Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights Sheds Light on Religious Defamation
By: Amira El-Fekki

“Since the January 25th Revolution, the Egyptian society has increasingly suffered from religious intolerance and hostility towards religious minorities”, a new report  by the EIPR stated.

Transgressions documented by the EIPR’s report were not only physical; Verbal defamation has been increasing as well in the Egyptian society and media.

The report did not accuse a particular regime of causing religious tensions as those have been under all governments that followed the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Instead, the EIPR put the blame on the state institutions who failed to prevent the persecution of people and protect religious institutes.

EIPR provided two relevant reports documenting different cases of religious defamation from January to August 2013 which included the accusations of publicly defaming Christianity, publishing offensive content to Prophet Mohamed, mocking, tearing and, burning religious books and inciting sectarian hatred. Those actions were performed by ordinary citizens, public figures, teachers and even children.

Earlier this year, the infamous movie “Innocence of Muslims” angered the Muslim community and the Egyptian court ruled to shut down YouTube for a month for continuing to publish the movie, not only causing controversy, but dividing citizens and threatening national security.

Another report was provided by the EIPR which covered the issue since the beginning of the revolution of January 25th, 2011. The report discussed how Internet had a major role in spreading religious defamation and condemned intolerance, sedition, extremism, freedom violations and the absence of justice.

The report‘s introduction reads as “Freedom was why millions of Egyptians took the streets on January 25th. They fought and re-wrote history, freeing themselves from tyranny. The world was impressed, yet the people never imagined they would be taken back in years to persecution of freedom of thoughts and expression and violation of human rights.”

Such forms of abuse continue to exist after the end of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule.

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