Monday, October 30, 2017

Egyptian Court Bans TV Show That Criticizes Traditional Sunni Doctrine

Yesterday Egypt's Administrative Court banned the broadcast of the TV show "With Islam."  As reported by Al-Ahram and Egypt Daily News, the show, hosted by Egyptian reformer Islam El-Beheiry, features video excerpts of talks by respected Salafi preachers followed by El-Beheiry's criticism of their statements.  The show appears on the privately-owned TV channel Al Qahera Wel Nas.  The suit was originally filed in 2015 by Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb who contended that El-Beheiry falsely criticized religious doctrines to make individuals question their beliefs. Yesterday;s court order bans showing of future as well as past episodes of With Islam, and also prohibits inviting El-Beheiry to appear on any other satellite TV channels.  In December 2015, El-Beheiry was sentenced to one year in prison for contempt of religion after he questioned the authenticity of certain Sunni religious texts. He was released one month early with a pardon from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and his show resumed in May.