01 June 2015

Five-year blasphemy sentence in Egypt - TV presenter questioned "religious certainties"

In Egypt the Sisi regime's campaign against "religious extremism" has claimed another victim. On Saturday, TV presenter Islam El-Beheiry was sentenced to five years in jail on blasphemy charges.

The court case followed a complaint from al-Azhar that his show, broadcast on a private TV channel, made people "question what is certain in religion".

Beheiry's show, "With Islam", was suspended in April. It had previously challenged conservative religious teaching on early marriage, punishment for apostasy, and the validity of the hadith – sayings and traditions attributed to the Prophet.

In doing so, Beheiry clashed with al-Azhar – Egypt's highest religious authority – which Sisi is relying on to promote a "moderate" version of Islam and thus counter the Muslim Brotherhood. [al-bab.com] Read more