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Egyptian Poet Fatima Naoot on Trial for Insulting Abraham and Islam

Fatima Naoot

Abraham, who is an important figure in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was the subject of a Facebook post by Egyptian poet Fatima Naoot that could land her in jail for up to 3 years, according to Reuters. The poet, who has expressed views supportive of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, nonetheless was critical of the Feast of the Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Itzhak before God commands him not to and replaces his son with a sheep to slaughter.

Fatima Naoot wrote, “Millions of innocent creatures will be driven to the most horrible massacre committed by humans for ten and a half centuries. A massacre which is repeated every year because of the nightmare of a righteous man about his good son.” Naoot’s reference to “nightmare” reflects the belief that Abraham had a nightmare that he was supposed to sacrifice his son, and God provided a sheep instead, according to Reuters.

Naoot has been charged with spreading sectarian strife, disturbing the public peace and contempt of Islam. She denies the charges, which could carry a sentence of six months to three years. “I will not be defeated even if I’m imprisoned. The loser will be the cultural movement.”

Some blame the increasing attacks on free speech as a trend that started when al-Sisi toppled Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, but others say they date back to the 2011 ousting of Hosni Mubarak. The record of arrests on the charge of contempt of religion show 27 convictions out of 24 defendants from 2011-2013.

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