27 November 2020, Al-Monitor recently reported on the case of several Egyptian Christians being accused of insulting Islam, the police also detained a Muslim man for mocking the hosts of the Cairo-based “Holy Quran Radio Station,” and a Muslim woman for a facebook post.
On Nov. 11, the Supreme State Security Prosecution investigated two Christians — Ayman Rida Hanna and Mounir Masaad Hanna — and referred them to criminal court on the grounds of mocking Islam and insulting religion.
In another incident, a Christian teacher and a Muslim girl were arrested Nov. 11 in the coastal Ismailia governorate over comments on Facebook posts that security forces described as “insult and contempt of religion.”
Al Monitor writes,
These cases have sparked a debate about blasphemy and renewed calls to abolish the crime from Egyptian law.
Article 98 (F) of the Criminal Code of Egypt penalises, “ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religon or a sect following it.” Mr Makarios Lahzy, director of the Minority and Religious Groups department of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms has said, “ the article is unconstitutional… It does not clearly and expressly define contempt of or defamation and leaves the notion loose and unreliable.”
An earlier released Freedom House Policing Brief on, “The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights,” highlights how Article 98 (F) of the Criminal Code is only applicable to only three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, not including the Baha’is and others. Moreover, in practice, the law has only been applied in cases where Islam was allegedly insulted.
Threats on facebook and twitter
Under the hashtags #ماريو_عياد #يوسف_هانى Islamists called for the death sentence of Youssef Hani and the other Christians.
The death threats and hateful comments come in a context where Christians and religious minorities are treated as second class citizens.