Jump directly to the content

Coptic Children Released After Initial Arrest For 'Insulting Islam'

(Updated) Two boys, ages 9 and 10, were released pending investigation and questioning but not acquitted.

Update (Mar. 6): An Egyptian court has convicted two boys, Rzik Nagy, 10, and Mina Farag, 9, of blasphemy against the Qur'an.

Luckily, this case has a silver lining: In spite of the conviction, the boys only were "remanded...to the custody of their parents" because of their young age.

_______________________________

In the wake of the high-profile case of Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl arrested for allegedly blaspheming the Qur'an, two Coptic Christian boys face similar accusations in Egypt this week.

Nabil Nagy Rizk, 10, and Mina Nady Farag, 9, were arrested Wednesday for insulting Islam, but the attorney general ordered both boys to be released the next day "due to their young age." Both families agreed to return to court for questioning, but the boys previously had been placed in a juvenile detention center to await their hearing on Sunday.

Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, the village imam, accused the children of tearing up pages of the Qur'an. Other reports say the boys also urinated on the pages, but the police chief said no one witnessed this incident.

According to Ahram Online, Nabil's father Nagy Rizk says the boys are illiterate and did not know the content of the papers which they found in a bag near a pile of street trash.

Ishak Ibrahim, head of religious freedom at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, says more than 18 cases of religious defamation have been filed since the uprising that ousted former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. At least three of those cases have occurred in recent weeks, following violent attacks sparked by the anti-Islam YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, allegedly produced by Coptic activists in the U.S.

CT has previously reported on anti-blasphemy laws in Pakistan, including the case against Masih in September, as well as on the Innocence of Muslims protests.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Related Topics:Middle East
Posted:October 4, 2012 at 9:35AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Half of Hispanic Christians Worry About Deportation Under Trump
Pew: Latino Protestants most likely to rate Trump a ‘terrible’ president.
Black Churches Matter: Research Ties Attendance to Positive Outcomes
African Americans who worship regularly are better able to handle racism and discrimination.
Courts Split on US Christians Caught Up in Turkey's Crackdown
Deportation of evangelist David Byle blocked, while pastor Andrew Brunson still imprisoned without evidence.
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Christianity Today
Coptic Children Released After Initial Arrest For 'Insulting ...