News / Middle East

    Egyptian Court Convicts Four Teens for Mocking Muslim Prayers

    FILE - An Egyptian man in Cairo holds a poster with Arabic that reads "Muslims and Copts are in the same tragedy" during a protest against the slaying of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by militants associated with the Islamic State group.
    FILE - An Egyptian man in Cairo holds a poster with Arabic that reads "Muslims and Copts are in the same tragedy" during a protest against the slaying of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by militants associated with the Islamic State group.
    VOA News

    A court in Egypt has convicted four Coptic teenagers for contempt of Islam after they appeared in a short video mocking Muslim prayers.

    The mobile phone video, which went viral in April 2015, was filmed after the beheading of dozens of Egyptian Coptic Christians by Islamic State group in Libya last year.

    A court in southern Minya province on Thursday gave five-year jail terms to three of the teens and referred a fourth one to a juvenile facility for an indefinite period.

    In the 30-second video, the teens pretended to perform Muslim prayers, with one reciting Quranic verses and two others standing behind him while laughing. One waved his hand under a second's neck in a sign of beheading.

    The teenagers’ lawyer Maher Naquib said the ruling was “unbelievable”, adding that the boys were minors and the court should have just punished them with a fine.

    Naquib said the teenagers were tried in absentia and remain free pending an appeal.

    "My son was sentenced to five years for laughing. Is that possible? What kind of justice is this?"” Iman Girgis, a mother of one of the convicted boys, told the Associated Press.

    Christians make up approximately 10 percent of Egypt's population. They strongly supported the army chief-turned-president, Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, who led the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

    Egypt has long been accused by human rights organizations of systematic abuse of human rights, including unfair trials of political opposition and minority groups.  

    Last week, a military court sentenced a toddler, Ahmed Mansour Sharara, to life in prison and convicted him of killing three people, carrying guns and firebombs, blocking a road with burning tires and trying to damage government buildings, the New York Times reported.

    After an uproar over the conviction, the Egyptian military said that it was a case of mistaken identity.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: anynmous from: usa
    February 27, 2016 7:33 AM
    mocking Muslim prayers is not a crime that deserve five years in jail. we have that Muslim believe that they have the right to make fun about Christianity, write book mocking Christianity is ok for Muslim that as the book wrote by Raza islan who make fun about Jesus and say he is drunk man. no body arrested him and he is the honor guest in many news media . but say a simple funny words about Islam ,the consequences is severe such as in France And Denmark . even in US ,the FBI is investigating for criminal charge for a person placed a peace of beacon in the door of mosque. Christian has no right even in us to express its view about Islam because Obama and democrat are considering talking about Islam is politically incorrect . the bottom line Islam is insecure religion because its faith is weak and it does not make sense . I am sure that VOA will not publish it

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    February 26, 2016 8:16 PM
    Peace treaties between Egypt, Israel and Jordan and US financial, military, and political support for all three are the cornerstone of peace in the region.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora