Coptic Christian children charged with desecrating Qu'ran

Friday, October 5, 2012

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- Two Coptic Christian children from Ezbet Marco in the southern Nile Delta province of Beni Suef, Egypt, were arrested this week for blasphemy after they were accused of desecrating a Qu'ran.

Nabil Nady Rizk, 9, and Mina Nady Farag, 10, who are both said to be illiterate, reportedly urinated on two copies of the Qu'ran, according to the Egypt Independent.

Egypt has seen an influx of blasphemy charges after all the publicity surrounding the controversial Internet video, “Innocence of Muslims”.

Insulting Islam, or its Prophet is a crime in Egypt punishable up to six years’ imprisonment.

"An apology is not acceptable," Sheik Gamal Shamardal, a cleric and local leader of the militant Islamist Gamaa Islamiya, told The Associated Press. "There was a lot of anger particularly with the circumstances the country is going through after the film. It was like spilling oil on fire."
Shamardal said residents saw the boys bring pages of the Qu'ran behind a local mosque to urinate on them, according to the AP. After police arrested the pair, a crowd of angry residents gathered outside the station, so both boys were taken to a juvenile detention facility.

Local security chief Attiya Mazrou told the AP that the boys were found with tarnished pages of the Qu'ran, but no one saw them desecrate it.

“They could have found them that way," said Mazrou. "We don’t know. No one saw them do it."

In related news, The Egypt Independent reported that Nevine al-Sayed, a Coptic teacher, was interrogated by authorities Monday after being accused by her students of insulting the Prophet Muhammad; after her release, al-Sayed fled her home for fear of the "extrajudicial" retribution all too common in this part of the world.

Earlier this month, Ahram Online reported that another Coptic teacher, Bishoy Kamel, was handed a six-year sentence after he posted cartoons on Facebook deemed defamatory to the Prophet Muhammad, Islam and President Muhammad Morsi.