Saturday, March 26, 2016

Blasphemy Prosecutions In Egypt On The Rise

AP yesterday reported that since 2011, the number of blasphemy prosecutions in Egypt have risen dramatically. According to the report:
Two years ago, the military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power, and since then the government has been waging a harsh crackdown on Islamists.
Yet in the past three years, prosecutions on charges of insulting Islam have risen dramatically. From three such cases in 2011, there were 21 cases in the courts in 2015, around half targeting Christians.... Nine of the 2015 cases led to convictions and prison sentences, while the rest are still in the courts.
Part of the rise is connected to the spread of social media.... Many of the cases have originated in comments or videos posted on the Internet.... But also, prosecutors and judges have aggressively pursued the cases, aiming to show that the state is still "protecting Islam" even as it cracks down on Islamists.