Tuesday, November 07, 2006

An urgent appeal over arrested blogger

Abdel Karim Suliman Amer is a young Egyptian blogger. He is a defender of rights for women and freedom in general. Though raised a Muslim he defends secularism and has criticized aspect of Islam he finds unacceptable. And he has paid a high price for speaking his mind. First, he was thrown out of Al-Azhar University because of comments he made on his blog. Worse yet the university then went to prosecutors about him. And now he has been arrested and is being held in jail. It is important to have as many people as possible sign a letter of protest being organized by moderate Muslims in support of Kareem (as he is known on his blog).

Use this link to sign a protest.

For more information on the situation you can go here.

He has been arrested before but was released. The first time he was arrested over his opinions he wrote: "I wasn't jailed, for my mind was and still is free... if my body was jailed then there is nothing new about it, it only means that I was moved a big jail into a small disciplanary cell because I did not follow the rules that the seventy million Egyptians are forced to abide by, and I broke the widespread tradition in the Great Jail of the Arab Republic of Egypt!"

"It is very terrible that freedom would be taken from a human being because of an opinion or belief of his, but... it is very beautiful that his detention would be an encouragement for him to stick by his principles, and a reason for him to defy and hold on to what he thinks is right, even if he violates the traditions and beliefs of the majority of the people within the boundaries of his society..."

As of now the charges against him appear to be spreading "malicious rumours that disrupt public security," "defaming the president of Egypt," "incitement to overthrow the regime," "incitement to hate Islam" and "breach of the public peace." As you can see these are all thought crimes.

Feel free to use this information of copy it fully if you wish. It is important to get this out to the blogger community and send in tens of thousands of letters of appeal.