Egyptian Chronicles: Regarding Islam El-Behairy and his sentence

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Regarding Islam El-Behairy and his sentence

Late Monday, we found out that TV host and Islamic researcher Islam El-Behairy was sent to jail after a court reduced an early 5 years jail sentence to one year over charges of "contempt of religion" because of his suspended TV show on Pro-regime TV channel Al-Qehara wal Nas.
I do not know how he was sentenced or how his sentence was reduced when in a similar case in June he was acquitted from blasphemy.
Now Islam will be in jail at least for three months till his lawyer can appeal and the appeal is accepted.
Following the court's new reduced sentence, the TV host slammed what happened to him and described Egypt as "the land of injustice"

انا اخدت سنة سجن قدمت للناس وللدين كل خير ودلوقتي باخد سنة سجن بلد الظلم هي مصر
Posted by Islam Behery on Monday, December 28, 2015
I was sentenced to a year in jail. I did good to the people and to the religion and now I was sentenced to a year in jail.
Egypt is a land of injustice
On his official Facebook account and before heading to his prison, El-Behairy mocked what he called El-Sisi's so-called "Religious revolution".
TV host and Islamic researcher Islam El-Behairy

Now his fans, who are mostly Pro-Sisi supporters are in shock that El-Sisi did not pardon him or that this happened during the time of the President who called for a new religious discourse and is being hailed by right-wingers in the West as the man leading a reform in Islam.

First, according to the law, the president can not interfere except all the appeals are over.

Second, those supporters did not pay attention that despite the current Egyptian president slammed Al-Azhar for failing to develop Egypt's religious discourse as he wanted , he and other state officials made it clear several times that it was the mission of the state institutions "Al-Azhar and Dar Ifta as well ministry of religious endowment" only to renovate the religious discourse in the country.

There is no place for independent religious scholars or thinkers accordingly because, the state wants to control the religious discourse as it has always done.
Now for those who do not understand what I am talking about it.

In a nutshell, the Islamic researcher turned into a TV host questioned the credibility of Al-Bukhari's interpretation to Prophet Mohamed "PBUH" quotes and life whereas many current sheikhs from Al-Azhar believe it is completely wrong to do this especially El-Behairy is not a sheikh or Al-Azhar graduate.

He also challenged the views of Middle age scholar Ibn Taymiyyah about military Jihad.
Alread , he is not the first one to challenge the credibility of those Islamic scholars in modern times nor in Egypt or in the world.
Earlier Tuesday, I knew that famous Islamic scholar as well leading MB member Sheikh Mohamed Al-Ghazli published a book in 1989 challenging the weak Prophetic quotes in Al-Bukhari in a way that drives the Salafists and hardliners in the Arab world mad till now.

I do not think Sheikh Al-Ghazli was dragged to court over his views or was secret secular or atheist.
Ibn Taymiyyah's Middle age fatwas about wars during the Mogul wars are being disputed day and night even by using his later fatwas.

Now, Islam El-Behairy is a man of thought that should be disputed by thought on TV and not by courts and jail regardless of what you think about that thought.
 His jail won't change his mind or his thought nor will his fans change their minds about him and his thought.

Personally, I am not a fan of Islam Behairy or his style on TV.
He is not as powerful or sophisticated as scholars like late Nasr Abu Zeid when it comes to renovation of religious discourse.

His fans are from the viewers from that nationalist right wing secular TV channel think that he is the first to challenge many of the misconceptions in Islam and its history yet it is not true as I hinted above.

Those fans are still in shock to know that the current state we have in Egypt is not a true secular one but still Conservative one but without Muslim Brotherhood.

Now human rights organizations in Egypt are demanding the release of El-Behairy.
I am not surprised that this is happening at all.

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