Christian Extremists Join The Neo Actio Popularis Team Demanding To Jail Author of Azazel Novel for Five Years
Cairo on May 2nd , 2010
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said ,today, that some Christian lawyers have joined the neo actio popularis team in Egypt and demanded a five year imprisonment for Youssef Zeidan, author of the novel Azazel, claiming he has defamed the Christian religion according to article # 98 of the Egyptian penal code.
Some lawyers and Coptic organizations abroad have issued a statement inciting against the writer and history researcher, Youssef Zeidan, author of the novel Azazel, which ranked among the top Arabic literary works in recent years. Following , they filed a series of communiqués demanding the prosecutor general to try Zeidan for contempt of Christian religion and verbal abuse of Copts.
The communiqué submitted against the author of Azazel is no surprise , but is expected indeed, in view of the attack launched by many radical Christians against the novel and its author since its publication and the success it achieved. The infuriating irony is that the complainants allegedly consider themselves human rights defenders authors while they are publicity seekers and pro seizing. They have previously demanded banning of the movie “I love cinema,” a few years ago. Moreover, one of them accused Youssef Zeidan of being a racist!.
Gamal Eid, executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said, “We are warning of religious and political Hesba cases. We also alert of guardians of religion, either driven by miscomprehension or by publicity seeking. The likes of Hesba cases are lethal to the Egyptian culture and freedom of expression. It is a shame that the Egyptian government takes a false impartial stance of those cases”.
Gamal Eid added, “Pope Shenouda III, has got to take a clear position from those fawning to him ,claiming they have filed those communiqués as lawyers of the Egyptian church. We would really wish that the church would rise above pursuing a creative writer due to such allegations promoted by extremists seeking publicity at the expense of freedom of creation”.