A Facebook post critical of the traditional animal sacrifice at the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha earned secular Egyptian writer Fatma Naoot three years in prison along with a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,550).
An Egyptian court found her guilty of “contempt of religion”. Naoot will appeal the sentence, meted out on 26 January, from behind bars, according to the Egyptian website Ahram online.
Last year, arabeye drew attention to the controversy around Naoot’s post and the deluge of mostly antagonistic comments, which it generated. Click here to read the post.
Naoot is no stranger to controversy--her advocacy of rights of women and the country’s Christian minority earned her enemies in a largely conservative, religious society.
A former parliamentary candidate with strong anti-Islamist views, Naoot is a staunch supporter of Egyptian President Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi, who rose to power after ousting Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Since then, Sisi rode a wave of nationalist fervour fanned by seculars like Naoot, idolising him as a saviour for removing Islamists from office.
She and many Egyptian seculars, who staunchly supported him on the premise that he would promote liberal values and curb Islamists’ social influence, may be having second thoughts now about his promises of “a more tolerant” Egypt.