind every catastrophic event to humanity.