More Kids Arrested for Insulting Islam

This is actually a couple weeks old but I just saw it. In the wake of the appalling arrest of a young girl in Pakistan for blasphemy, on charges that were trumped up, two more kids, only 9 and 10 years old, have been arrested in Egypt for desecrating the Quran.

Two Coptic Christian children Nabil Nagy Rizk, 10, and Mina Nady Farag, 9, were arrested yesterday on charges of “insulting religion” in the governorate of Beni Suef. The two children are being held in a juvenile detention center awaiting further investigation and possible criminal prosecution.

The children stand accused by the Imam of a local mosque of destroying papers, including some containing Quranic verses. The incident is disturbingly reminiscent of an ongoing scandal in Pakistan in which a Christian girl is being persecuted for allegedly destroying copies or pages of the Quran.

This is what anti-blasphemy laws inevitably lead to: the arrest and persecution of religious minorities, including children, in order to “protect sensibilities” of religious majorities. What it shows is that anti-blasphemy laws have nothing to do with “respect” or “sensitivity” to religious sentiments but are all about authority, control and social domination.

Exactly right. And utterly barbaric.

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  • Gregory in Seattle

    There was a case some years ago in Pakistan, which underlies how idiotic these “blasphemy” laws are.

    A pushy businessman give another man his business card. The man throws it away. The businessman has the man arrested for blasphemy. Why?

    Because the businessman, like about a third of all male Muslims, is named Muhammad. Therefore the Prophet’s name was on that business card. Therefore the man desecrated the Prophet’s name when he threw the card away.

    I believe the case was eventually thrown out, but as I recall, the man spent several weeks in jail facing execution.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Are there any United Nations policemen in Egypt? Perhaps they could do something to help.

  • Raging Bee

    I’m all in favor of exposing and ridiculing blasphemy laws; but we need to spend a little less time talking about blasphemy laws, and a little more time talking about the social chaos that’s driving people to act this way. The laws are bad, but they’re not the only thing driving people to commit the atrocities we’re witnessing (and may witness in the near future).

    Unless these laws are of recent origin, and the underlying religius intolerance is new to the region, we can’t just blame the laws and think that’s all there is to it. Were kids being charged with desecrating the Koran before the revolution?

  • loreo

    Blasphemy laws: you don’t have to follow our faith, but you do have to act like you do.

  • gordonmacginitie

    I think that blasphemy should be declared to be a basic human right!