ICC Note: Three Egyptian boys and their teacher were arrested in 2015 for a joke recorded on a cell phone. The recording mocked ISIS member praying to Allah and the Copts were arrested for blasphemy. After a grueling year and half of sentencing and fear, the boys and their teacher were able to escape the country. Now relocated in Switzerland, they hope to find a better future lacking in such juvenile jurisdictions and persecutions.
09/15/2016 Egypt (Pakistan Christian Post): Mocking Islam or mocking the prophet of Islam spells doom. In Egypt you will be arrested, home and property confiscated, and coerced to “force emigrate” from your town. Then count on a five-year prison term. This was exactly the penalty for four Coptic Christian school boys, ages 14 through 17, and their teacher.
Modernity grazed the 7th century when a lost cell phone turned up in the hands of a sectarian street thug ready for Sharia justice against its owner. The sim card showed a video of a 36-second skit mocking ISIS terrorists praying to Allah. Away from home on a school trip, the boys used their teacher’s phone to record the funny scene they acted out, thinking ISIS was fair game and knowing that Islam was not. Unfortunately for them, the cell phone was lost or stolen and missing for a solid year. Found by Muslims who became offended by the “blasphemy”, the Egyptian courts overlooked the violent retaliation by the gang prompted to attack homes and businesses and instead arrested the boys and their teacher.
On the same day Muslims struck the town, the police were notified and arrested the four Coptic boys and their teacher. Before their convictions by the courts, the Christian blasphemers were forced to apologize. One month later, on May 27, 2015, the boys were released on bail, and February of this year they were sentenced to prison for five years. They were allowed to pay a two thousand pound fee per student to temporarily suspend the verdict’s start date because they were not present at the sentencing.
The hidden hand of a courageous heart behind the scenes knowing the complexity of such matters delivered the four boys from an Egyptian inferno. They were enabled to tackle security to obtain their passports and move through customs bound for Turkey (a country with bad diplomatic relations with Egypt). As tragic, glaring examples of religious tyranny and “refugee” status as defined by the U.N., the boys have now arrived in Switzerland where their request for religious asylum was granted.
Upon arrival to safety in the West, one of the boys told a news reporter, “There was no reason to be treated like that; all was a joke, but now we may have an opportunity for a better life.”