Free Kareem

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The Cato Institute's Tom Palmer co-writes an op-ed in the Washington Post about Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman, a prisoner in Egypt we really should be hearing more about.

Soliman, 22, was expelled from Al-Azhar University last spring for sharply criticizing the university's rigid curriculum and faulting religious extremism on his blog. He was ordered to appear before a public prosecutor on Nov. 7 on charges of "spreading information disruptive of public order," "incitement to hate Muslims" and "insulting the President." Soliman was detained pending an investigation, and the detention has been renewed four times. He has not had consistent access to lawyers or to his family.

Egyptian authorities have made a mistake in prosecuting Soliman. It is Egypt that will be hurt if he is convicted and sent to prison. That's why sincere friends of Egypt call on the government to drop the charges against him. It is the right thing to do, and it is the best thing for Egypt's standing in the modern world.

Kareem allies in the U.S. are frightfully well-organized; their site is here.

NEXT: An Army of Latkas

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  1. “spreading information disruptive of public order”

    Egads!

  2. Weren’t the Egyptian elections supposed to be part of the heralding of a new era in the middle east following the invasion of Iraq?

  3. Just like the Palestinian elections!

    I wonder why we never heard Iran’s 05 elections framed that way, even during the buildup

  4. At least here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave we can dissent on religion without legal repercussions. However, the same can’t be said of social repercussions.

    If the US government were to pressure Egypt to release Kareem, they are essentially saying “Religion has no place in public policy and government affairs.” Does anyone really think that this is the sort of thing that the Bush Admin is likely to cop to? I doubt it as, under this regime, being a non-Christian is tantamount to being un-American or *gasp* a liberal.

    BTW: How come you never hear a person of the Hebrew persuasion refer to the “Judeo-Christian” culture?

  5. “BTW: How come you never hear a person of the Hebrew persuasion refer to the “Judeo-Christian” culture?”

    because some consider it insulting. others consider it innacurate.

    for people outside of that continuum, however, it is a handy shorthand; i prefer “the western tradition” myself since it includes the big three.

  6. At least here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave we can dissent on religion without legal repercussions. However, the same can’t be said of social repercussions.

    You see, this is why the signal-to-noise ratio on religious issues is so low in most places in America. Atheists think that they have as much right as others to make us listen to them, but, if that were the case, then bad religious commentary drives out good. If the majority of people in America are happier without atheists there, then I think that constitutes sufficient justification for the social shunning. We’re weighing the happiness of a minority of individuals (atheists) against the happiness of about fifty times as many people (the faithful).

  7. dhex,

    First, in part it because of the rampant and longlasting persecution of Jews by Christians over the history of Christianity.

    Secondly it is because of the significant differences between Judaism (in its many forms) and Christianity (in its many forms).

    Not Grylliade,

    We’re weighing the happiness of a minority of individuals (atheists) against the happiness of about fifty times as many people (the faithful).

    Atheists, agnostics, etc. make up about 10%-15% of the U.S. population. Indeed, as a percentage of the population our numbers have been growing steadily over the past few decades.

  8. You see, this is why the signal-to-noise ratio on religious issues is so low in most places in America. Atheists think that they have as much right as others to make us listen to them, but, if that were the case, then bad religious commentary drives out good. If the majority of people in America are happier without atheists there, then I think that constitutes sufficient justification for the social shunning. We’re weighing the happiness of a minority of individuals (atheists) against the happiness of about fifty times as many people (the faithful).

    Good point, which is why Muslims in the Middle East have every right to exterminate Jews — the minority in that region, and why slavery was justified (hey, they’re outnumbered!). Carry on.

  9. Good point, which is why Muslims in the Middle East have every right to exterminate Jews — the minority in that region, and why slavery was justified (hey, they’re outnumbered!). Carry on.

    that wasn’t exactly my point.

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/118760.html#644741

  10. Anyone else rembmer the kid that nobody wanted to hang out with on the playground, because he was constantly eating his own boogers and never bathed? No matter how hard the other kids picked on him, he never got the message and kept coming around for more abuse.

  11. Chris S.,

    You know, if a majority of people find greater happiness in a society which is exclusively of one “race” (note that I find the concept of race to be a suspect one), then hey, social shunning is appropriate.

    If I were to make an argument like that and mean it, I’d be labelled (and rightly so) a racist.

  12. Just wondering…speaking of political and social injustices…

    Has H&R ever posted anything regarding Leonard Peltier? I am fairly new to this blog, so I don’t know its history. And, although I don’t claim to know many of the facts surrounding Mr. Peltier’s case, from what I’ve seen, this man does not deserve what has been happening to him.

    Any thoughts on this? Why is there no mention of this guy anywhere? Seems as if all but a few have forgotten about him.

  13. BTW: How come you never hear a person of the Hebrew persuasion refer to the “Judeo-Christian” culture?

    Because they’re not on board in sufficient numbers with the social-conservative platform the promotion of which seems to be the reason the term was invented.

  14. Supporters of Moveon.org will be marching in the streets to protest this Arab country’s violation of human rights, correct? I just can’t find the date on their website.

  15. JimmyDaGeek – Welcome aboard. In response to your question, about whether H&R has ever posted anything about Peltier, the answer seems to be “not much, if anything”. Personally, I’m kind of undecided about Peltier – I don’t trust the FBI as far as I could kick them, but I’m not convinced that he’s a snowy-white political prisoner, either.

    As far as why he hasn’t gotten a lot of press here, I’d say it’s probably partly because the incidents in question occurred 30 years ago and partly because he’s gotten so much press elsewhere. According to Wikipedia,

    “Peltier is considered a political prisoner by some of his supporters and has received support from many individuals and groups, including Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Mench?, Amnesty International, the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama), the European Parliament[3], the Belgian Parliament[4], the Italian Parliament, the Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.”

    He’s been the subject of numerous documentaries, songs, books, poems, etc., and

    “Over 500 celebrities, politicians and organisations worldwide have signed a letter/petition in support of Leonard Peltier. The signatories of the IPF (International Peltier Forum) include amongst others, Michael Apted, Kris Kristofferson, Peter Matthiessen, Madonna, Bono, Sting, Vivienne Westwood, Giorgio Armani, Cher, Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Oliver Stone, Danielle Mitterrand, Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Raquel Welch, Joan Collins, Ozzy Osbourne, Bianca Jagger, Kate Moss.” (Wikipedia again.)

    I’m not sure what the hell we’re going to add to the debate at this point, you know? Better to focus on less well-known events that don’t have the same superstar power.

  16. Hello, could you help me promote this freedom video as much as you can, if you agree to its contents, of course. It’s about Egypt’s real nature and the accelerating imprisonment of freedom fighters in general, and bloggers like Kareem and many others under severe threats from the Egyptian Government.

    Many thanks, Ahmad

    Here is the link to the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbEM6soTHOA

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