Student Sentenced To Jail After Revealing He’s An Atheist On Facebook

IN Egypt, doubting God could land you in jail.

A Baheira province court handed an Egyptian student a three-year prison sentence after he allegedly insulted Islam and confessed on Facebook that he didn’t believe in God.

Karim al-Banna’s father was one of the people who lined up to testify against the young man, AFP reports.

Lawyer Abdel Nabi said the father told the court that his son “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam.”

CNN reports that al-Banna expressed his views in a number of Facebook posts.

“Among al-Banna’s posts are a split image of a severely scarred woman and a Quran with the caption, ‘It’s OK to burn a woman … but it’s NOT OK to burn a book. Something is wrong with your priorities,'” CNN reports.

The student was released on bail until his appeal, which is scheduled for March 9, The Guardian reports.

Egypt’s constitution grants “absolute” religious freedom to followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. But people who speak against those beliefs can be charged with contempt of religion. Blasphemy charges have been filed against people who use religion to “propagate ‘extremist ideas’ to incite strife, insult a monotheistic religion, or damage national unity,” Human Rights Watch reports.

In December, Egyptian writer Fatima Naoot was charged for criticizing the ritual slaughter of animals during the Eid al-Adha feast. Her Facebook post reportedly read, “Happy Massacre.”

“Atheists are one of Egypt’s least-protected minorities, although the constitution ostensibly guarantees freedom of belief and expression,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for Human Rights Watch. “Egyptian authorities need to be guided by the constitution and stop persecuting people for atheism.”

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98 thoughts on “Student Sentenced To Jail After Revealing He’s An Atheist On Facebook

      • Quote —-> “people who SPEAK against those beliefs can be charged with contempt of religion . BLASPHEMY charges have been filed against people who use religion to “propagate ‘extremist IDEAS’ .

        So according to you Jesus got what he deserved?
        …The sermon on the Mount alone would’ve justified several death sentences and a few beatings..
        Shakespeare too.

        What the hell do you think censorship IS, if not “intolerance of another’s view and belief system”.

        My address is the same as it’s been for some years: dabbbles@gmail.com
        But I really don’t intend wasting my time on this nonsense, where facts are taboo, and paedophiles ~ and their adherents ~ must be protected for the sake of ‘peace and quiet’.

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      • So according to you Jesus got what he deserved?

        No. Where do you think I said that?

        The sermon on the Mount alone would’ve justified several death sentences and a few beatings

        Why?

        What the hell do you think censorship IS, if not “intolerance of another’s view and belief system”.

        It’s an interesting viewpoint but I don’t agree. For reasons as I’ve explained many times and I’ll tell you privately.

        My address is the same as it’s been for some years:

        OK so why don’t you get my emails? Or perhaps you don’t wish to acknowledge them.

        But I really don’t intend wasting my time on this nonsense, where facts are taboo, and paedophiles ~ and their adherents ~ must be protected for the sake of ‘peace and quiet’.

        That’s nonsense. Facts are not taboo. And neither are opinions. I explained to you – via the email address you claim you read – why you could not use ONE word. I also explained that if you changed the ONE word I would post your comments. Stop the paranoid whinging mate. I’m not your enemy.
        I don’t know if you’ll continue this discussion or run away again. Perhaps, whatever you do, you should just try to see some beauty in life.
        I DO wish you well

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      • To get respect you have to show respect Dabbles. Over the years you’ve shown a cowardly disdain for your fellow humans and now it has come back to bite you.

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      • “No it’s not censorship that landed the bloke in jail. It was intolerance of another’s view and belief system.”

        Curious, how was the bloke intolerant of another view or belief system, and why did what he say warrant a jail term?

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      • Cheers Bryan, I agree it’s a gross injustice – just as it would be if he had been expressing religious faith in a way that displeased the authorities.

