Egypt: Lawyer Appeals Against Blasphemy Acquittal of Television Host

Egypt Lawyer

A lawyer in Egypt appealed the verdict of television host Islam El Beheiry, who had only recently been acquitted of blasphemy charges by a misdemeanor court in Giza.

Last month, Beheiry was acquitted of certain blasphemy charges related to his controversial television show on Islam that used to air on channel Al Kahera Wal Nas. Mamdouh Abdel Gawad, the complainant and lawyer, who had lodged the complaint against Beheiry in the first place, filed an appeal yet again, against Beheiry’s acquittal with the general prosecution. The prosecutor has not yet ruled on that appeal request.

Last year, in a separate case of blasphemy, Mohamed Abdel Salam, another lawyer, had lodged a complaint against Beheiry, for which the television host received a five-year sentence. However, he was released on bail soon after he appealed the verdict. As many as 48 legal complaints have been filed against Beheiry for the views he has shared on his show “With Islam.”

In April this year, Al Azhar, Egypt’s topmost Sunni authority, filed a complaint with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, demanding they stop airing Beheiry’s show. Al Azhar had accused Beheiry of heading a fierce campaign against the very foundation of Islam as well as the religion’s heritage. Unsurprisingly, Al Kahera Wal Nas canceled Beheiry’s show soon after receiving Al Azhar’s complaint.

Beheiry’s show, which was rather popular among nonbelievers in Egypt, delved into contentious issues such as punishments meted out for apostasy charges, the various interpretations of the Hadiths, underage marriages and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed, among others.

Photo Credits: Al Bawaba EG

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