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ICC Note: Demyana Emad, a 23-year-old Christian schoolteacher, was detained in Upper Egypt for allegedly insulting Islam. Emad denied the allegations, saying that several Islamic “extremists” had incited school students to testify against her. Similar accusations were made against Bishoy Kamel, another Christian schoolteacher, last year, Patheos reports. Kamel was sentenced to six years in prison. Arrests for ‘insulting Islam’ have skyrocketed in Egypt following the country’s revolution and the political rise of Islamist parties.
By Joel J. Miller
5/11/2013 Egypt (Patheos) – A Christian schoolteacher in Egypt has been detained by authorities for allegedly insulting Islam and Muhammad. Demyana Emad is twenty-three and teaches social studies at the Sheik Sultan Primary School in Luxor. She denies the charge and claims extremists urged students to falsely accuse her.
The allegation is troubling. Last year another Christian teacher, Bishoy Kamel, was sentenced to six years in prison on similar charges, including insulting Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Covering Kamel’s story, reporter Leone Grotti mentioned the 2007 case of a man convicted of insulting dictator Hosni Mubarak. His one-year sentence was met with protests. “Today, however,” said Grotti, “no one raises his voice.”
Conformity is the supreme value for the Muslim Brotherhood, and the response to Christians and political dissidents has been an ongoing but intensifying crackdown.
“In recent months, there has been a notable increase in judicial harassment of opposition activists, bloggers, comedians, protesters, and others,” reports Amnesty International. “News about fresh charges of insulting President Mohamed Morsi or other officials, or of ‘defaming’ religion — as well as sweeping arrests of opposition protesters — are now the norm.”

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