Leading Copt faces Egypt trial for insulting Islam with Mickey Mouse tweet

January 9, 2012

(Naguib Sawiris speaks during a conference in Beirut June 2, 2010. REUTERS/Cynthia Karam)

Egyptian telecom tycoon and political liberal Naguib Sawiris will face trial on a charge of showing contempt for religion, judicial sources and Mamdouh Ismail, the Islamist lawyer who brought the case, said on Monday. Sawiris, a prominent figure in Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, was accused by a group of about 20 lawyers of showing contempt by tweeting a cartoon seen as insulting to Islam. According to the daily Al Masry Al Youm,  “In June, Sawiris posted a picture depicting Mickey Mouse wearing a beard and Minnie Mouse wearing a face veil on his Twitter account, a cartoon that many Muslims considered offensive.”

A Cairo prosecutor referred the case to trial on Monday. Sawiris, chairman of the mobile phone operator MobilNil , could not immediately be reached for comment. The cartoon incident in June triggered a boycott by some Mobinil customers, though Sawiris said the impact had eased by October.

Sawiris is a vocal critic of Islamist parties which have emerged in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February. He is a co-founder of the Free Egyptians (Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrar), a liberal party advocating separation of state and religion.

Like other liberal groups, the party has struggled to make an impact in parliamentary elections underway since late November and which have been dominated by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the Nour Party, a more hardline Salafi group.

Ismail, a member of another Salafi party, said the prosecutor’s decision to put Sawiris on trial showed that the law applied to all. “It’s a decision showing that there is justice in Egypt,” he told Reuters. via Egypt’s Sawiris faces trial for insulting religion | News by Country | Reuters.

For more, see: Coptic businessman on trial over cartoon (Egypt Independent/Al-Masry Al-Youm) and the Sawiris page on the Egypt news aggregator Bikya Masr.


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I’m a christian Egyptian and feel unsafe more than the past :( why they don’t apply law and rules over the musilms who r Insulting christiani­ty and judaism 24/7 over public and religious channels ????!!!!! they only want to destroy any successful christian public face .

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

ALL religion is BS. Faith kills. Your god has never struck anyone dead for insulting it, but its followers have and continue to do so at a horrendous rate.

Posted by emag | Report as abusive