Egypt has handed down death sentences to 183 people involved in the murder of 11 policemen and two civilians during the August 2013 mass protests. Human rights groups have pointed out, however, that the court has failed to hold a single police officer accountable for the deadly clashes.
"Today's death sentences are yet another example of the bias of the Egyptian criminal justice system," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International. "These verdicts and sentences must be quashed and all of those convicted should be given a trial that meets international standards of fairness and excludes the death penalty."
"Issuing mass death sentences whenever the case involves the killing of police officers now appears to be near-routine policy, regardless of facts and with no attempt to establish individual responsibility," Sahraoui added. more >>
The Egyptian wing of terror group ISIS has left 30 security personnel dead in a series of bombings in the Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest such attack on the country in years. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has decided to cut short a trip to Ethiopia for the African Union summit on Friday following the killings.
The terror group bombed a military hotel and base in the provincial capital al-Arish, Reuters reported. Officials said that terrorists first fired rockets at police offices, before a car bomb exploded at the rear gate of the military base.
While officials placed the death toll to 30 as of Friday morning, they said there were at least five men in critical condition. More than 50 others were wounded. more >>
A team of scientists and scholars claim to have discovered the world's earliest-known version of the Gospel, dating back to the first century A.D., which was found on a sheet of papyrus used to make an ancient mummy's mask in Egypt.
Live Science is reporting that Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, and an associated team of three dozen researchers and scholars have unmasked what is thought to be a written portion of the Gospel of Mark, that possibly dates back as early as 80 A.D.
Although most people think of Egyptian mummy masks being made of gold, Evans explained in a seminar that most ancient Egyptians, that were not pharaohs nor part of ancient Egypt's elite social class, were mummified with masks made out of used sheets of papyrus because that was the most cost efficient way for the families to preserve the bodies of their loved ones. more >>
With Islamic extremist attacks seemingly happening throughout the world on a regular basis, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, delivered a groundbreaking New Year's Day speech at the highly-prestigious, 1000-year-old Al-Azhar University and urged Muslim imams to change radical rhetoric and lead a "religious revolution" that embraces peace.
With extremists groups like the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda killing thousands of innocent people in addition to the increase of radical attacks in other parts of the world, most in the international community no longer view Islam as "religion of peace," al-Sisi stated.
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants – that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!" al-Sisi asserted. "I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma [international Muslim community] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands." more >>
Ridley Scott's latest film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" starring Christian Bale has been banned in Egypt after censors deemed the film historically inaccurate.
The blockbuster was set to premiere in both Egypt and Morocco on Friday, according to several reports. The Egyptian censorship board said that "Exodus," which is based on the biblical book of Exodus, was historically inaccurate since it depicts Jews building the Pyramids, according to the BBC. Moreover, the Hollywood film portrays an earthquake, not a miracle, causing the Red Sea to part.
"It contains historical fallacies," Egyptian censorship board head Abdul Sattar Fathy said in a statement, according to Egypt's news portal, Mobtada. Fathy also cited the film's depiction of Moses that was similar to a general in an army as opposed to the biblical prophet who is highly revered in the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. more >>
The Christian convert who made history by becoming the first person in Egypt's history to attempt to legally change his religious affiliation on his government identification from Islam to Christianity, has "vowed to starve himself to death" in response to his "illegal" imprisonment, his attorney said.
Bishoy Boulous, who is formerly known by his Muslim name of Mohammed Hegazy, was sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Egyptian court in July on the allegation of causing "sectarian strife."
Boulous' attorney, Karam Ghobrial, claims that the 32-year-old's detention is in "violation of the law" and that the charges against him were motivated by his original attempt in 2007 to have the Egyptian government legally recognize his conversion from Muslim to Christian, Front Page Magazine reports. more >>