Egypt jails writer Fatima Naoot for ‘insulting Islam’
CAIRO - An Egyptian court jailed Tuesday a female writer for three years for insulting Islam after she criticised the slaughter of animals during a major religious festival, a judicial official said.
Fatima Naoot went on trial last year after she wrote "Happy Massacre" on her Facebook page in October 2014 during Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of sacrifice.
On Tuesday, a Cairo court found her guilty of having "insulted Islam" and sentenced her to three years in jail. She was also ordered to pay a fine of 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($255, 235 euros).
"I'm not sad about the sentencing as I don't care about going to jail. I'm sad that the efforts of reformists have been wasted," Naoot said.
Her lawyer said he would appeal the sentence.
Animals are slaughtered during Eid to commemorate the willingness of prophet Abraham to fulfill God's command to sacrifice his own son, although in the end God provided him with a sheep.
"Annual massacre observed because of a nightmare of one (prophet) about his son... ," Naoot, who is a Muslim, wrote on her Facebook page at the time.
"Although the nightmare has passed for the prophet and his son, each year helpless animals pay with their lives the price of this sacred nightmare," she wrote in Arabic.
In December, an Egyptian court jailed controversial Muslim scholar Islam al-Behairy to one year in jail for remarks he made on his television programme, in which he called for reforms in "traditional Islamic discourse".
On his show, Behairy often used to question ancient Islamic preachings and centuries-old interpretations of the faith.
That came as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has repeatedly urged reforms in interpretation of the faith.
Behairy had been initially sentenced to five years on charges of insulting Islam, but that sentence was reduced to one year on appeal.