Egypt Arrests Muslim Cleric Who Burned A Bible
This shouldn’t make anybody interested in free speech and expression happy:
CAIRO – An ultra-conservative Islamist cleric in Egypt faces charges of blasphemy after he allegedly tore up and burned copies of the New Testament at a protest in front of the American Embassy in Cairo.
Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud Abdallah, also known as Sheikh Abu Islam, is part owner of a private ultra-conservative Islamic TV station known as Al Uma and was participating in demonstrations against a U.S.-made movie denigrating the Prophet Muhammad that swept the Muslim world in the last month.
Egypt’s General Prosecutor accused Abu Islam and his son, the channel’s executive director, of insulting religion – in this case Christianity.
I don’t agree with the burning of any books, but I believe in the right of people to burn books to express themselves, and the arrest of this Muslim was wrong.
Yet, this is the very standard that President Obama has set in this matter. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” Obama told the United Nations. “Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied.”
And that seems to be exactly what is playing out. Even as Egypt arrested this Muslim who burned a bible, the filmmaker who created the video clip extremist Muslims are using as justification for their riots and murder is in US custody, though for alleged parole violations and not making the video specifically.
Apparently, if you’re critical of religion, you can now be arrested. That’s what Obama has done by condemning those who have mocked and belittled Islam instead of defending their right to free expression and demanding that the Islamics tolerate it.Tags: Barack Obama, free speech, islam