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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

Villagers killed, village razed in Boko Haram attack Watch

Image of Witnesses say that the attackers rolled up on four-wheel drive vehicles into the village. Terrorist acts were then perpetrated on the villagers, in a township located about 180 kilometers from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Heavily armed fighters connected to the Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram killed several people and burned their village down to the ground in the northeastern village of Kukawa. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Witnesses say that the attackers rolled ... continue reading


Teenage girls kidnapped by Boko Haram sent to fight on the front lines Watch

Image of The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has been demanding the release of detained extremists in exchange for the girls since they were captured from a boarding school in May.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Raped, tortured, forced into marriage and sent to fight on the front line during their captivity are some of the details emerging of young girls abducted by Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram. Human Rights Watch has now recorded some of the physical and ... continue reading


Ennahda Islamist party left unsettled in Tunisia Watch

Image of Rached Ghannouchi of the Ennahda Islamist party is no longer the most powerful political pole in Tunisia following the recent Parliamentary elections.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Change is inevitable, and with it, new challenges. Rached Ghannouchi of the Ennahda Islamist party is no longer the most powerful political pole in Tunisia following the recent Parliamentary elections. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The secular Nidaa Tounes ... continue reading


Young girls used by Boko Haram in combat operations Watch

Image of The rights group spoke to 46 victims and witnesses of Boko Haram abductions, including some girls who escaped the kidnapping from Chibok secondary school in northeastern Nigeria.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Women and girls abducted by Islamic militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria were used in combat operations, forced to lure men into ambush and to marry their captors, according to a report released on Monday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Human Rights Watch ... continue reading


Parliamentary elections in Tunisia hailed as 'a big step towards democracy' Watch

Image of The nation of Tunisia wholeheartedly agrees that recent parliamentary elections, held this week,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation of Tunisia wholeheartedly agrees that recent parliamentary elections, held this week, "is a big step towards democracy." With campaigns beginning earlier this month, local security services succeeded to foil terrorist attempts to hinder elections in ... continue reading


Health leaders beg for more doctors and nurses to join the fight against Ebola in West Africa Watch

Image of Over 10,000 people have been infected by Ebola since the West African outbreak began in March 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations is warning that governments must not allow hysteria to dictate quarantine decisions, as this will discourage health workers from coming to West Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Health workers must not be ... continue reading


Why is the world losing fight against Ebola? U.S. envoy on special mission in West Africa Watch

Image of Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, recently took a fact-finding mission in West Africa to see how the global response is failing in response to the Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, recently took a fact-finding mission in West Africa to see how the global response is failing in response to the Ebola outbreak. "We are not on track right now to bend the curve," Power told Reuters. "I ... continue reading


Safety of health workers on Ebola frontlines at serious risk Watch

Image of Aid workers face great danger on the front lines against Ebola. Many have died.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the known number of Ebola cases pushes beyond 10,000, there is increased concern over infections of health workers on the front line of the fight against the deadly disease. If health personnel fall ill while valiantly trying to contain the disease, the ... continue reading


Triumph in the midst of chaos: Survivors of Ebola in Liberia Ebola now viewed as part of cure Watch

Image of A supply of a new serum may not meet demand. Extreme care must be taken to avoid infecting Ebola victims with other diseases such as HIV or hepatitis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once shunned and feared, Ebola survivors in Liberia are now seen as an important part of the fight against the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa. Once rejected by their communities, survivors are now coveted for the antibodies ... continue reading


Tunisian police fighting terrorist group Ansar Charia claims life of officer Watch

Image of Security forces have seen heavy losses during violent incidents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Street battles continue to rage between Tunisian police and the terrorist group Ansar Charia. There has been an increase in violence between armed forces and Islamic armed groups ever since the toppling of President Benali. These ongoing clashes have now ... 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, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... 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