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  1. I remember that Martin Luther was in danger of death because he posted his 95 theses attacking the corruption of the Catholic Church. Yet he thought that by doing this, he was merely trying to reform the organisation (which is why the religious movement he started was called for a long time the Protestant Reformation, or Reformation for short).

    This has changed in the 20th century with the descendants of the Protestant Reformers joining Rome, and changing their name to Evangelicals. And with this change, we have had other changes as well. No longer do we hear Christians speaking out against other outrages done in the name of Christ. Instead we have political correctness.

    The point is that no matter what you are, atheist, Christian, etc. if you dare speak out against corruption in your parent organisation, you will be persecuted for your beliefs.

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    • Not just for your beliefs. You’re persecuted, or idolised, for your God-given ‘spiritual’ giftings as well, depending on whether you are accepted in the ‘club’ or rejected. Man is fickle! Why do you think I’ve been so afraid to go back to Church for all these years? I don’t want to find out that nothing has changed at Church or worse still, that ‘ I ‘ haven’t grown and changed to be able to better deal with the offences and rejection that will surely come my way if I am brave enough to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, whose greatest enemy, the Lord told me, is the religious spirit.

      Yes, political correctness is a modern day scourge but persecution comes in many shapes and forms, unfortunately—-I’m sure dabbles probably thinks he’s being persecuted here, LOL! But that’s debatable. It depends on which side of the fence you’re on, I suppose.

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  2. The DNA coding necessary for survival is within life at increasing amounts the further along the complexity of the life .
    The difficulty arises at the point the life realizes it has a limited life.
    A time it has possibly and probably formulated a belief of itself as being important.
    A small number think outside the well worn path .
    Those people go thinking in many tangents arriving at subjective views of themselves and the universe and of those within the majority who followed the well worn path.
    The majority meanwhile formulate hyperbola within hyperbola within hyperbola reasons why they should be so important second only to what made everything.
    The flaw of having a delusion of self importance “BELIEF” requiring to create the belief that a entity is looking and CARING about them .
    WOW they have a “BELIEF ”
    What they then require is “FAITH” what they made will help them .
    Then comes the smart con artists realizing the flaws in human behavior .
    Taking the herds and getting them to fall into line of their making “RELIGIONS”

    The con is to convince the masses to not be able to distinguish between “BELIEF ,FAITH and RELIGION

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      • 1. Where did Crushing Bones state that they “are one of those who “think outside the well worn path”?”

        2. What’s the criteria for deciding if they are or not ?

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      • “I merely asked why he thought he was one like that. ”

        How do you know that he does “think he was one like that”? He hasn’t said and you haven’t asked.

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      • It’s obvious Paddy. Perhaps not to you…but then again. 🙂

        Crushing Bones’ discourse was all about how he knew the truth and non-one else did. That’s why I asked the question. In response all I got was abuse, which I refused to post.

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      • Right Crushing Bones knows the truth and nobody else does. Which is why he talks about “A small number” and the views of the majority.

        That would indicate that there is a minority view that differs from the majority and the uptake of that view is limited to a small number.

        That would indicate plurality. He even describes that small number as “Those people go thinking…..” Again indication of a plural.

        The determination that that small number consists of one (ie Crushing Bones) seems to be based on your projections alone.

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      • Hmm if you’re basing your decisions on information that you haven’t made publicly available then all you need do is state that. Preferably sooner rather than later.

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      • I offered no support merely a suggestion as to how you can make such future discussions shorter and clearer.

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  3. The bible is a spiritual history of the world … not a real one !

    “Nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses…. the bible is a collection of honourable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish, no interpretation no matter how subtle can change this” Albert Einstein

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  4. Muslims say they are against terrorism and violence, and they march and protest ….
    until the prophet is insulted…. then all bets are off. Then you get what you deserve….

    Labor MP’s are scared to speak out for fear of being labelled racist.

    And the neo-cons just want war…. they go beyond insulting Islam… they insult countries.

    But Islam is not a race…. it’s a religion. And that’s all it is.

    It’s about time someone enlightened these people and others with the truth.

    Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology. To declare war on a tactic is stupid.

    Education, and only education is the answer. And after all is said and done … it just comes down to different people wanting to worship God in different ways. I’m sure God has no problem with that.

    But human beings sure do …… religion is man made, and I have no problem with religion other than most wars, the crusades, the inquisition, 9/11, arranged marriages to minors, blowing up girls schools, the suppression of women and homosexuals, fatwas, ethnic cleansing, honour rape, human sacrifice, burning witches, suicide bombings, condoning slavery, and the systematic sexual abuse of children…. there’s a few little things I have a problem with.

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    • “until the prophet is insulted…. then all bets are off.”

      And now Pope Punchy seems to be saying violence is an ok response to insult.

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      • Well when he said that if someone “says something bad about my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s to be expected,”

        I don’t think he meant fruit punch do you ? I think he meant punch as a in a violent blow.

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      • In the same conversation, Francis steadfastly denounced the terrorists’ killings and the idea that anyone — as the France attackers apparently did — could pretend to justify such violence in the name of God.

        “One cannot make war (or) kill in the name of one’s own religion,” Francis said on his way to the Philippines. “… To kill in the name of God is an aberration”.

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      • He means that should you insult his mother he would likely physically assault you.
        Indeed that such an assault would be an appropriated and expected reaction.

        He also said “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.”

        You know that for a guy who previously denied any allegiance to the Church you sure are an eager apologist for ol Pope Punchy

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      • So what exactly did Pope Punchy mean Bryan? I understood it to mean that in some circumstances violence is justified.

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      • “Oh dear. Didn’t get the humour! Ah well….”

        And at least I posted a link from a guy who’s actually funny. And who can use that humour to make some points.

        But I suppose we should just jump on your bandwagon and ignore what people say and just presuppose what their intentions are based on the occupation they have at the time. And then have the arrogance to consider that position intellectual.

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      • Bryan,
        That link still does not address the issue at stake. It merely goes into damage control because the pope says no violence in one statement and then violence in another statement (if people cross a line – such as insulting the pope’s mother). Once again it shows Catholicism to be politically motivated rather than spiritually motivated.

        You cannot insult the corpse of Mohammed and the Pope’s mother, because the pope is trying to make alliances with Islam.

        Yet another pope (Martin V) condemned John Wicliffe as a heretic, exhumed his corpse, put it on trial, then burnt it. Strange attitude to corpses when one is not an ally of the Catholic Church.

        Which brings us to the question, why should we trust anything that the chair of St Peter says? Obviously on the issue of treating corpses, it is divided based on what the political expediency of the day dictates.

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      • Holding another one of his colloquies with journalists on his flight back to Rome from Manila, Pope Francis was given another bite at the free expression apple. “Your words were not well understood by everyone in the world and seemed to justify in some way the use of violence in the face of provocation,” said Valentina Alazraki Crastich, the longtime Vatican reporter for Mexican television. “Could you explain a little better what you meant to say?”

        The Pope responded:

        In theory we can say that a violent reaction in the face of an offense or a provocation, in theory yes, it is not a good thing, one shouldn’t do it. In theory we can say what the Gospel says, that we should turn the other cheek. In theory we can say that we have freedom of expression, and that’s important. But in theory we all agree. But we are human and there’s prudence which is a virtue of human coexistence. I cannot constantly insult, provoke a person continuously because I risk making him/her angry, and I risk receiving an unjust reaction, one that is not just. But that’s human. For this reason I say that freedom of expression must take account of the human reality and for this reason one must be prudent. It’s a way of saying that one must be educated, prudent. Prudence is the virtue that regulates our relations. I can go up to here, I can go up to there, and there, beyond that no. What I wanted to say is that in theory we all agree: there is freed[om] of expression, a violent aggression is not good, it’s always bad. We all agree, but in practice let us stop a little because we are human and we risk to provoke others. For this reason freedom must be accompanied by prudence. That’s what I wanted to say.
        – See more at: http://marksilk.religionnews.com/2015/01/19/pope-clarifies/#sthash.sckE0Tzc.dpuf

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      • Hi Derwent,

        Aww did the naughty ol cartoon hurt your little feelings. What are you going to do punch somebody? Or just continue to act like a teenager who’s favourite pop star has been insulted ? “Leave Pope Punchy alone”

        And when asked to elaborate it looks like dear old Pope Punchy is still saying that violence is an accepted response to insult.

