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

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 Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:21PM (#42266811) Journal

    I think that its a bit simplistic to exclude it. Some events do actually have multiple causes. The real world is complex, and rarely aligns with a fox news soundbite.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:22PM (#42266827)

    What's curious is that the summary basically says as much in the same sentence: the attacks were intended to pressure the U.S. for the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman.

  • by baldass_newbie ( 136609 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:26PM (#42266865) Homepage Journal

    I think that its a bit simplistic to exclude it. Some events do actually have multiple causes. The real world is complex, and rarely aligns with a fox news soundbite.

    And it never aligns with President Obama's talking points but that doesn't change the fact that the protests had nothing to do with the video. In fact, it wasn't even the pretext for the gathering.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:31PM (#42266911) Journal

    " In fact, it wasn't even the pretext for the gathering, and the administration knew this all along"


  • Re:2 points (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:55PM (#42267151)

    1 - No, the attribution isn't too far off. What likely happened is that the terrorist group(s) have been planning and practicing for this for a long time but had no opportunity to carry out their plans, biding their time for such an opportunity. Well, enter the idiots who just had to release their "magnum opus" (magnum doofus IMO) on September for maximum impact. Problem solved.

    Hopefully you got your gold star from Obama for repeating this. Since Mrs. Rice lied multiple times about this and it was shown to be a lie, I have yet to find a SINGLE administration official that currently has this position. Not a single one is saying this anymore. Please prove me wrong. Rice got caught lying, Obama skipped a meeting with the PM is Israel to go on Letterman and make this lie, Obama went to the UN to make this lie. Apparently you are the only idiot left that believes it.

    By the way, there is video of the consulate where the attack happened. There was no gathering there, there was no protest. The first people to show up were shooting as they arrived. The administration didn't realize that video existed before they told their lies. I'm sure you didn't get to see that video because many news organizations failed to admit it exists or show it because it didn't do Obama any favors to do so.

    So yes, you are the last idiot who thinks this. Congratulations on being the last person to deny the truth. Your mother must be proud.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:11PM (#42267299)
    Religion discourages critical thinking no more than man's own reasoning which can also justify immoral acts. Furthermore, any attempt to justify morality ends up, in essence, being the same thing as a religious belief as it regards to one's own actions.

    For example, a belief in a superior race can come across both through religion (we are divinely appointed to rule X people) or without religion (we are ethnically more evolved, thus making us best suited to rule X people).

    People are people and have the same nature regardless if they believe there is a God, believe in many gods or believe there is no God at all. Its no surprise that a lot of violence occurred in the name of religion (or the belief in a lack of religion) because its what people most strongly believe in and it allows for the hiding of the root causes of the conflict. Its much more heroic to die fighting for what you believe in than it is for someone to die, say, acquiring a lot of land. Therefore, conflicts which were based on human desires such as the crusades were depicted as a religious struggle because it gains much more support and makes the deaths seem nobler. Consider the Trojan War, in order to make it sound noble it was fought over love, rather than the real reasons (the Greeks really wanted the wealth of Troy).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:22PM (#42267403)

    It was burned a few times, mostly from the fine Wikipedia article...

    1. Caesar accidentally burned the library down during his visit to Alexandria in 48 BC
      - lost 40,000 scrolls.
      - Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it.
    2. its contents were largely lost during the taking of the city by the Emperor Aurelian (270–275)
    3. Hypatia (the last librarian?) killed by Christian mob, in retaliation to Jewish killings earlier, probably around 391 AD
    3. In 642, Alexandria was captured by the Muslim army of Amr ibn al `Aas, [the library was] destroyed by Amr, by the order of the Caliph Omar.

    So the score is... Romans, Romans, Christians, then Muslims.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:45PM (#42267629) Homepage Journal

    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.

    Statements like this make me despair for humanity. It's completely, utterly wrong, on the face of it. It doesn't even stand up to momentary scrutiny, and yet here you are, dismissing a very significant part of the world's population as morally bankrupt. Worse yet, you're claiming they do so by choice.

    Look: If you want to have a good discussion on the nature of faith, on the things that drive us to perform selfless acts in the true tradition of Jesus[*], then read Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory [], and come back when you begin to understand that human motivation and morality are not nearly so clear-cut as some might think.

    Living a life of decency and service to others is fucking hard, amigo, and it starts by not shitting on others just because they don't subscribe to your particular newsletter.


    [*] Yeah, atheists admire Jesus' teaching too. Amazing, isn't it? We just don't think the ascension to Heaven part is required in order for us to emulate his ways. How's your mind? Not too blown, I hope.

  • by SolitaryMan ( 538416 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:54PM (#42267729) Homepage Journal

    The difference between a camp fire and fire in the forest being on fire is the amount of fuel.

    The video is not the main cause, but it was definitely used by Islamists to get more people on their side and to justify (in a perverted way) a more severe attack.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by elbonia ( 2452474 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:57PM (#42267763)

    The only fiction is what you are saying. Here are the facts:

    Soviet anti-religious legislation
    The government of the Soviet Union followed an unofficial policy of state atheism, aiming to gradually eliminate religious belief within its borders and replace it with widespread atheism []

    Soviet policy toward religion was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which made atheism the official doctrine of the Communist Party. []

    The USSR had a active campaign to remove religion since 1921
    1917-1921 []
    1928-1941 []
    1958-1864 []
    1970s-1990 []

    Persecution of Orthodox Christians

  • Re:2 points (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:04PM (#42267835) Journal

    They have a significantly lower violent crime rate than here as well -- almost four times less

    Is that why they had cops with full-size AKs on every street corner in the tourist quarter last time I visited (which was in 2005)? Or why it was strongly not advised to ever venture outside of said quarter - not that you'd want to, because the city blocks surrounding it would be most accurately described as something you'd expect to see in the aftermath of a bombing run on the city.

