Thursday, November 03, 2005

Abdolkarim, Muharam beq

Egyptian Blogger taken in Detention

Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman is a 21 year-old Egyptian student of law at the Azhar University, Damanhour Campus, a women's-rights activist and a correspondent for Copts United.

In addition to writing at Civic Dialogue, he also publishes at a blog he maintains.

On Wednesday 26 October 2005, Egyptian State Security took Abdolkarim from his home, and confiscated hard copies of his writings. He is now on his way to an unknown detention. Three Egyptian bloggers visited Abdolkarim's family. The family attributed the state security raid to his writings, although it was not clear if his blogging is directly related. According to his brother, Abdolkarim's relations with Islamist Fundamentalists in his neighborhood of Moharram Bek, Alexandria, are tense. It is possible that the fundamentalists have filed a security complaint that led to his detention.

So what do you say about it, at first it seemed a clear cut case, the man has a right to express his view.

And then i thought, but what is almost always the cause of a spark to sectarian issues in Egypt, a roumour of copts building a church without permission or Muslims abducting a christian girl and trying to convert her. Something defaming or ridicule the other religion like the pictures of the monk, some years ago. pretty much as the case with Abdolkarim, could this lead to more violence, yes but the only one at risk as i see it, is Abolkarim. And perhaps it´s time to break the taboo. Al things relating to religious issues, and especially issues concerning the Muslim-Coptic interrelationship has been taboo, or as long as you are talking about the unbrakeable fabric of the Egyptian society, the Crescent and the cross and Egypt the land of national unity and social peace, where Christians and Muslims live togheter side by side, quoting Lord Cromer , saying that the only difference between Muslim and Christian in Egypt is that one goes to the mosque and the other to the church, and that there is no problem between the groups , because it´s impossible to have a problem between brothers etc. All this rhetoric , that actually where for real in 1919, has for long only been the official rhetoric of the government who only pay lipservice to it. The Muharam beq incident follows everything i said , almost to the letter.

I don´t agree with alot of Abolkarims words, but if he was not allowed to say it, is this what we want ? this is actually what we have now, a society of fear, if we say something it might be interpreted like.... dont say it, etc.

Words can be dangerous, but they are invaluable and to censor someone , is to take away his basic human rights

Follow the ongoing debate in the Egyptian blogsphere here and here


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