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Egypt's business mogul Sawiris under fire for Islamic cartoons

Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris may be summoned by the prosecutor general for tweeting cartoons that were deemed defamatory to the Islamic faith

Ahram Online, Monday 27 Jun 2011
Sawiris
Sawiris
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Islamic lawyer Mamdouh Ismael and 14 lawyers submitted a complaint to the general prosecutor's office against Naguib Sawiris after he posted a cartoon of popular cartoon characters Mickey Mouse with an Islamic beard and dressed in a Jilbab and Minnie Mouse wearing a full Muslim veil on twitter. The post was accompanied with the comment: “Mickey and Minnie after”

Ismael said that the images were defamatory and ridiculed the Islamic faith. However, Ismael stressed that he is not going after Sawiris because he is a Copt.

Ahmed Mahmoud Kareema, Professor of Islamic Shariaa at Al-Azhar University, said that insulting religion is criminalized by the Islamic faith and Sawiris would not like it if the tables were turned and people mocked the clothes worn by Christian clerics, and, furthermore, had he mocked the clothes of Jewish rabbis, he would have been accused of being an anti-Semitic.

Following the incident, Sawiris who was attacked on social networking sites, insisted that he meant no harm and simply thought the images were funny. However, “Boycott Sawiris,” groups were launched on both Twitter and Facebook. The Facebook group titled, “We were also joking Sawiris,” urged people to boycott his products saying that “if you are really a Muslim, boycott his (Sawiris) products if you love your faith. Spread the message, we have to cut the tongues of those who defame our faith.”

After being repeatedly attacked for posting the photo, on June 24, Sawiris wrote on twitter, “I apologize for any who don’t take this as a joke, I just thought it was a funny picture, no disrespect meant! Assef (sorry).” The next day, he repeated the apology on Twitter, saying “I at least apologized as I had no intention to mock any religion.”

Sawiris is the founder of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, which was established after the 25 January revolution.

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A Muslim
28-01-2012 12:46am
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I'm A Muslim
I'm A Muslim And That's A Very Bad Behaviour For All the good and the marvelous People That i Respect them Though Muslims Respect all the good cristian but that bad behavior is very bad and Have a religion and our religioun tell us not to do such a Bad Behaviuor !! I'm So Proud to Be a Muslim
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15



Muhammad
13-07-2011 03:57am
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Not - Perspective
think before U speak.. i think a business tycoon would have followed the same...and if not....he needs a rest!
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heba
13-07-2011 02:25am
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I'm a muslim
I'm a muslim who received a forward of the cartoon mickey and mini and thought it's funny and at the same time sad. I can't imagine myself wearing a negab!! I'm sure many Muslim girls had the same view. I forwarded it to many of my friends laughing about the picture and saying we hope we r never put in this situation. Again I'm a muslim, born in Cairo and lived all my live in Cairo.
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13



Muhammad
12-07-2011 09:08pm
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Not - Perspective
think before U speak.. i think a business tycoon would have followed the same...and if not....he needs a rest!
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12



Ingrid
04-07-2011 11:56am
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Just a laughter...
The discussion about these cartoons is just worth a laugh. But one day maybe the Islamists will try even to forbid to laughter because it is un-Islamist. Keep in mind what is and was going on in other Islamic states... NO fun, no football, no cinema, no music, no dance, no television, no pleasure in life at all, no laughter ... It is not your right to say Naguib Sawiris is Copt just on paper. Who you are to declare something arrogant like this? What do you know about this man? Do you know for example about all his social and educational projects? If every rich Muslim would do the same, then there would not be that much misery in this country.
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11



Noha
04-07-2011 03:08am
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Get seious
Stop this idiotic behavior, this has nothing to do with Islam. Is the hegab mentioned in the quran. Seriously, ignorance will take Egypt down. Go back to work and stop this stupidity. I think the caricature is totally hilarious. Have some sense of humor.
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Muslemah
01-07-2011 09:55am
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Naguib Sawiris
If these cartoons are thought to be insulting to the Islamic Religion, then let us analyse what BURNING OF CHURCHES means to the Coptic Religion? People should think before they say violent words. On second thought: Naguib Sawiris apologized; WHO from the Islamic people apologized to the burning of the Churches? including the burnt Scriptures? People, be fair, and stop these childish accusations, Egypt is in need of all Egyptians to stand together. Love your country.
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cliffy
29-06-2011 08:35am
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real islamist agenda
"Ahmed Mahmoud Kareema, Professor of Islamic Shariaa at Al-Azhar University, said that insulting religion is criminalized by the Islamic faith" What Kareema and those like him want to do is to criminalize non-belief in Islam. The goal is to make saying: "I don't believe Mohammed was a prophet of god." illegal as an "insult against religion".
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James
28-06-2011 10:28am
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Perspective
It was a funny cartoon but once again we see muslims lacking a sense of perspective. Is their faith so weak it can't stand a little gentle fun? And what's the big deal didn't some cleric call for one million beards? Isn't mickey allowed to join in and surely minnie should be covered as she is a female? But no, muslims get themselves in a tizzy over nothing once again and they wonder why few civilised people take them seriously.
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Moustafa
28-06-2011 08:55am
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Unbelievable.
I am really shocked with the backwards reaction this harmless incident is causing. When are we finally going to get rid of the STUPID concept and laws of "defaming the Islamic faith". What is this, Iran or Saudi Arabia? What's wrong with the harmless Mickey Mouse Cartoon? It's called FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. Get used to it, and feel free to use it too if you want. I don't know why Islamists are always so sensitive to Cartoons. Just like they issued death fatwas at the Danish newspaper cartoon, they're probably going to do it to Sawiris now. I don't see what's the big deal. It's just a cartoon, an inanimate, 2D drawing, poses no real threat whatsoever. Incidents like these are just a reminder of the peril our country will experience at the hands of Islamists. Sawiris, keep doing what you're doing and ignore these stone age mentalities. Keep preserving your right to freedom of expression and keep standing up for the voice of the Free, Liberal and Secular Egypt. The real Egypt.
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