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''You do not mean by mystery what a Catholic does. You mean an interesting uncertainty: the uncertainty ceasing interest ceases also... . But a Catholic by mystery means an incomprehensible certainty: without certainty, without formulation there is no interest;... the clearer the formulation the greater the interest."—Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), British poet, Jesuit priest. Letter, Oct. 24, 1883, to Robert Bridges. Gerard Manley Hopkins: Selected Letters, ed. Catherine Phillips (1991).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Egyptian Coptic Christian teacher accused of blasphemy

AsiaNews.it photo

From AsiaNews.it comes this excerpt of a story of the harassment of a young Egyptian social studies teacher.
In recent weeks, the case of Dimyana Ubeid Abdel al-Nour (also spelled  Demiana Abdel Nour) become front-page news. The 23-year-old Christian teacher at a primary school in Luxor was arrested on 8 May for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in class.

Faced with a large number of calls for her release, Prosecutor General Abdhallah freed her on bail (US$ 2,900), a huge sum for the young woman's family. Yet, Dimyana is still in prison where she begun a hunger strike ahead of her trial on 21 May.

Dimyana's legal ordeal began on 8 April 2012. The young teacher taught at the Shaikh Sultan Primary School and on that day was covering polytheism, religious life at the time of the pharaohs, and how Pharaoh Akhenaten had adopted monotheism. The lesson also touched on the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During the class, the subject inspector was also present but he left ten minutes before the session ended.

Two days later, the school suspended the teacher after three children accused her of defaming Islam and praising the Gospel. In the following days, three separate committees as well as the school director questioned her.

The parents of some children had claimed that the teacher had compared Muhammad and the late Patriarch Shenouda III, judging the latter better than the former. However, from the start, Dimyana denied the allegations.

After questioning, all three committees cleared her. However, under pressure from parents and other teachers, the school brought the case to the attention of the Education Ministry, which opened a file against the teacher. On 8 May, she (was) arrested.
Let us pray for Dimyana, her persecutors and Dimyana's family—that truth, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and justice may prevail.

See also:
Coptic Teacher Remains In Prison
Egypt to try Coptic teacher for insulting religion

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