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UK Coptic Group Seeks Arrest Warrant for Egyptian Muslim Cleric Sheikh al-Badri for 'Hate Speech'
Mary Abdelmassih of the AINA news service has a timely article, “Arrest Warrant Sought for Egyptian Muslim Cleric for “Hate Speech” about a UK –based Coptic Christian group seeking an arrest warrant for Egyptian Sheikh Yusuf al-Badri of the Supreme Islamic Council for Islamic affairs affiliated with Al Azhar University in Cairo. Al Badri is the author of the infamous comment about what Sharia commands Muslims to do about apostates captured on a German news video story and posted in translation on the Vlad Tepes and other blogs: “God has commanded us to kill those who leave Islam.”
The AINA news story noted:
A Christian Coptic human rights group is seeking to initiate an international arrest warrant in the United Kingdom against the leading Muslim fundamentalist cleric Sheikh Yousef al-Badri for inciting Muslims to kill apostates from Islam in Egypt. Al-Badri, who is a member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and is associated with the primary Islamic institute of al Azhar University, is reported to have stated "God has commanded us to kill those who leave Islam."
Although Christianity in Egypt is not illegal, it is under a common interpretation of Islamic law that conversion to another religion from Islam is punishable by death. Muslims, mainly fundamentalists, see no difference between apostasy and subversion; they fear that allowing conversion will ultimately undermine Islam.
"We expected the Egyptian Prosecutor General to take legal action against al-Badri, but unfortunately in Egypt impunity for Muslims prevails at all levels when it comes to the rights of Christians," said Dr. Ibrahim Habib, President of United Copts of Great Britain who will initiate the arrest warrant. "Incitement to kill is a crime under legal and ethical norms."
The German news video from which al-Badri’s comment was extracted concerned the tragic status in Egypt of prominent apostates Maher al-Gowhary and his daughter Dina barred from leaving Egypt.
The AINA report notes these human rights threats of Sheikh al-Badri to the al-Gowharys:
Another victim of "hate speech" is Muslim-born Maher el-Gowhary who publicly converted to Christianity in 2008, after secretly being a Christian for over 35 years (AINA 9-26-2009). In August 2008, he filed the second lawsuit of a Muslim-born against the Egyptian Government to seek official recognition of his conversion. He lost the case on June 13, 2009. According to the Court ruling, the religious conversion of a Muslim is against Islamic law and poses a threat to the "Public Order" in Egypt.
The Fatwa (religious edict) issued by Sheikh Yousef al-Badri calling for the "shedding of his blood" caused Maher and his teenage daughter Dina, who also converted to Christianity, to live in hiding and be constantly on the run, fearing danger from reactionaries and advocates of the enforcement of Islamic apostasy death laws.
"We live in constant fear ever since radical sheikhs have called for my blood to be shed because I left Islam. We are mostly afraid of the uneducated people on the street," Maher said in an interview aired end July 2010 on ZDF German TV (video).
Maher escaped many attacks on his life, the last taking place on Sunday, July 5, 2010, when a Muslim fundamentalist tried to behead him in broad daylight. His daughter Dina also escaped an acid attack (AINA 4-17-2010).
Former Muslims United (FMU) has used Sheikh al-Badri’s comments in news releases. It has been a featured video on the former Muslims website to convey how death fatwas issued by Muslim clerics and Sharia Jurists like al-Badri threaten the civil and human rights of apostates. His remarks are a justification for FMU Freedom Pledge Campaign that sought American Muslim leaders to abjure these Sharia death Fatwas against those who have left Islam. FMU only got two responses from more than 163 Freedom Pledge letters sent to American Muslim leaders.
The UK Coptic Human Rights arrest warrant for Sheikh al Badri is ironic in another way. You may recall that Dutch politician Geert Wilders is the subject of a 2008 Interpol arrest warrant issued by a Jordanian court on the grounds of defaming Islam with his film Fitna.
In the current debates about the eruption of Mega-mosques in the United States, the UK Coptic group human rights initiative furthers the argument that Islamic Sharia is in violation of both US civil rights laws and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, endorsed by the heads of states of the Organization of Islamic Countries in Dakar in 199, is in direct contradiction of those Western human rights laws and accords, because it Sharia compliant. David Littman NGO representative of the World Education Association made these telling arguments against the Cairo Declaration before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He noted:
These efforts led to the ‘Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights,’ proclaimed at UNESCO in 1981, and to the ‘Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam’ (CDHRI), adopted on 5 August 1990 in Cairo by the 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the 45 (now 57) Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), subsequent to the Report of the Meeting of the Committee of Legal Experts held in Teheran from 26-28 December 1989.
It is significant that article 24 of the English CDHRI states that “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in the Declaration are subject to the Islamic shari’a,” and its article 25 confirms that “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.” Thus, it is clear that the shari’a law has supremacy and the 1990 Cairo Declaration primacy — in the view of its authors — over the International Bill of Human Rights (the UDHR included), and all other UN Covenants.
The UK Coptic human rights group pushback against Islamic Sharia doctrine with this initiave seeking an arrest warrant against Sheikh al-Badri should raise the consciousness of Sharia threats to fundamental Western Judeo Christian values inherent in the American Constitution and international human rights laws.