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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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  • 2 points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:23PM (#42266839) Homepage
    1 - the movie was incorrectly attributed to the pre planned attacks that resulted in the deaths of more than a few americans.

    2 - If anybody actually thought that the eqyptian government was going to be all good now because of the uprising clearly has not been paying attention. Id love to visit but not until there is another revolution there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:25PM (#42266851)

    Saber Ayad was arrested on September 13 after angry groups of men surrounded his house and called for his death, accusing him of heresy, atheism and promoting Innocence of Muslims – a short film regarded by many to be offensive, as it portrays the Prophet Mohammad and Islam in a negative light.

    I just saw a documentry on ancient Alexandria last night with that historian hotty, Betteny Hughes [google.com], and how it and Egypt was the center of learning, knowledge, multicultural and tolerant of others.

    WTF happened to them?

    Is Egypt's backwardness really because of Islam or has the religious peanut gallery just ruined it for everyone including their fellow Muslims - kinda like how the Evangelical Christian nuts are ruining Christianity for everyone else here in the States.

  • by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:45PM (#42267053) Homepage

    Its "Monotheism" that is evil specifically. It teaches people that they have the *one* truth, and that anyone else must be wrong. Polytheists are generally more accepting I find.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:02PM (#42267215)

    With all due respect to Hitchens, his "challenge" completely missed the point. (It was, of course, neither the first time nor the last this happened to him.)

    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. The latter claim is essentially not under dispute. Religious people give far more to charitable causes in time and (if you leave off Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, two outliers who pull the average up all by themselves) in money.

    By the way, the reasons why this is the case are also fairly well-understood. It has nothing to do with identity, belief or adherence, and everything to do with regular attendance at a place of religious worship. People who are not religious typically don't have their philosophical worldview explicitly tied to charitable giving regularly every week.

    For the record, I would take it as a challenge to the non-religious to do something about it.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MysteriousPreacher ( 702266 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:39PM (#42267557) Journal

    A very good post. I think humanism (or the atheism+ thing) should more closely associated with charitable works. The problem with atheism as a label is that it says very little about a person. In a way I find the label "Christian" to be almost as meaningless.

    On the subject of charity, I prefer to take this angle:

    Atheism is a lack of belief in gods (or active disbelief), and that implies nothing in terms of charity. Christianity, by any mainstream understanding, is very much about charity. Accepting that Christians, as a group, give proportionately more to charity than non-believers, then why don't they give more? Why do many Christians in the western world live in a luxury that Jesus and his apostles could not have imagined. Why does my Christian friend (and he is one of the nicest guys I know) have two houses, two cars and a pretty comfortable standard of living? Like I said, he's a great guy, yet why does he spend so much on these luxuries when there are so many people in this world suffering? Why is it that the Catholic Church has so much cash, while elderly followers continue to tip money in to the tray? I'm reminded of a saying that goes something like "a priest with more than two pairs of shoes is a fraud". That money those worshippers put in the tray didn't just go to the steeple fund. I've heard from older generations of bishops here having pretty fine digs and a ready supply of fine wines. Some bought, and some donated to men who were more like local barons than true ministers of Christ.

    Answer those questions and we'll also know why so many Christians have sex outside of marriage, divorce and disregard so many other teachings of Jesus and his apostles. I'm thinking it's cognitive dissonance among other things. I know a lot of good Christians and atheists. My girlfriend is a Christian, and aside from the occasional quibble, we're pretty much in agreement as to how to lead a decent life. The main difference is in terms of judgement: My actions are judged by myself and other people. Her actions are judged by God. Either way, we're good people who, without a doubt should do more, but certainly aren't doing nothing in terms of charity and trying to bring some happiness in to this world.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mattack2 ( 1165421 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:18PM (#42268045)

    Lack of belief is NOT agnosticism. Agnosticism is the belief that we don't know(*) whether there is a god or not. If there is an invisible man that floats in the sky that controls the universe, he could make the world exactly as it is now. So I am an agnostic.

    I also believe that there is no god, because there is no evidence whatsoever to prove it. So I am an atheist.

    (*) or more strongly, that it is impossible to know.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:36PM (#42268213)

    What about all that ancient Egyptian stuff: statues, temples, pyramids, and the like? All this idolatry is also blasphemy under Islam.

    So are they going to, like, dynamite the pyramids, like their Muslim brethren did to those Buddhas in Afghanistan?

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by glsunder ( 241984 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:16PM (#42268549)

    If we are actually in a simulation, as some have suggested, then that would make the runner of the simulation a god. If someone believed that that was an unlikely possibility, but still a possibility, but didn't believe in other types of gods, would they still be an atheist?

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