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Christian Foundation “deeply concerned” about Sentencing of Vocal Egyptian Lawyer

Credit: CSW

The leadership of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is “deeply concerned” about the sentencing of Ahmad Abdou Maher, an Egyptian lawyer and Muslim reformist thinker, who has been vocal in his criticism of the restrictions placed on the freedom of religion in his country. 

CSW officials have reported that Mr. Maher was convicted of “contempt of religion and disturbing public peace” and sentenced to five years in prison by an exceptional court in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, on November 17. 

In the Monday, November 22 report, the leadership of CSW calls for the review of Mr. Maher’s sentence. 

“CSW is deeply concerned by news of the sentencing of Ahmad Abdo Maher,” the Founder President of the UK-based Christian Human Rights organization, Mervyn Thomas, says. 

Mr. Mervyn also urges the Egyptian authorities to review the lawyer’s sentence “as a matter of urgency, as the only thing he has done is express his views in a peaceable manner.”

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In the November 22 report, CSW officials say Mr. Maher, a former army officer and diplomat, has been critical of Islamic jurisprudence, the Islamic conquest, and the slave trade that accompanied it, among other controversial topics in Islam.   

He has also been very critical of the situation of freedom of speech and religion in the Arab world, CSW officials say. 

They also report that in May 2020, Islamist lawyer Samir Sabri accused Mr. Maher of “contempt for Islam” and filed a complaint against him with Egypt's attorney general and a supreme state security prosecutor. 

In 2016, Mr. Maher criticized the curriculum offered at Egypt's Al-Azhar University, blaming it for radicalizing students, officials of the Christian entity report.

"Material dealing with killing, enslavement, sectarianism and immoral conduct can be found in abundance in the University books," Mr. Maher said in an interview with Memri TV

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The lawyer also called upon the leadership of the Cairo-based public University to apologize for the violence of the early Islamic conquests.

In the November 22 report, CSW Founder President calls on the Egyptian authorities "to amend all legislation restricting the freedoms of religion or belief and expression, including Article 98 (f) of the Penal Code, which criminalizes insulting religion, and is open to misuse against critical thinking and legitimate questioning.”