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Atheist Blogger Sentenced To 3 Years in Prison For Insulting Islam 412

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-ignore-words-you-don't-like dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Egyptian blogger Alber Saber, maintainer of the Egyptian Atheists Facebook page, has been sentenced to three years in prison under Egypt's blasphemy law for posting the trailer for the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims. This film was widely blamed for al-Qaeda's coordinated attacks on U.S. embassies on September 11 of this year, which were meant to pressure the U.S. for the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is imprisoned in the U.S. for his role in the World Trade Center attack of 1993. Amnesty International calls the sentence an 'outrageous' assault on freedom of expression."
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Atheist Blogger Sentenced To 3 Years in Prison For Insulting Islam

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:18PM (#42266787)

    Like "incorrectly" blamed, since we now know those attacks weren't over the YouTube video.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:20PM (#42266803) Homepage Journal

    has been sentenced to three years in prison under Egypt's blasphemy law for posting the trailer for the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims.

    There's an axiom that covers that:

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

    Not that I agree with being imprisoned for posting a video (much the opposite), just making an observation.

  • lucky guy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fche (36607) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:22PM (#42266829)

    Considering that in sharia, blasphemy (and so many other acts) can be punished with death, he got off light.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:26PM (#42266859)

    I've not seen it, but I have to approve any way. Fundamentalist Christians fighting oversensitive Muslims? Whichever one wins, enjoy the show.

    "The movie is accusing us of following a religion of violence. Such accusations are intolerable - start murdering unrelated people until the insults stop!"

  • by flaming error (1041742) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:31PM (#42266909) Journal

    That axiom is great advice for adapting to a new culture.

    For advancing a culture, it's kind of ineffective.

  • "Arab Spring" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:32PM (#42266921) Journal

    So much for that bullshit...

  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:35PM (#42266957)
    Christians were the ones who burned the Library of Alexandria (and because of them who knows how many ancient documents were lost forever). All religion is backwards and intolerant of other points of view simply because each religion claims to have a monopoly on truth. Therefore, other ideas are "competition" and must be eradicated.

    Each religions claims to speak for God but it's always men saying "god doesn't like this" or "god wants you to do that". However, god never actually says or does anything. If god actually exists, then let it appear to everyone and speak for itself. This whole notion of "insulting" islam is actually about punishment for speaking out against the establishment.
  • Re:Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:45PM (#42267061) Journal

    Jesus wept! To consider atheism a religion is to completely belittle actual religion. Accepting that atheism can have at least two meanings (active disbelief or simple lack of belief), the notion that atheism is a religion has been debunked so many times. Question, is lack of belief in Hathor a religion? No, it's not. By knowing someone lacks belief (or actively disbelieves) in Hathor, what can you tell me about this person? Not much, eh? Funny then how this lack of belief in all gods, not just every god except one, can build in to something that leads to gulags, amazing photo manipulation, a great national anthem, and an unprecedented arms race.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canadian_right (410687) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:46PM (#42267063) Homepage

    Stalin was not a stamp collector. Someone who is not a stamp collector is an aphilateist. This proves that being an aphilateist leads to killing millions, and that all aphiliateists are immoral beasts.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 7-Vodka (195504) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:46PM (#42267065) Journal
    Really? I have a challenge for you. Name me one moral act performed by a religious person that could not have been performed by that person without their religion.

    Christopher Hitchens, may he rest in peace, used to pose this to any and all religious people of stature that he met, offered money to anyone who could satisfy this challenge for years and never had to pay up.

    Now of course the corollary question, name me an immoral act that was performed because of religion and everybody has answers within seconds.

    Morality is innate in humans, put there by natural selection. Religion has no claim on morality.

    Of course, evil acts do not require religion, however religion discourages critical thinking in a way that can easily justify immoral acts.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:48PM (#42267083)

    Look at china, no religion killed 80 milion...

    doesn't matter people kill people... In name of God people kill people, without God, the make someone else God and kill people...

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:00PM (#42267201) Homepage Journal

    When Godzilla and Mothra fight it's Tokyo that pays the price.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:03PM (#42267227) Journal

    He's referencing the Carl Sagan episode on the library of Alexandria.

    Truth is, the library went down four different times... two of which had less to do with any religious motive than with foreign conquest.

    The last time it went down was, well... during the initial Muslim conquest of Egypt.

  • Re:Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:04PM (#42267249) Homepage Journal

    (active disbelief or simple lack of belief)

    only someone so tied up in their own belief that that can't think any other way would make such a stupid statement.

    ", can build in to something that leads to gulags, amazing photo manipulation, a great national anthem, and an unprecedented arms race."
    ah, I see. you are stupid.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:11PM (#42267291) Homepage Journal

    don't be stupid. People seem to think the white house has precog abilities and know exactly what happens, and the motivation behind event the moment they happen.