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      • And perhaps read these words of Martin Luther King:

        “The real tragedy–is that we see people as entities or merely as things. Too seldom do we see people in their true humanness. A spiritual myopia limits our vision to external accidents. We see men as Jews or Gentiles, Catholics or Protestants, Chinese or American, Negroes or whites. We fail to think of them as fellow human beings made from the same basic stuff as we, molded in the same divine image. The priest and the Levite saw only a bleeding body, not a human being like themselves. But the Good Samaritan will always remind us to remove the cataracts of provincialism from our spiritual eyes and see men as men.”

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      • Thank you Bryan for the additional papal comments on the corpse question. And no, I am not biased against Catholics themselves. It is the whole Roman Catholic institution that I am biased against. Not the rank and file who don’t know any better.

        Should I have cause to be biased against the Roman Catholic organisation and management team (ie pope and his clergy)? Read your Bible. It says that even Satan sometimes transforms himself to look like an angel of God, if it suits him to deceive and ensnare people (2 Cor. 11:14). How much more so the pope?

        And Jesus said that we should know people by their fruits. Then He asked whether one gathers figs from thorns, etc. (Mat. 7:16). Given that the Catholic Church set the stage for the French Revolution and the rise of modern atheism, can we trust anything that this church says? I would say that we can’t. And remember that the pope is the head of this institution. If he was serious about half the things he’s saying, he would change the status of the Catholic Church to consciencious objector. And he would resign on the grounds that the church had amassed riches by corrupt means. But he doesn’t. Instead he engages in biting the hand that feeds him.

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      • Read your Bible. It says that even Satan sometimes transforms himself to look like an angel of God, if it suits him to deceive and ensnare people (2 Cor. 11:14). How much more so the pope?

        The last words of that are, of course yours. Not Biblical.
        But I’m glad you think rank and file Catholics can also be Christians.

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      • And perhaps read these words of Martin Luther King:

        “The real tragedy–is that we see people as entities or merely as things. Too seldom do we see people in their true humanness. A spiritual myopia limits our vision to external accidents. We see men as Jews or Gentiles, Catholics or Protestants, Chinese or American, Negroes or whites. We fail to think of them as fellow human beings made from the same basic stuff as we, molded in the same divine image. The priest and the Levite saw only a bleeding body, not a human being like themselves. But the Good Samaritan will always remind us to remove the cataracts of provincialism from our spiritual eyes and see men as men.”

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      • Hi Bryan,

        Pope Punchy is still victim blaming, the last panel of the cartoon you so childishly mocked was close to prescient as far as Pope Punchy is concerned.

        You shouldn’t risk provoking a reaction. Hence if the victim didn’t want to provoke the reaction they shouldn’t have said what they said.

        It’s the kind of attitude that suggests a young lady by the way she is dressed is “asking for it” .

        It’s a condemnable attitude. Or at least it should be to anybody beyond adolescence.

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      • Pope Punchy? Who’s the adolescent here?
        And you analysis of what the pope said and meant is just childish.
        I’d guess it makes you feel important and less impotent to lash out anonymously at the big guys who actually do something important in life.

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      • Yes clearly I forgot my place, the Church and it’s Popes are beyond criticism from the likes of me.

        Clearly my personal failings are the key issue to be discussed rather than the Pope’s victim blaming.

        What a mature way to carry out a discussion.

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      • Bubba, You have made your personal failings the key issue. They are why you can’t understand the subtleties that others do.

