The case against Naguib Sawiris

The news that a Salafi lawyer is suing Naguib Sawiris for “insulting Islam” as a result of a cartoon he tweeted some time ago is distressing. The cartoon had a bearded Mickey Mouse and Veiled Mini Mouse. Many Muslims have found it funny and tweeted it. They are not being sued. There are three disturbing factors:

1- The cartoon made fun of the Salafis, not Muslims in general or Islam as a religion. The Salafis seem to equate their habits with Islam as a whole. This is clearly their mindset: narrow and intolerant. Any protestations from the Nur party that they are “normal” should be ignored unless they come out against the suit.

2- No Muslim who tweeted the cartoon is being sued. In the mind of the Salafis,  Copts have inherently less rights than Muslims. This is exactly what Copts fear, the reduction to a second rate form of citizenship.. in their own country no less.

3- Thundering silence from the FJP & MB. They make all sorts of tolerant noises when it suits them, but they can not be bothered to live up to these promises, even in words.

If the courts do indeed rule against Sawiris it will be a thunderous decision. It will set Egypt back decades in economic and cultural progress.

We should all watch this one.



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