    I would love for people like you to be involved in something like that. If you survive you might actually get a glimpse of the confusion and dynamic shifts that happen during, and immediately after, these events.
     

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:14PM (#42267319) Homepage Journal

    That axiom would me no women voting, enslaved people, and non stop dark ages.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:19PM (#42267369)

    Religious people give far more to charitable causes

    Citation, please. And proselytizing expenditures and church heating bills don't count.

    Nobody, as far as I know, has ever claimed that a non-religious person can't perform moral acts as religious people do, merely that they don't.

    I take offense at that. If non-religious people "don't perform moral acts", then neither do religious people, by the same definition.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:23PM (#42267417)

    To consider atheism a religion is to completely belittle actual atheism. What do we have to do until you get it. The thing you hold dear and fear being belittled has no value to us, moreover going through life without this pillor of strength you rely on is what we value.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:24PM (#42267425)

    To consider atheism a religion is to completely belittle actual religion.

    To consider atheism a religion is to completely belittle atheism.

    FTFY

  • Re:Really? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:29PM (#42267469)

    Atheism in the form of Marxist Humanism behaves as a religion in the anthropological sense. It has defined saviors, prophets, an origin myth, an utopia, a book of creeds that cannot be challenged in any way, a pantheon, newly converters feeling the need to preach the message to all people around, leaders (in the marxist sense) and a bunch of rites that don't make sense except in the context of religion. Oh, and they also show hate for all other forms of religions, and try by all means to stop them from having any influence in society.

    Note also, that their societies have historically been the worse societies ever conceived by mankind, because Marxism only value others for their ability to work, so it quickly degenerates in a slavist society that kills the elders, the thinkers, the dissenters/protesters, and the weak. Add to that that marxist humanism also believes in malthusianism, which is the belief that there are too many people in the world, and you get a perfect hell.

  • Pink Hoofie Denial (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:30PM (#42268157) Homepage Journal

    What these superstitious types just don't get is that the Soviets and the Chinese murdered all those people because they didn't believe in pink unicorns. Fact. We can lay the fault precisely at the door of pink unicorn disbelief. Filthy apostate pink unicorn deniers! It's no wonder, either. The Book of The Pink Unicorn Disbeliever lays out the precise steps: Gulags, trips to Lubyanka, bullet in the head, bill the family. Yessir. Pervasive pink unicorn disbelief. It's evil. Purest, darkest evil.

    It obviously had nothing at all to do with the fact that the leadership of those countries at those times consisted of screaming psychotic fucktards. No. Nothing at all like that.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:06PM (#42268485)
    He is wasting his time "praying for a lost soul". That is not a moral act. He is doing a useless thing and feeling good about himself for doing it, instead of using this impulse to help that made him pray for another to solve real problems of which the World is full. So what he is doing is very negative in the end.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:40PM (#42268711)
    Oh, and one more thing. If a person honestly believes that killing little children is a selfless attempt to help them go to heaven before they grow and commit sins are his acts moral in your opinion?
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattack2 (1165421) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @11:28PM (#42269009)

    You cannot prove a negative.

    Since there is no evidence to show that there is a god, the default supposition is that there is no god. So someone needs to provide evidence that there is one.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:16AM (#42269249) Journal

    And lots of Christian, Jewish, and other religious leaders do not kill their people either, so when Atheists condemn all religions on the actions of a few, it is completely disingenuous double set of rules, one for evaluating Atheism and one evaluating Religions.

    The fact is, PLENTY of people in Atheistic (official) government countries were (and are) persecuted exactly for their religion. Namely Jews and Christians in Soviet Russia, Falun Gong and others in China, etc and so on.

    However, this is when Atheists apply the "No True Scotsman" logic and exempt themselves from the very thing they do to other religions, namely painting with broad brushes. Shouldn't we all be able to paint with the same bush?

    And if you read through enough Slashdot topics on Theism vs Atheism you'll find plenty of +5 comments from Atheists that suggest killing (or other inhuman treatment) of anyone having any faith. And in my opinion, they are just as dangerous as any religious extremist.

    Point being, many Atheists love to tout how tolerant they are, until they meet someone with faith, and then they expose their extremist intolerance for anyone not like themselves, the very thing they condemn in others.

  • Dear Muslim world: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @12:37AM (#42269339) Homepage Journal

    Europe advances, India advances, China advances.

    You remain mired in medieval nonsense. And you will continue to remain poor, unhappy, and mired in belligerent wars, due what you emphasize as important in your societies.

    Please grow up.

    Thanks,
    the rest of the world

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:54AM (#42269721)

    That said, I have yet to see an atheist (besides retired philanthropists) that gives 10% of their income away while working a regular job (heck, over half of Christians don't do it). But I know several Christians that give away 20% or more.

    So you know some Christians that give a certain percentage of some measure of income (maybe gross, maybe net), while admitting that most don't, but don't know any atheists (other than the one's you're specifically disqualifying) that do?