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      • Perhaps I don’t – can’t say I see many people around here willing to help explain whatever “it” is either.

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      • On the other hand I can see lot’s of people willing to take a cheap personal shot.

        I guess that’s nearly the same thing as a meaningful discussion right?

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      • Hi Bryan,

        Done – I can see where I’ve made some comments on the Pope’s victim blaming stance and called for a more mature discussion that’s on topic.

        I guess that does make me the outsider on this blog.

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    • Race and religion are only excuses for terrorism, hate, and grab for power. Freedom of speech is rightly used to criticise terrorism, hate, and power grabbing. Freedom to insult mere race or religion has no place in a civilised world.

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      • “Freedom to insult mere race or religion has no place in a civilised world.”

        Yes Strewth, and that’s what the Pope is basically saying…….expect a negative reaction if you do, because it’s human nature.

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    • Seriously, are you stupid or what? Even I understood what the Pope was saying, the first time, and I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. Maybe you have to be a wog (no offence intended) to understand one. 😉

      I’m stirring. Don’t kill me. Kill Bryan instead. LOL.

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      • Hey Tony,

        Fair enough the material is freely available on-line though. I did believe I had found the cartoon in question and everything did look consensual. Although the taste of the cartoon may have been questionable.

        Although Google tells me that the cartoon was in response to a right wing Catholic protest against same – sex marriage in particular the outspoken gay rights proponent Cardinal Vingt-Trois.

        Perhaps the Cardinal should have considered the reaction he was likely to provoke before he spoke out on the issue ???

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      • Whoops that last reads as though Cardinal Vingt-Trois was a supporter of gay rights. Opponent would have been the correct term.

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      • “In my mind there should be a law there such as Australia has, against racial and religious vilification”

        I curious as to how you know there isn’t such a law there. Are you a student of the French legal system ?

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    • Bryan

      I wish you hadn’t invoked the Good Samaritan parable in this discussion.

      To put the Good Samaritan parable in the context of this discussion:

      – The atheists like Charlie Hebdo, and Karim al-Banna, the Christians who were burned alive in their churches in Africa, are represented by the man who travelled down from Jericho.

      – Charlie Hebdo, Karin al-Banana, both exercised their freedom of expression just as the man in the parable exercised his right to travel on the Jericho road. The Christians who were burnt alive recently in response to the world’s response to Charlie Hebdo exercised their freedom to worship Christ.

      – The robbers who infested the road were of course the Muslims.

      – The priest and the levite both represent the Catholic Church and of course Pope Francis. Both the priest, and the Levite acted on their natural instinct and avoided during anything about the robbed person, because as Pope Francis tried to say, it is the natural thing to do. It is natural to avoid situations where someone might rob you, or do something worse to you if you linger. Thus they acted in accordance with Pope Francis’ instructions to be prudent.

      – It could be argued that anyone who travelled down the Jericho road was likely to offend the robbers, if s/he carried any wealth. Thus the priest, the Levite and Pope Francis would have avoided the area like the plague, lest their appearance would give the impression of wealth and thus offend the robbers, who believe that what’s yours is mine.

      Now we come to the good Samaritan. In this case, it is the world who stood up against this Islamic attack against Charlie Hebdo. It is the Christian Lobby Union who has recently organised Solidarity Sunday to let the world know about the genocide that Islam perpetuates in the name of Allah.

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      • .The robbers who infested the road were of course the Muslims

        I don’t know what Bible you are reading but that’s not correct davinci.

        just out of interest, do you think Charlie Hedbo was just exercising freedom with anti-Christian cartoons including one where Jesus was depicted performing fellatio on a camel, and another where Jesus depicted raping God?

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      • Hey Tony, – sorry for the reply in the wrong spot. Corrected version below.

        Fair enough it’s your blog, the material is freely available on-line though. I did believe I had found the cartoon in question and everything did look consensual. Although the taste of the cartoon may have been questionable.

