An Egyptian court has sentenced Mohammed Fahmy to one year in prison on Tuesday for insulting Prophet Mohammed’s companions and “spreading the Shiite doctrine”, according to a newspaper report on Tuesday.
His initial sentence was three years in prison and a fine of around $16,458, but an appeals court reduced the sentence to one year, reported the Egypt Independent.
Fahmy’s lawyer, Youssef Qandil, said the verdict was “personal” and fabricated,” and said he would submit a complaint to the United Nations.
The paper said that Fahmy embraced Shiite Islam last year, an act that irked people in his village in Kafr al-Zayat, west of Egypt’s delta in al-Garbiyah Governorate.
A group from the Muslim Brotherhood tried to convince him to renege on his decision and even arranged a meeting with al-Azhar University professors but their attempt was futile, the paper added. The meetings which usually ended in fights, prompted the group to warn the village’s youth not to be influenced by Fahmy’s beliefs.
From my experience - in how things are close and tight-knit in rural Japan, China etc - I can see this fear - “the village’s youth not to be influenced by Fahmy’s beliefs.” Once such tension rises - it’s nearly impossible to really diffuse. *But the guy still wanted to change to be Shia. The guy himself must knew.
But then still, Sunni or Sufi side arranged the meeting with Al Azhar professors. (Though how those professors acted etc, details aren’t there.)
And then court … jailing and fining - would that work or make sense in anyway? (No. He is determined.)
This topic is tossed around on Twitters among some Middle East commentators past few days. I can’t well document their way here - so instead logging my thoughts here.
Dialogue between sects should be possible or not possible? With all these Islam’s premises - why all of a sudden the case goes to court? (Sharia - how is it supposed to handle multi-faith minorities?)
The whole dynamics - when are we able to really look at and think about. Instead of labeling, tossing, gossipping (and moving on but actually just repeating.)