Blasphemy cases rise in Egypt and Christians bear the brunt


#1

**Blasphemy cases rise in Egypt and Christians bear the brunt **

By MAGGIE MICHAEL Mar. 25, 2016

NASSARIYA, Egypt (AP) — In the video, the Egyptian Christian teens laugh playfully as a couple of them kneel down, imitating Muslim prayers, then another slides his hand under one boy’s neck, imitating the trademark beheadings of the Islamic State group.

The boys were playing around, satirizing the extremist group, and their school supervisor just happened to be videoing them, their defenders say. The result has been catastrophic: they were sentenced to prison under Egypt’s blasphemy laws — they were mocking Muslim prayers, prosecutors said — and have fled into hiding, leaving behind shattered families.

“My son was sentenced to five years for a laugh,” Iman Aziz, weeping, said in the teens’ home village of Nassariya in southern Egypt. Her son, Muller Atef, was seen in the 32-second video laughing but not joining in the “prayers.”…


#2

The time is not far off when the only Christians living in the Middle East or North Africa will be those living in Israel.


#3

I don’t know about that. There are several other countries over there where Christians have been living in peace for a long time with no big issues. I mean as I understand it Jordan has a sizeable Christian population of almost half a million. But as a whole there is sizeable pressure on Christian groups in many corners of the Middle east, most recently and obviously Syria and Egypt. Basically anywhere the Salafists, both radical and non-radical (such as the Saudis) have gained a foothold, the toleration of Christianity (and also the more tolerant forms of Islam) drops significantly.


#4

I thought tensions between Muslims and Christians were easing in Egypt. The teens should have used more caution perhaps. They were being disrespectful, but blasphemy seems extreme. It seems the teacher wanted to get the boys in trouble.


#5

Well, radical versions of Islam are on the march in the global culture war, and they are winning.

It doesn’t help that some folks in the West have to wring their hands to admit it.


#6

One needs to consider that the Christian population of Jordan is somewhere around 4%, down from the 30% it was in 1950. Not so rosy there, either.


#7

Nothing not rosy about it. Muslim immigration and reproduction have been decreasing the percentage of Christians, not necessarily any pressure on the Christians.


#8

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