The Next Time Someone Says Americans Should Be Nicer to Religious Fundamentalists, Tell Them These Stories


The next time someone suggests to you that Americans should sacrifice their First Amendment rights in order to placate religious fundamentalists half a world away, remind them that this is what happens in countries where religious authority supercedes individual rights:

Two Coptic children arrested for insulting Islam in the Upper Egyptian village of Ezbet Marco were released Thursday afternoon pending investigation, according to Ahram Online's reporter in Beni Suef.

The attorney general of Beni Suef told Ahram Online that he ordered the release of Nabil Nagy Rizk, 10, and Mina Nady Farag, 9, "due to their young age."

However the children have yet to be acquitted. A condition of their release, the attorney general explained, is that the "families signed documents confirming they will bring both kids to the prosecution whenever they are needed for questioning." Investigations are expected to take place on Sunday. 

The boys had been detained in the Beni Suef juvenile detention by order of the prosecution since Tuesday, after imam of their local mosque Ibrahim Mohamed Ali accused the children of tearing up pages of the Quran and filed a legal complaint. 

Nabil's father Nagy Rizk defended the action of the boys in a public statement, explaining that they are illiterate and therefore did not know the content of the papers which they found in a small white bag, as they were playing near a pile of rubbish in the street.

Another story from Ahram Online, yet to be published in English, says that Egyptian authorities detained a pregant Coptic school teacher for two days after a student in her class claimed she insulted Mohammed. According to Twitter, the student wasn't even at school the day his Christian teacher allegedly slandered the prophet.