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Sunday, 23 October 2011

ZHC and an Egyptian court institute Facebook sharia

A Cairo court has sentenced a man to three years imprisonment for postings on Facebook which were deemed, by the court, to be ‘in contempt of Islam’.

It hasn’t taken long for Egypt’s Islamists, post-'Arab spring’, to increase the process of Islamisation in that country. Anyone who believed that Egypt would suddenly, and miraculously, be turned into the Middle-Eastern version of Guardianista Islington must have either have been politically retarded or a victim of his own ideological self-deceit.
However, it could be the case that this isn’t a simple example of the increasing Islamification or of a stricter interpretation of sharia law. There may well be a political aspect to this case which is beyond straight Islamification. I say this because the Cairo court also accused Ayman Mansour of ‘inciting sectarianism’. The court also mentioned the fact that such a blasphemous crime also threatened Egypt’s ‘security’. This is clearly a reference to the volatile situation which exists between Christians (Copts) and Muslims in Egypt at the present time. Despite that, such references to ‘security’ and ‘sectarianism’ may just be subterfuge. In nearly all Islamic/Muslim states it is illegal to ‘show contempt for Islam’ regardless of the social or political consequences of such acts. (Unless showing contempt for Islam by definition has social and political consequences.) That is, the act of ‘contempt’ constitutes a simple case of blasphemy within the context of sharia law. However, those who belong to the newly ‘assertive ultraconservative Islamist trends’ may simply be sugar coating, or rationalising, something which is in fact solely a criticism of Islam and not therefore something political and therefore ‘dangerous’.

Indeed that’s even happening here at home. Instead of saying that criticism of Islam ‘breaks sharia law’, which no non-Muslim leader would ever dare to say here in the UK/US, references have to be made to ‘racism’ instead. That way the state has a good way of silencing counter-Islamists - and I don’t just mean the supporters of the EDL. If criticism of Islam is deemed to be straightforwardly racist, or a threat to the state’s ‘security’ (in the Egyptian case), then the state already has laws which can deal with these ‘crimes’. In the UK there are laws against racism and ‘discrimination’ which can be used on counter-jihadists. In Egypt, similarly, criticism of Islam is not just seen as blasphemy - it is also seen as something that can destabilise the state and increase ‘sectarianism’. In the end, though, all these cases may just be plain and simple examples of blasphemy as seen within the broader context of Islamic sharia law.
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