Egyptian Coptic teacher arrested for insulting Islam on Facebook: report


An Egyptian teacher was detained after being accused of posting cartoons on Facebook allegedly insulting Islam, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and Islamist President Mohammed Mursi, an Egyptian daily reported on Tuesday.

A Coptic-Christian teacher from the southern Egyptian Governorate of Sohag, Bishoy Kamel, was arrested on Monday for sharing the cartoons on a Facebook page, the online edition of Egyptian state-run al-Ahram daily reported.

The charges were pressed against Kamel by Mohammed Safwat, an Egyptian who claimed that the latter had insulted the newly-elected President as well.

Kamel has admitted managing the Facebook page in question, however, he claimed that he was not responsible for the content of the page, which, he alleged, had been hacked on Saturday, according to the report by al-Ahram Online.

In early June, a Coptic business tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, was severely criticized by Islamists after posting a cartoon of Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in Islamic attire.

A number of Islamist lawyers lodged a complaint at the prosecutor against Sawiris, whom they accused of offending Islam through posting those cartoons. Sawiris, at the time, defended himself by saying that it was just a joke and had no religious dimensions.

Muslim-majority Egypt has for decades been marked by deep sectarian tensions, with religious violence between Muslims and Christians often sparked by disputes over land or love affairs between members of the two communities.

In January 2011, a suicide bomber killed more than 20 Christians outside a church in the country’s second city Alexandria, amid accusations by Islamists that the Coptic Church had detained a woman who converted to Islam.