        Although Google tells me that the cartoon was in response to a right wing Catholic protest against same–sex marriage in particular the outspoken gay rights opponent Cardinal Vingt-Trois.

        Perhaps the Cardinal should have considered the reaction he was likely to provoke before he spoke out on the issue ???

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      • At the top of this very page you do seem against censorship, while at the bottom you’re for it. And a little while ago you seemed very pro Charlie Hebdo and now you seem against. I guess though that may be what happens when you out some thought into it and judge each issue on it’s merits rather than forming a preconceived judgement. (Wha a few months ago I was pro-Pope 🙂 )

        But as I said it’s fair enough it’s your blog and the cartoon in question would mostly likely be considered in poor taste on a “faithworks” blog.

        “But yours is Patrick/aka Austin/Bubba isn’t it?”

        Nope – you know I’ve commented on a few blogs over the years sports, politics, law and psychology mostly. And I’ve used a few different screen names from characters from fiction to whatever nom de plume took my fancy at the time – as to guessing what those screen names are so far you haven’t come close.

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      • Again you jump to wrong conclusions Bubba,Patrick,Austin.
        I am neither pro nor anti Charlie Hedbo.
        I never said anything to the contrary. It’s all in YOUR mind.

        So you’re not Bubba/Patrick,Austin? They’re just all using your computer. What a coincidence!!!

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      • Hi Bryan,

        There’s only a fella calling himself Bubba talking to you on this computer – well this one and the one downstairs. I think you might be jumping to conclusions that are a wee bit out there.

        As to Charlie Hedbo I said you SEEMED both pro and aniti and based on that came to the conclusion that you were probably neither but merely judging each issue on it’s own merits.

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      • What you have to remember Bryan, is that Charlie Hebdo was not a Christian, nor holds Christian views. So you can’t judge him by the same standards that you would judge a Christian that would have done the same thing.

        Secondly, people must be allowed to speak their mind out, no matter how wrong or offensive they are. One could judge God Himself for allowing Lucifer/Satan to live, with all the murder, disease, catastrophes that he has masterminded in the world. Whilst both Lucifer and Charlie Hebdo are wrong, their fruits must be revealed to the world, so that when God will punish them, there will not be anyone to wonder and accuse God of being a fickle capricious tyrant who zaps anyone who disagrees with Him. When God’s final judgment will come it will be seen as a judgment based on justice.

        And it will be God that will inflict the final sentence, not you, not me and certainly not Islam. By acting in stead of God, Islam has robbed God of His prerogative to punish the evil doer Himself. Capisci?

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      • Davici, Firstly Charlie Hedbo is not a “him”. It is the name of a magazine.

        And it will be God that will inflict the final sentence, not you, not me

        You are right. It’s not up to us to be judgemental. Capisci?

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      • “I don’t know what Bible you are reading but that’s not correct davinci”

        The same can be said of the passage that you quoted from Martin Luther King.

        Has it escaped you that both I and Martin Luther King were applying the parable of the Good Samaritan in a specific context?

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      • The same can be said of the passage that you quoted from Martin Luther King.

        What do you disagree about this in general terms from Martin Luther King?
        “The real tragedy–is that we see people as entities or merely as things. Too seldom do we see people in their true humanness. A spiritual myopia limits our vision to external accidents. We see men as Jews or Gentiles, Catholics or Protestants, Chinese or American, Negroes or whites. We fail to think of them as fellow human beings made from the same basic stuff as we, molded in the same divine image. The priest and the Levite saw only a bleeding body, not a human being like themselves. But the Good Samaritan will always remind us to remove the cataracts of provincialism from our spiritual eyes and see men as men.”

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      • “You are right. It’s not up to us to be judgemental. Capisci?”

        Errrm! No! There is a difference between judging, and carrying out the sentence of that judgment, which you seem to deliberately go out of your way to misunderstand.

        When Jesus said not to judge, He also said that with what measure you dole out, it shall be doled out to you. In other words, we are talking about carrying out the sentence of that judgment ourselves.

