Criticize Islam, Go To Jail: Egyptian Ex-Muslim Faces 9-Year Sentence!

More than a year after he posted a video where he briefly narrated how the Egyptian government mistreated him and even prevented him from leaving the country by taking away his passport, Egyptian ex-Muslim and atheist Sherif Gaber faces a new challenge after an Egyptian court sentenced him to another five years in prison for criticizing Islam.

A Misdemeanor Court in the northeastern city of Ismailia, which also serves as Gaber’s hometown, sentenced the Egyptian political activist and blogger this May to an additional five years in prison for mocking Islam, insulting Allah, and inciting atheism, which is prohibited under the Egyptian Constitution and Penal Code.

The court issued this ruling after an Egyptian lawyer filed a complaint against Gaber with the public prosecutor, accusing him of contempt against Islam. The Ismailia Public Prosecution handled the complaint before referring the case to the Second Ismailia Misdemeanor Court, which then sentenced Gaber to an additional five years in prison.

The lawyer who filed the case against Gaber described the ruling by the Misdemeanor Court as a fulfillment and achievement of the principles of Egyptian society, adding that Gaber openly and deliberately insults Islam and Allah under the pretext of freedom of expression and opinion. This is the second sentence against Gaber since a court in Ismailia sentenced him to 4 years in prison in 2019, adding his sentence to 9 years imprisonment.

In response to the court’s decision, Gaber uploaded a new YouTube video on May 27th titled “9 Years in Prison - For Criticizing Islam,” where he expressed his dismay over the sentence and frustration towards his current situation. In the video, Gaber also showed how distraught he was after learning he got another prison sentence, even though he no longer made videos that criticized Islam or religion in general. 

He also expressed that he did not understand how he was accused of “inciting atheism” even if he did not ask other people to leave Islam or religion in general, adding that he always says he doesn’t care about anyone’s religion multiple times in his videos. In addition, Gaber said the additional prison sentence handed down against him only put Egypt in a bad light and recalled his attempts to leave Egypt multiple times.

Despite the prison sentences handed down against him, it is essential to note that Gaber has not been captured and detained, and his whereabouts are still unknown to this moment. After his arrest and imprisonment in 2018, Gaber has moved from one place to another to evade authorities. Nevertheless, he still uses his YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to update his followers about his situation.

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