ALEXANDRIA: Three Christian detained for allegedly insulting Islam in Egypt.
According to media reports, three Christians were detained in Alexandria, Egypt on Monday July 13, each on charges of insulting Islam by printing Christian messages in packets of dates. Each of these three Christians was compelled to pay LE10,000 for their bail.
The images of these packages were posted on social media platform facebook by Mina George. She posted these images along with captions ironically saying, “The most expensive bag of dates in the country. This bag of dates cost a young Christian man LE10,000, along with two of his friends, who were also Christian. Each of them was fined LE10,000, because they were trying to distribute dates to people in the street. Egypt is beautiful.”
In line with details, one of such messages printed on the packages of dates read: “The Lord knows all that occurs, for He is the mighty knower, He can carry on his shoulders all that is oppressive and exhausting and bring comfort and joy, for He loves you very much.”
As it happened that a Muslim man found the message inside the packet of dates and found it unpleasant and thus complained against the young Christian men who had been placing these messages in the packets. One of the three Christian men was initially detained by the police.
As narrated by Stephen Botros Fayed, one of the three Christians who were detained, he received a call around 8.30 am. He was thus informed that his friend had been booked by the police who also placed Christian messages inside the packages of dates. Learning this he and his other friend who also used to place Christian messaged inside the date packets went to inquire about their friend in police custody.
According to a detailed narrative of the incident by Fayed himself which he shared on his facebook timeline. In his post stated that when he and his friend reached the police station, the police also detained both of them. Subsequently, the three Christian men were transferred to another police station. The police later on confiscated their phones and identification cards.
As said by Fayed, the three of them were kept in police custody for several hours, after which they were presented before the prosecution. The prosecution charged them with insulting Islam. As under the Egyptian law insulting Islam is forbidden. However, after paying LE10,000 each, they were released on bail.
Nonetheless, the case is still open and the three of them could be called in for a court trial. On the other hand, Fayed commented in his post that the entire police case against them was “unjustified,” as “my friend and I had nothing to do with it, and our detained friend was only distributing dates.”
“If someone had been caught with hashish or was drinking alcohol on the street, it would have been easier for them than everything we’ve gone through,” Fayed asserted.