Thursday, February 22, 2007


Today an Egyptian blogger was sentenced to 4 years in prison because he expressed his views on his blog. He was charged with, basically, insulting Islam and insulting President Mubarak. His main target tended to be al-Azhar university, longest continuously operating university in the world and bastion of Sunni Islamic learning and culture.

There's mixed reaction in Egypt, of course, with some people saying he shouldn't have said those things and others outraged, saying that freedom of speech is clearly missing in Egypt (duh). For a "democracy" or a country that supposedly abides by things like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Egypt still has a long way to go.

You can read the story on the BBC here. There is a "free Kareem" campaign going on, with the web HQ here. It's a particularly interesting campaign because it is being run by Muslims who disagree with the things Kareem said but are trying to educate people that free speech includes speech you disagree with. You can also scope out another well-known Egyptian blogger, SandMonkey...until he gets arrested too, I suppose.

This kind of thing makes me sad and angry. I hope that Egypt can get its act together, and that we will stop supporting their non-democracy, before the whole Middle East really does implode (or explode).

I think I'm glad not to be in Egypt right now...but I'm sad that some of my friends are there and can't talk about things that are important to them. Pray for the people of Egypt.

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