Egyptian Writer ‘Karam Saber’ Sentenced to Five Years in Jail for Atheist Book

Activist and writer Karam Saber has been sentenced to five years – the maximum sentence – in jail in Egypt for writing a book considered by the authorities as promoting atheism in the country.

When the author published "Where Is God?" -- a collection of short stories about poor farmers in Egypt -- in 2011, some citizens from Beni Sueif filed a legal complaint alleging the work promoted atheism and contradicted religious precepts.

Hamdy Al-Assiuti, one of the members of Saber's defence team, said the court disregarded the evidence submitted by Saber's lawyers.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Egyptian government to revoke the sentence and repeal laws violating freedom of expression.

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Israeli Public Schools to Teach the Theory of Evolution

Israel ministry of education has decided to introduce Darwin’s Theory of Evolution into the state curriculum.

According to the YNET report, the theory of evolution will be a part of the 5775 school year curriculum in religious and secular public schools alike. It will be taught in eighth and ninth grades as part of the science curriculum, the same core subjects Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron insists must be a part of chareidi chinuch to become eligible for equal state funding as public schools.

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Saudi Arabia amending laws to monitor social media

The Saudi authorities are reviewing the Anti-Cybercrime Law to amend it so as to initiate legal proceedings against social networking sites such as Twitter for allowing accounts which promote adultery, homosexuality and atheism, according to a report published in a section of the Arabic press on Sunday.

according to Alarabiya, Researcher and consultant of new media uses and Shoura Council member Dr. Fayez al-Shehri told Al-Hayat Arabic daily that there are around 25,000 accounts on Twitter targeting Saudis. There are around 4,500 accounts that promote atheism. Around 15,000-25,000 of such accounts are in Arabic language.

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Total 123 Years of Imprisonment For 8 People Active On Facebook In Iran

The Tehran Revolutionary Court, sentenced 8 men and women, active on Facebook to more than 123 years of imprisonment.

These 8 people were charged with assembly and collusion against the national security, insulting the Supreme Leader, insulting the authorities, propaganda against the regime, blasphemy, and spreading lies and disturbing the public’s peace.

According to the Kaleme website, these people who were arrested last year and were interrogated at the IRGC Ward 2-A in Evin prison, were tried and sentenced collectively to more than 123 years of imprisonment in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghayeseh,.

The sentences issued by lower court are as follows:

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Turkey sentences Twitter user to jail for blasphemy

A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced a teacher to 15-month jail term over Twitter posts deemed religiously offensive,  Hurriyet newspaper reported on Thursday.

The court in the eastern city of Mus ruled that the man, identified as Ertan P., insulted Islamic values with his Twitter handle -- @allah (cc) -- and a series of tweets he posted.

He pretending to tweet as god: "In my present state of mind, I would not have created the little finger of human beings".

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The Brotherhood Will Be Back

WASHINGTON — After being ousted from power last July, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab world’s original Islamist movement, faces an existential moment. The group has been targeted with extreme repression, prompting a wave of commentary about the failure — or even death — of political Islam.

Premature obituaries of the Brotherhood usually turn out to be just that. As early as 1963, the political scientist Manfred Halpern wrote that secular nationalism had triumphed over political Islam. Half a century later, the Brotherhood’s opponents hold out hope that President Mohamed Morsi’s demise wasn’t that of a man or an organization, but of a worldview. They point to the incompatibility of Islamism and democracy, an odd claim considering that it was the democratically elected Mr. Morsi who was overthrown by the army and not the other way around.

Mr. Morsi was a failure, and he was ousted with the backing of millions. He was stubborn, incompetent and failed to govern inclusively. But there is a different, deeper failure, one that is likely to plague the region for decades to come: the fundamental inability of secular state systems to accommodate Islamist participation in the democratic process.

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“Happy” Video Director Linked to Rouhani Campaign Remains in Detention

Sassan Soleimani, the director of one version of the ”Happy in Tehran” video, remains in Rajaee-Shahr Prison in Karaj where he is being deprived of sleep, days after six people who appeared in the video were released from detention, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Soleimani, a 33-year-old filmmaker and animator, told Zendegi Ideal (Ideal Life) magazine in 2013 that when he was taking photos for Hassan Rouhani’s presidential election campaign, campaign officials asked him to suggest a color for campaign materials and he chose purple, which became Rouhani’s official color during the campaign.

Authorities had told Soleimani’s family that he could be released on bail but as of May 24 he was still in prison. The family was told to come back in one week for a visit.

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