    Numbers are funny things, especially self-reported ones.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MysteriousPreacher ( 702266 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:04PM (#42267841) Journal

    And a hair in the form of a moustache behaves as a top-lip warmer. That makes just as much sense as what you wrote.

      It doesn't follow that hair alone, with no further addition or clarification, will tickle your nose when you scrunch up your lips. A moustache is also not a necessary progression from hair any more than Marxism is a necessary result of atheism.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:04PM (#42267847) Homepage

    Accepting that atheism can have at least two meanings (active disbelief or simple lack of belief)

    No. "Active disbelief" is atheism, the other one is agnosticism. Two entirely different things, they should never be bunched together under the term "atheism."

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:14PM (#42267993)

    Great post yourself.

    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.

    Christians sometimes live in luxury because God has blessed them financially. The Bible is full of wisdom, and people that read and follow it make extremely wise decisions, which often leads to financial success. Why don't they give more to the poor? As Jesus said, "The poor you will have with you always." You can give part of your 10% to the poor (most churches do) or you can give above the 10% to other charities to help the poor (many Christians do this as well). 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.

    Why do so many Christians have sex outside of marriage and divorce their wives? Because they don't really believe in God fully. Even Christians get lonely and struggle with their faith and make bad decisions, even if they know it's wrong.

    Abraham had a child by his slave (at his wife's urging).

    Moses killed an Egyptian.

    David had an affair with Bath-Sheba and killed her husband.

    But Abraham also defeated 5 kings' armies with 318 guys to rescue his nephew.

    Moses led 2 million people from Egypt to the Promised Land

    David and his son Solomon had the greatest kingdoms in Israel's history

    Even the apostle Paul, who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, complained at the end of his life that he was constantly sinning. Messing up is part of being human. Beyond that, it's just a degree of harm caused.

    To a Christian, God's not looking for perfect people... He'd never find any. He's looking for people that have the faith to do great things that make the world a better place. And Christians are reading a book and going to a place all the time that encourages them to do it.

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:15PM (#42267997)

    No, agnosticism is a state of unknowing. "I don't know if the Christian god exists" would be agnostic. "I know* that the Christian god does not exist" would be atheistic. Know* in the atheist sense is in the sense that "a thing for which there is no evidence of existence, nor reason to assume its existence can be considered to not exist". The evidence for the existence of the Christian god is the same as the evidence for the existence of Thor. Insofar as *any* negative can be stated to be "true", Thor doesn't exist either.

    Neither is a religion, by the way.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Razgorov Prikazka ( 1699498 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:20PM (#42268069)
    There is a difference between religions. In one violence is condemned and only to be applied by god, the other tells people to actively engage in violence themselves if the focus is on the biggest two.

    In the Koran the muslims are told to be violent against sub-humans (non-muslims). The Koran goes as far as to call non-muslims monkeys and pigs. That violence and name-calling can be found here (Sura 2:191), here (Sura 5:33), here (Sura 8:12), here (Sura 8:60*), here (Sura 8:65), here (Sura 9:5), here (9:29*), here (Sura 9: 123*) and finally there (47:4). Marked * are disputable, it all depends a bit which translation is being used one can be found here: they CAN be read as non violent, but as we -unfortunately- all know this is hardly ever the case.
    Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, and to me that is hardly immoral. Maybe meek. But not immoral.
    So please focus on the problem here. The Koran and its scimitar wielding mohammedan followers are as welcome on earth as a handgranade with the pin taken out in a kindergarten, most of the other religions... meh, not so much a problem.
    Ok, here and there a petrol bomb on an abortion clinic by some sort of a Christian weirdo who doesn't follow his/her own scripture, but that is usually about it. Those are (no matter how horrific) mere accidents compared to the daily crimes against humanity committed by the followers of the religion of peace and respect. And very mild ones too if you take in the severity of the hideous crimes of those hatebeards. And yes Sheldon this is sarcasm. Cutting of clitorises of 5 year old girls, making women wear a burqua's and head-scarves, maiming of women for (supposedly) looking at another man, beheading for 'sorcery', burning down churches, hanging of people who are gay or listen to the 'wrong music', stoning of women because they are raped and therefore (obviously) are prostitutes... the list goes on. Hardly a sign of peace let alone respect huh?
    Oh, and that is what is happening today. Not 3000 years ago (Troy) or 500 years ago (inquisition) or whatever. The last biggies (Napoleonitic wars, crim-war, boerwar (both 1 and 2), American Civil war, WW1, WW2 and finally the Cold war) were not fought under the flag of religion (with a slight difference in Nippon where the emperor was to believed to be god).
    Oh, and while we are at it, can we please keep out the Jainists? Can we keep out the Budhists as well too? (Ok technically speaking not a religion, but you get the point)

    There is no problem in religion in itself. Religion gives people a reason for self-reflection, a purpose in life, a way finding consolidation in the loss of a loved one. I dont think a creationist is/has a problem. It is a funny way of renouncing a proven fact, but hey... it is not harmful, all the 5 year old's still grow up with a clitoris. That is the whole point of my post I think; leave people alone, all of you!
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:03PM (#42268457)

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

    I'll do you better than that: an interactive tool which shows the data []. 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.)

    I take offense at that.

    You probably shouldn't. You're a human being, not a statistical average.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein