An Egyptian court is forcing two Coptic Christian boys, ages 10 and 9, to stand trial for “insulting the Quran,” observers of the militant Islam atmosphere in the nation have confirmed.
Nabil Naji Rizq and Mina Nadi Faraj were arrested in September after a man reported the boys for playing in a trash pile the man claimed included pages of the Quran.
Press reports said that the boys were also accused of urinating on the pages of the Quran.
Former Palestinian operative turned Islam analyst and peace activist Walid Shoebat says press reports around the Middle East confirm the story.
“The link to an Arabic website shows that reports of the two boys being charged with insulting the Quran are true,” Shoebat said.
“The story is also reported on Al-Masri Al-Yawm, Al-Wasat, Middle East and several other reputable news sources,” Shoebat said.
The press reports indicate that the man who filed the charges was able to generate public outrage and led to the intimidation of Christians in the nearby village of Ezbat Marco.
The two boys will stand trial in Beni Suef, the same town where a woman and her seven children were convicted and sentenced in December to 15 years for converting to Christianity.
Shoebat says the two were released in October pending trial through a provision of Egyptian law.
“Abdul Majeed Mahomud, the attorney general, ordered the release of the two youngsters as was requested by Muhammad Morsi, since in Egypt the law still stands that youngsters cannot be put in prison in accordance to child laws,” Shoebat said.
American Center for Law and Justice Executive Director Jordan Sekulow said it’s increasingly dangerous to be a Christian in Egypt.
“There is real concern that Christians in Egypt are facing greater danger each day from a radical Islamic government that is controlled by militants,”” Sekulow said.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is not only a sworn enemy of America and Israel but has actually inspired terrorist attacks across the world. And, the government’s lack of religious freedom and human rights abuses underscores the fact that being a Christian in Egypt is dangerous and often deadly,” Sekulow said.
International Christian Concern Middle East specialist Aidan Clay says Egypt is becoming more hostile to Christianity and the situation is a direct result of actions by the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Egypt’s uprising in early 2011 gave Islamists unprecedented freedoms that were never thought possible under former dictatorships,” Clay said.
“The fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood is now in power while Salafis and other extremist groups are able to implement their interpretation of Shariah on Egypt’s streets,” Clay said.
Islam analyst Theodore Shoebat says that the government putting the two boys on trial is merely a prelude to heavier oppression in the future.
“This is not a warning, but the foreshadowing of a coming holocaust, and a pool of Christian blood. We are returning to the 11th century, in which Christians throughout the Turkish empire, which consisted of most of the Middle East, were tormented and killed in the most gruesome ways,” Theodore Shoebat said.
Clay says that Egypt’s move towards greater Christian repression and Shariah law makes Egypt look like a totalitarian Islamic state.
“Similar to Pakistan, a Christian merely needs to be accused of blasphemy by a disgruntled neighbor or local imam to end up behind bars,” Clay said.
Clay adds that legal rights for Christians are fading fast.
“Moreover, Christian legal rights are practically nonexistent in Egypt’s courts and there is little hope of improvement now that Egypt’s new constitution, which was drafted by the Brotherhood, has been approved. For this reason, blasphemy cases against those alleged to have ‘insulted Islam’ have skyrocketed,” Clay said.
“To them (the Brotherhood and Salafis), banning blasphemy means defending the integrity of Islam. There have been tens of documented blasphemy cases – mainly against Christians – in the past year,” Clay said.
“Prior to the revolution, blasphemy cases were almost unheard of. Sadly, blasphemy charges, like those filed against the two young boys, are bound to increase and the primary targets will inevitably be the Christian community,” Clay said.
Shoebat said Egypt is being transformed into an Islamic dictatorship.
“Well, the more the Muslim Brotherhood takes control in Egypt the more it will look like Pakistan,” Shoebat said.
“While even in the Pakistani government, there are elements that do not want to charge Christians for blasphemy, nevertheless, the religious institutions would pressure the government as acting against the interest of Islam,” Shoebat said.
WND reported in September that Egypt’s president was encouraging persecution at the same time he denied it existed. WND also reported that eyewitnesses testified about Copts being literally driven from their homes.
Amid eyewitness accounts and press reports that Copts are leaving their homes after being threatened, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi denies there is anti-Copt persecution.
In an article in AllAfrica.com, Morsi said, “Persecution does not exist on Egyptian soil. We are all people of the homeland.”
An Egyptian citizen who lives in Cairo who asked not to be named for security purposes says the denial is because of how Morsi defines persecution.
“Morsi denies outright the Copts are persecuted in Egypt,” the Cairo resident said. “Morsi is not lying because he sincerely believes what he is saying.”
“The Western definition of persecution differs to Morsi’s understanding of persecution because Morsi is following the Islamic meaning,” he explained.
WND reported earlier when a Pakistani teenager was accused of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages from a Quran, but ended in up in juvenile court and then was acquitted.
Rimsha Masih was arrested in August on blasphemy charges and released from an adult jail in September.