The Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education referred a professor in Alexandria to the country’s top prosecutor on Friday for “contempt of religion” after a video went viral online showing the professor using derogatory language in reference to the Quran during a lecture.
The professor, who is a staff member of Alexandria’s Higher Institute of Social Work, is seen in the video, which was filmed by a student, in what appeared to be a heated discussion with students about marriage traditions. When one of the students claimed his argument was supported by a verse from the Quran, the professor dismissed the holy book in a derogatory manner.
The professor then hurled insults at the students and ordered them to leave his class.
A statement by the Higher Education Ministry on Friday said the criminal accusations against the professor include contempt of religion, insulting the standards of the Islamic faith and insulting students using obscene language.
The minister also ordered that the professor be referred to a disciplinary board, the statement read, noting that the professor may be dismissed from the institute and banned from working in the education sector.
Among the recommendations made by investigators is that the ministry continues to suspend the defendant from work.
Minister Abdel-Ghaffar ordered the rapid implementation of all the recommendations.
The ministry said that this was an isolated incident that does not represent teaching staff at institutes of higher of education.
The ministry affirmed it would not allow any insult to the values and standards of the Abrahamic religions and will take action against any such behaviour, including implementing the maximum penalty as stipulated by the law.