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Writer referred to court for criticizing Islamic sheep slaughter

The prosecution referred writer Fatima Naoot to the misdemeanor court on Saturday for religious blasphemy, after she criticized the ritual practice of sheep slaughtering during Eid al-Adha, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The first court session is scheduled for January 28.

The liberal and contentious writer, who voiced her strong opposition to the former ruling regime of the Muslim Brotherhood, and is an adamant supporter of President Adbel Fattah al-Sisi’s military-backed administration, faces serious charges of insulting the Islamic religion.

During Eid al-Adha, Naoot criticized what she described as, “The worst massacre committed by humans for ten centuries whilst smiling,” on her Facebook page, in a post titled, “Happy Massacre.”

“Animals are being slaughtered and their blood shed for no reason, except to pay for this horrific nightmare,” Naoot said, referring to Prophet Ibraham’s prophecy, in which he saw himself slaughtering his child Ismail. Muslims celebrate the prophecy as God’s order to slaughter sheep every year and feed them to the poor.

In a statement, Naoot claimed she is paying the price of “enlightenment,” adding, “It was a random Facebook note, congratulating Muslims on Eid al-Adha and asking them to be good to the animals while slaughtering them, instead of viciously slaughtering them in front of kids.” 

Speaking about the backlash against her as a result of the comments, she said, “It is the price that those who were enlightened have had to pay and been prosecuted for, since the era of the Sufis, who called for the love of God and for ending killing and hatred, to Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid, who called for a better understanding of Islam that was disfigured by extremists.”

In her statement, she referred to Muslim Brotherhood figures that have verbally attacked her. “They are the Brotherhood of every era who want to break any pen, cut any tongue calling for peace, science, and enlightenment,” she added.