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Abanoub Emad, a student of dentistry at Zagazig University, is being accused of “contempt of religion,” after publishing some social media posts, which were considered to be insulting to Islam. A campaign has been launched demanding to arrest and punish him.

Abanoub published evidence that his own page was stolen, and that he had submitted a report to Internet Investigators about the theft of the page. Yet, certain extremists launched a hashtag against him, and went as far as publishing the phone numbers and addresses of his family, which is normally illegal as it puts them in high risk.

Investigating the matter, it turns out that certain individuals have published social media posts that mock the Bible. This prompted some Copts to respond by their own posts, including some in the alleged page of the young Abanoub. Screenshots of these responses were republished and used as pretext of “insulting Islam” accusations. This sparked further agitations and prompted demands that the young man be tried.

Some enlightened (Muslims) and Copts came out asking why would the alleged response by Abanoub Imad (that is, even if his page was not stolen), was to be considered as a reason to arrest him and put him under trial, whereas it was nothing but a reaction to insulting Christianity?; why those who insulted Christianity in the first place not be tried as well?; and why are Christians always the only ones to be held accountable for contempt of religions (i.e. Islam), even though there are countless pages/sites that insult Christianity non-stop?

Furthermore, how can his family’s personal data be illegally leaked, thus endangering their lives, without any reaction by the authorities? And where does the law stand regarding these sites/pages that lure and provoke Coptic youth in order to trap them as they respond to insults to Christianity?

Certain extremist individuals and organizations clearly stand behind such widespread activities, but sadly the security authorities appear to be quick to appease them by arresting Copts and prosecuting them, often without conclusive evidence.

A case to remember is that of the Coptic young man, Sherif, who was sentenced to a year in prison, after he responded to comments by a woman named Nada Mahmoud who was mocking Christianity. Both were initially arrested and interrogated but, quite shockingly, Nada Mahmoud was released without charges while Sherif was sentenced. An obvious case of the policy of double standards..


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