Egyptian Chronicles: Now you realize that We do not live in a secular state ya Ibrahim!?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Now you realize that We do not live in a secular state ya Ibrahim!?

On Saturday, a Cairo misdemeanor appeals court sentenced Egyptian writer and journalist Ahmed Naji two years in jail for publishing a "sexual flagrant article violating public's modesty" in the state-owned cultural newspaper Akhbar Al-Adab" last year.
Sisi's religious state imprisons
writer. Al-Makkal newspaper

The "sexual flagrant article" is an actually a chapter of Naji's novel"The guide for using life" issued in 2014.
The editor-in-chief of Akhbar Al-Adab was fined LE 10,000.
That editor-in-chief claims now that he did not read the chapter and just agreed that it would be published without knowing its content !!!

In early January, the misdemeanor court already acquitted both Naji and Akhbar Al-Adab newspaper's editor-in-chief but the prosecution appealed and we all knew what happened.

Many people are against the court ruling for the sake of the freedom of expression mostly from the 25 January revolution supporters and it is not surprising for me.

Now I was surprised to see someone like Ibrahim Eissa slamming the court ruling as well El-Sisi's state describing it boldly as a "religious state" in his newspaper "Al-Makkal".

Eissa, who became a strong advocate for El-Sisi turning against the 25 January revolution and its activists suddenly realized that we are not living in a true civil secular state as it seems.

Yes, Eissa has been widely criticizing Al-Azhar and religious institutions in Egypt but not to that level.

Ironically since day one, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi did not promise anyone with that civil secular state.
Thanks to dear Ahmed Abu Hussein, he reminded us with El-Sisi's statements and views on the religious state and the role of religion during his presidential campaign.
Sisi in 2014: I am responsible for religion, values and principles
"There is nothing called religious leadership because the head of state should be responsible of everything in the country including its religion," He told Sky News Arabia TV host adding that he would be responsible for values, morals and religions in the country.
Ibrahim Eissa was there when he heard that statement like the rest of us.
Now, Eissa is back to scream on TV turning backward to the opposition but the problem he lost most of his "revolutionary supporters".
Back to Naji and that trial, simply the Egyptian state and its institutions including judiciary since 3 July are trying to prove that it is not less conservative than the Muslim Brotherhood in order to appeal to the conservative masses.
I remember how ex-PM Mahlab made history and banned Haifa Wehbe's film. Then in the past few weeks, we got the incidents like Fatima Naoot , Islam Behairy and Rana El-Sobky as a reminder for real about freedom of expression in Egypt.
The secular Egypt and the reform in religious discourse are only used for PR only with the West.
Interestingly, there is a silence among most Egypt's prominent novelists and writers as well intellectuals unexpectedly considered how vocal they were during the days of Morsi.
Yes, I have to bring that up because part of revolting against Morsi to protect the freedom of expression in Egypt.
By the way, you do not have to read or agree with Naji nor to like him as a writer.
It is about the principle of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is constant principle whether Morsi or Sisi's time.
Oh by the way, I think the Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood are in a big test now regarding the freedom of expression. Amazingly the Conservative Pro-Sisi supporters and Pro-Islamist MB supporters are against Naji online now and support his imprisonment.
And I will say it again, "First they came for the socialists..."
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