Religious Defamation Law in Egypt Applied only to Christians, Says Egyptian Journalist

Saad Hagras, a prominent Egyptian journalist, condemned the use of religion when crafting and enforcing laws in Egypt.

"It is one of the remnants of a series of authoritarian laws, which leads us to inquisition courts, despite that they are only utilized against Christians," he told MidEast Christian News.

Hagras rejected the threats made by Gamaat Islamiyya leader Assem Abdel Maged against Copts regarding planned participation in demonstrations planned for June 30.

"Abdel Maged's hands are tainted with the blood of Egyptians, Muslims and Christians alike," Hagras said. "Abdel Maged's methods are those of a terrorist, as he stated that he doesn't regret the killings made by a Gamaa [GI member] against police officers in the eighties and nineties."

In another context, Hagras described the Ministry of Culture sit-in, which is demanding the dismissal of Minister Alaa Abdel Aziz, as "refined and respectable, and any attempts to harass them would be unacceptable in any decent country."

A number of writers and intellectuals have embarked on an open-ended sit-in, in front of the Opera House and the High Cultural Council in Cairo, under the slogan "Protecting the Egyptian identity from the Brotherhood."

A large number of intellectuals and artists broke into Alaa Abdel Aziz's office demanding his dismissal. Among them were writers Bahaa Taher and Sanaa Allah Ibrahim, actor Nabil El-Halafawi, director Khaled Youssef, producer Mohamed El-Adl and poet Sayed Hegab.

A band of five brass players performed a show as means of supporting the sit-in to express their refusal of the new minister, who had earlier sacked the head of the Opera and the heads of all art sectors, which they considered an attempt of forcing the Brotherhood's identity on Egypt.