|Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman looking out of a police bus after his trial in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt, on Jan. 25, 2007.|
The question is how long can the Muslim world keep the voice of reason down? He is saying that violence used by Muhammad to spread Islam initially should be viewed as a product of its time. Though that is why Muslims ~ most of whom ancestors' were brought to Islam via the sword ~ or choose it to alleviate the debilitating status under dhimmi laws ~ were collectively never able to have a reformation or an enlightenment ~ because Muhammad can't be put into perspective ~ neither can life under the religion be put into the perspective of the modern or at least changing world. All Muhammad's deeds must be taken on, rigidly ~ which brings Muslims into conflict with the modern world. And any dissent within the Muslim world, can easily be put down, through justification found in Muhammad's actions.
It seems pretty clear, that at the Al-Azhar University they are teaching the students about Islam in a way that publicly the average Muslim would deny. Muslims are probably proud of the way Muhammad handled disbelievers [in him], and dissent [about him] with the sword ~ but the world has changed so much since Arabia 1000 years ago.
You have to admire this blogger, he is saying ~ this is how Islam is ~ and what it teaches ~ but we can't live like that today. If only every Muslim could say this or at least the majority.
CAIRO [AP]— A prominent Egyptian blogger jailed for four years for writings deemed insulting to Islam and for calling President Hosni Mubarak "a symbol of tyranny" has been released, his brother said Wednesday.
Abdel Kareem Nabil was the first blogger in Egypt convicted specifically for his writings in a case that government critics said was intended to serve as a warning to others.
His prosecution was part of a government crackdown on bloggers and media outlets and drew a flood of condemnation from international and Egyptian rights groups.
He was released Monday after being held 10 days beyond the end of his sentence without explanation, said his brother, Abdel Rahman. The Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said last week that during that time he was subjected to repeated beatings by an officer at the State Security Investigation office in Alexandria.
His brother said Wednesday that Nabil needed a rest before talking to media and that the family was not yet prepared to release a statement.
Nabil, who wrote under the name Kareem Amer, was an unusually scathing critic of conservative Muslims.
Much of his criticism was directed at Cairo's Al-Azhar University, the pre-eminent institution of religious thought in Sunni Islam, where he was studying law.
He denounced the school as "the university of terrorism," accusing it of promoting radical ideas and suppressing free thought. Al-Azhar "stuffs its students' brains and turns them into human beasts ... teaching them that there is not place for differences in this life," he wrote.
In other writings, he called Al-Azhar the "other face of the coin of al-Qaida" and called for the university to be dissolved or turned into a secular institution.
His frequent attacks on Al-Azhar led the university to expel him and then push prosecutors to bring him to trial.
The judge in his trial said Nabil also insulted the Prophet Muhammad with a piece he wrote in 2005 after riots in which angry Muslim worshippers attacked a Coptic Christian church over a play deemed offensive to Islam.
"Muslims revealed their true ugly face and appeared to all the world that they are full of brutality, barbarism and inhumanity," Nabil wrote in his blog. He called Muhammad and his seventh century followers "spillers of blood" for their teachings on warfare — a comment cited by the judge.
In a later essay not cited by the court, Nabil sought to clarify his comments, saying Muhammad was "great" but that his teachings on warfare and other issues should be viewed as a product of their time.