Egyptian Arabic Booker prize winner Youssef Zeidan, the author of Azazil, is facing charges of blasphemy and contempt of Islam, Christianity and Judaism for his book The Arabic Theology.
Zeidan was summoned to appear in front of the High State Security Prosecutor last week.
The official memo notifying Zeidan of the investigation was very stern and did not include any details, only the case number 686, Zeidan said via Facebook.
The case was brought by the Islamic Research Institute (IRI) and 11 Coptic organisations, claiming Zeidan had scorned Christianity and mocked the doctrine of the trinity, which is at the core of Christian belief. The IRI also accused Zeidan of sparking sectarian strife and encouraging religious extremism.
Zeidan went to State Security Prosecution headquarters in New Cairo and was released shortly afterwards. He was granted one month to respond to the complaints.
The investigation will resume next month after he responds to the IRI report, “unless there’s another thing from the past they want to use against me,” Zeidan added.
The Arabic Theology was published in 2010 by Shorouk. Zeidan tracked the relationship between man and God within the three monotheistic religions. Zeidan said the three religions sprang from one substance even though their differences are plain.