Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman – an Egyptian student with the nom de blog “Kareem” – has been jailed for four years for insulting Islam and the Egyptian president, as reported by the BBC How depressing is that?
Here’s a brief summary of the BBC report. Abdel Soliman is a secularist, who was expelled from his University law studies for criticising religion. The University was responsible for reporting him to the police.
Mr Nabil had declared himself a secularist who does not fast during Ramadan and he criticised al-Azhar, the most prestigious institution of religious learning in the Sunni Muslim world.
He accused it of spreading radical ideas and suppressing freedom of thought.
Well, that’s certainly proved his point then.
The BBC claims that Egyptian bloggers have gained an influence that greatly outweighs their numbers and have been instrumental in exposing some true horrors carried out by the Egyptian state. This is rather humbling to the rest of us bloggers, who usually just about manage to expose what we think about the latest top-selling indie record.