        If you read again what I had written, you will notice that I condemned the Muslim world’s carrying out a death sentence on Charlie Hebdo and that Egyptian atheist for expressing their views.

        But coming to your statement about judging… do you not judge it wrong for Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons that insult Jesus with a camel? So it is wrong for you to publish Charlie Hebdo cartoons because your judgment is that they are morally repugnant?

        It seems that you do judge after all!

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      • Oh dear, you don’t pay attention.

        Charlie Hedbo is not a person but a magazine. And the Egyptian atheist hasn’t been executed.

        I decided not to publish the Charlie Hedbo cartoons because although Journalists should support press freedom, but that does not mean indiscriminately and gratuitously publishing cartoons or posts that blatantly and offensively attack others for their beliefs. That’s why some of your ridiculous smears don’t get published here.

        On the issue of judging others I offer these Biblical thoughts:

        Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour

        You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

        If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

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      • Bryan,
        You are engaging in double standards about this Martin Luther King issue. You are happy to have him apply the parable of the good Samaritan to his case, but when it comes to the issue of freedom of speech (which is what this Charlie Hebdo and Karim al-Banna is about) you say that the parable does not apply at all?

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      • Davinci,
        I’m all for freedom of speech. The Martin Luther quote is relevant in all contexts.
        I’ll ask again. What do you disagree about this in general terms from Martin Luther King?
        “The real tragedy–is that we see people as entities or merely as things. Too seldom do we see people in their true humanness. A spiritual myopia limits our vision to external accidents. We see men as Jews or Gentiles, Catholics or Protestants, Chinese or American, Negroes or whites. We fail to think of them as fellow human beings made from the same basic stuff as we, molded in the same divine image. The priest and the Levite saw only a bleeding body, not a human being like themselves. But the Good Samaritan will always remind us to remove the cataracts of provincialism from our spiritual eyes and see men as men.”

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      • It’s not a case of one ‘side’ being right and the other wrong. There were two wrongs, Charlie Hebdo and its attackers.

        Although some Charlie Hebdo cartoons may have addressed legitimate social issues, one can agree that others were offensive for no good reason.

        In my mind there should be a law there such as Australia has, against racial and religious vilification, carrying of course no death sentence if broken.

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      • “In my mind there should be a law there such as Australia has, against racial and religious vilification”

        I curious as to how you know there isn’t such a law there. Are you a student of the French legal system ?

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      • Bubba, thank you. I have learned that
        “The hate speech laws in France are matters of both civil law and criminal law. Those laws protect individuals and groups from being defamed or insulted because they belong or do not belong, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because they have a handicap. The laws forbid any communication which is intended to incite discrimination against, hatred of, or harm to, anyone because of his belonging or not belonging, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or because he or she has a handicap.”
        and
        “The Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881 guarantees freedom of the press, subject to several prohibitions. Article 24 prohibits anyone from publicly inciting another to discriminate against, or to hate or to harm, a person or a group for belonging or not belonging, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or for having a handicap. The penalty for violating this prohibition is up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to €45,000, or either one of those, as well as the suspension of some civil rights in some cases.

        Articles 32 and 33 prohibit anyone from publicly defaming or insulting a person or group for belonging or not belonging, in fact or in fancy, to an ethnicity, a nation, a race, a religion, a sex, or a sexual orientation, or for having a handicap. The penalty for defamation is up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to €45,000, or either one of those punishments. The penalty for insult is up to six months of imprisonment and a fine of up to €22,500, or either one of those punishments.”
        and
        “In 2006, the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo released a special issue which featured cartoons pertinent to Islam, including some from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. A Muslim organization initiated criminal proceedings against Philippe Val, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, for insulting a group of people because of their religion. In March 2007, the court of first instance acquitted Val. The first court of appeal confirmed the lower court’s judgment on the ground that the cartoons targeted only terrorists or fundamentalists——not the whole Muslim community.”

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