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Egyptian weekly accused of ‘inciting sectarian war’

ICC Note

The chairman and editor in chief of the Islamic weekly magazine known as Sawt al-Ummah is sued by a Christian doctor in Egypt . Slanderous articles against Egyptian Christians have been published in the magazine.

By Amira Al Tahawi

April 3, 2008 Egypt (MENASSAT) – Siti Zeki Shenouda, a Coptic doctor in Cairo , has brought a legal case against the chairman and editor in chief of the Islamic weekly Sawt al-Ummah (Voice of the Nation) for publishing a series of articles by two Islamist journalists that supposedly scorn Christianity. The complaint has been presented to the Public Prosecutor in Cairo under the heading, “Egyptian media and creating envy, religious extremism and terrorism.”

Shenouda believes that the reports by Dr. Zaghloul al-Naggar and Ahmad Abdullah that were published in Sawt-al-Ummah inspire sectarian hatred between Muslims and Christians in Egypt .

According to Shenouda’s statement, which was made available to Menassat, al-Naggar referred to the New Testament in one of his articles as a “falsified and non-divine book.”

Sex in exchange for conversion?

The two writers have previously said that Christians have planned missionary operations to divert Muslims from their religion by offering financial aid to poor Muslim citizens.

Moreover, Shenouda pointed out that Sawt-al-Ummah has slandered Christian clerics. He specifically referred to an article published in Sawt-al-Ummah entitled, “Priests use all possible means to convert Muslims, including sex.”

‘Inciting civil war’

Following the publishing of the articles written by the Islamic journalists, the newspaper ran reactions and comments from Christian clerics and key players in Egypt ‘s Christian community on January 18, 2008.

Shenouda has demanded the questioning of the two journalists along with the Chairman of the newspaper and its editor in chief “for the crimes they committed against the state, such as inciting to sectarian violence, scorning Christianity, Christian Copts, calling for their death and inciting to kill them, spill their blood, rob them and violate their rights and lives.”

Champion of lawsuits

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