Egypt Blogger jailed for 'Insult'

An Egyptian court has sentenced blogger Abdel Kareem Soliman to four years' prison for insulting Islam and the president. The trial, which took place in Soliman's native city of Alexandria, is the first time a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt, although many have been arrested in the past. Under the name of Kareem Amer, the 22-year-old used his web log to criticise the country's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak. A former student at al-Azhar, he called the institution "the university of terrorism" and accused it of suppressing free thought – this resulted in a 2006 expulsion and having the university press prosecutors to put him on trial. During the five-minute court session the judge said Soliman was guilty and would serve three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for calling Mr Mubarak a dictator. Hafiz Abou Saada of the Egyptian Human Rights Organisation called the sentence "a strong message to all bloggers who are put under strong surveillance". Fellow blogger Amr Gharbeia told the BBC it would not stop Egyptian bloggers from expressing opinions as "it is very difficult to control the blogosphere".

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks _sphinx_)
News source: BBC News

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...and Islamist (aka Islamic Extremists) compare President Bush to Hitler.

The New Hitler is living well...as the President of Egypt!

:P :nuts:

I vote for more news about religion-related issues and a 'which God is the ****" on the front page. Then the winners can kill the losers and upload the video to youtube.

...there is nothing that provokes as much as religion. Even the peaceful ones! :P

Yeah, this is a load of BS. I know not every country in the world holds the right to free speech and expression and I'm thankful to whatever god(s) there may be that I am where I'm at. What's really absurd though is the fact that they did not see that by pressing for him to go to trial and jail, they only helped to prove his point more. But I figure that comes from the government's and religion's belief that the people think they know best, or more, they're secure in the fact that they control the military and the people wouldn't stand a chance. Even in a country where we have the right of free speech, we have a president who has passed laws and gotten judges to pass down edicts that have in essence given him the power to put anyone away who opposes his ideas by calling them a terrorist and placing that crime as a crime against the nation which makes it a military trial in which there is no due process. So really, this is just another example of the old saying that "power corrupts." Poor guy. I honestly hope they don't kill him while he's in jail.

How damn freaky...
That just shows that many religions are evil to the core, and really ugly things happen when they get too much power (e.g. without a separation between Religion and Government).
I am not excluding Christianity from this, as it would act exactly the same if it could - but thankfully we have secularisation which limits its powers (even if that's still not enough). There are many historical precedents that show how cruel Christianity can be when it has enough power to do it (Inquisition, Witch Trials etc.).
Stuff like this makes me really damn glad I'm atheist.

That's an answer to all of you who wonder why the middle east will never be secular.
oh and btw... Mubarak, you suck donkey ass!

It's cases like this that make me glad to live where I do. The international human right community will be in uproar and will bail him out but the question is how long will it take?

It wouldn't surprise me if he were found dead. People say that Islam is a peacful religion. I say it's nothing but power hungry control freaks and nothing but BS.

MrCobra said,
It wouldn't surprise me if he were found dead. People say that Islam is a peacful religion. I say it's nothing but power hungry control freaks and nothing but BS.

Sure they have their extremists, but don't all religions? And maybe there are more in the Muslim community, but to make such a blanket statement for an entire religion is completely unjustified imho. The people that started up "Free Kareem" are Muslim... and even though they've gone on record as stating that they disagree with some/all of Kareem's statements, they've organized protests around the world to demand he be allowed his human rights to speak freely... and in a peaceful manner too.

And to quote the folks at FreeKareem: "Islam did not put Kareem behind bars, the Egyptian government did. And Muslims should not approve of the fact that the Egyptian government, and a lot of Arab governments for that matter, are using Islam to hide behind their own faults."

Granted, they are on a very much smaller scale, but your comments are in line with the Egyptian government... intolerance of other's beliefs.

On the flip side of things, one could argue that the most prominent people of the West aren't necessarily the West's best representatives. Just like the Western media overwhelmingly presenting the Muslim community in a negative light, the Middle East media/govts have a long list of negative examples to portray the West as the evil of the world to their citizens.

The crusty edges of these religions & governments don't exactly represent the bulk of their populations.

MrCobra said,
It wouldn't surprise me if he were found dead. People say that Islam is a peacful religion. I say it's nothing but power hungry control freaks and nothing but BS.

Don't judge a game by its players... or so. You get the drift. =p

GEIST said,

Don't judge a game by its players... or so. You get the drift. =p

Dude, that is so much BS, how should we judge them??? These people have proven time and again that Islam is all about hate and violence, and we have seen the results of this hate and violence many, many times. Lets call a spade a spade, these people are violent, hateful people, they fight and hate and don't even know why, they just do, and it's all ok because it's in the name of Islam. An by their fruits you shall know them, where are the peaceful one's? If this is just the "minority" then why doesn't the majority stand up and put a stop to it. They are all about force, and hate and violence, and I am tired of hearing it's about peace and all the other BS that people buy into, it's about hate and violence and death, and I will have no part of it.

MrCobra said,
It wouldn't surprise me if he were found dead. People say that Islam is a peacful religion. I say it's nothing but power hungry control freaks and nothing but BS.

Oh how true it is. I see no peace in it whatsoever, it's all about death, destruction, force and fear. Let's call this what it really is and quit playing the PC game.

GEIST said,

Don't judge a game by its players... or so. You get the drift. =p


The game and its players are the same people that put guns in the hands of little children and teach them to kill all who do not believe in or follow Islam. Modern day Islam wants nothing but total control of everything and is nothing but the rebirth of the Nazi party.

wow makes fun of his school, and he gets 3 years for insulting Islam in general after a 5 minute court session? somebody got made an example of...

certainly makes one thankful to live in a place where one has freedoms to express criticisms.