Islamic Winter… Prominent Egyptian Copt Will Face Trial For Tweeting Picture of Bearded Mickey Mouse
2011: The tragic year Obama lost Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Lebanon and Most of the Middle East–
Things are working out swimmingly. A prominent Egyptian Coptic businessman will face trial for insulting Islam. The telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris will face trial for tweeting a picture of a bearded Mickey Mouse and veiled Minnie Mouse.
A new Facebook group cropped up and quickly gained more than 60,000 followers after the offensive tweet. There were also calls for a boycott against Sawaris’ businesses. Named “We are joking Sawiris,” the Facebook group said: “If you are really a Muslim, and you love your religion, boycott his projects. We have to cut out the tongue of any person who attacks our religion.” (ccwbystate)
But the boycott was not enough. Now the Islamists are going to bring Sawaris to court.
Egyptian telecom tycoon and political liberal Naguib Sawiris will face trial on a charge of showing contempt for religion, judicial sources and Mamdouh Ismail, the Islamist lawyer who brought the case, said on Monday. Sawiris, a prominent figure in Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, was accused by a group of about 20 lawyers of showing contempt by tweeting a cartoon seen as insulting to Islam. According to the daily Al Masry Al Youm, “In June, Sawiris posted a picture depicting Mickey Mouse wearing a beard and Minnie Mouse wearing a face veil on his Twitter account, a cartoon that many Muslims considered offensive.”
A Cairo prosecutor referred the case to trial on Monday. Sawiris, chairman of the mobile phone operator MobilNil , could not immediately be reached for comment. The cartoon incident in June triggered a boycott by some Mobinil customers, though Sawiris said the impact had eased by October.
Sawiris is a vocal critic of Islamist parties which have emerged in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February. He is a co-founder of the Free Egyptians (Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrar), a liberal party advocating separation of state and religion.
Like other liberal groups, the party has struggled to make an impact in parliamentary elections underway since late November and which have been dominated by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the Nour Party, a more hardline Salafi group.