    Aside from the obviously artificial qualifications, is that because you don't know many atheists? Don't know your atheist acquaintance's charity habits? Consider charity and church tithing the same? Or really know a large sample of religious and non-religious people and their particular spending habits?

    The Bible is full of wisdom, and people that read and follow it make extremely wise decisions, which often leads to financial success.

    The first part: probably true, in a very abstract sense. The second part, extremely far from reality.

    Why don't they give more to the poor...You can give part of your 10% to the poor (most churches do)

    Do most give some of your 10%, yeah, probably. Do most give anywhere near a majority (or even a large minority) of that? I'd be very impressed to see any proof of it.

    But there is no reason that a Christian must live in the ghetto in public housing and give everything to his neighbors. The reality is that the Christian can often do more good with the money than giving it to a poor person that would squander it on the kind of decisions that made them poor to begin with.

    Again first part, don't think that many have problems with that in isolation (it would generally be the hypocrisy of the claim that they're more moral). The second part pretty much smacks of religious-based elitism (why are there poor Christians if so) and just sheer ignorance of poverty and how real economic and labor systems work.

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2012 @02:26AM (#42269861)

    The temple is replaced by the government, and charity is replaced by taxes. Where I "tithe," I give 35% of my income in "charity." The voluntary charity is much less effective at alleviating social ills than the taxes of the modern society. In fact, the pope John Paul II criticized the Scandinavian countries for removing poverty as that prevented Christians from practicing their religion fully (giving to the poor).

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by njen (859685) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @02:40AM (#42269913)
    Ok, let's get something clear: giving to your church =! giving to a charity.

    A christian giving 10% of the money they earn to their church is most definitely not a definition of charity, but more akin to giving money to a club that you are a part of. I give various percentages on my money to different things I am a part of too but that doesn't make it charity. Since church "donations" are essentially a black hole, it is almost impossible to actually know how much really goes to charity, and how much goes to increasing the wealth of the church. But as someone who used to be a part of a church, from what I saw, I'd estimate less than 5% of the money the church received actually went to true charitable activities such as feeding the poor, etc.

    I wonder what the actual percentages christians giving to charity are, and whether it is more or less than atheists. As an atheist I donate to charitable activities, and I certainly know others who do as well. But of course that is anecdotal.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by risom (1400035) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @05:21AM (#42270479) Homepage

    I'll do you better than that: an interactive tool which shows the data [philanthropy.com]. There's a link on that page detailing how the data was compiled. (Note that IRS data only includes people earning over $50,000 a year.)

    ... which handily debunks your own claims. GP said: "And proselytizing expenditures and church heating bills don't count." - while your source lumps them together with real charity:

    Religion has a big influence on giving patterns. Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not. Two of the top nine statesâ"Utah and Idahoâ"have high numbers of Mormon residents, who have a tradition of tithing at least 10 percent of their income to the church. The remaining states in the top nine are all in the Bible Belt.

    When religious giving isn't counted, the geography of giving is very different. Some states in the Northeast jump into the top 10 when secular gifts alone are counted. New York would vault from No. 18 to No. 2, and Pennsylvania would climb from No. 40 to No. 4.

    (emph. mine, source [philanthropy.com].)

    TL;DR: atheists give to charity, christs give to the church.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:42AM (#42273717) Homepage Journal

    If an atheistic regime kills its people, is not because it is oppressing religion (the clergy and the followers). It is because they are psychotic fucktards. Are you stoned?

    You're missing the point. Let's see if I can get it across to you without the snark.

    Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods. There's no dogma, no "book", no canon that says "oppress" or "murder" or anything else. Atheism carries with it no political philosophy. So if a person is atheist, and they're being nasty, it's not a consequence of the atheism. As I implied in the grandparent, the place to look is at personality disorder (because generally speaking, if you want to screw with other people's lives, liberties and free choices, that's what you're looking at.) Personality disorder knows no bounds of theist or atheist.

    Many forms of theism -- and in particular Christianity, Judaism, and Islam -- do present instructions in various forms to do away with, convert, or otherwise harass those who don't agree with them. History is replete with examples of them specifically exercising those instructions.

    So the bottom line here is that superstition contributes directly and materially to pogroms, crusades, witch burnings, repression of science, subjugation of women, jihads, censorship, blue laws, vilification of sexuality and so forth. Atheism does not.

    When you examine cause and effect, atheism comes up a dry well. There's nothing in the idea "I hold no belief in a god or gods" that has a defined or recommended next step.

    That's not to be confused with the reaction of an atheist when a superstitious person tries to enforce the rules of their superstition on the atheist. No one reacts well to being told what to do, and/or being threatened, by people and philosophies with which.they have little in common. But it is important to realize that atheism isn't directing that response: it is a reaction to repression brought on by over-reach of the superstitious.

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