Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi pictured at Cairo Zoo in 2016. Photo by Daniel Meyers
Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi pictured at Cairo Zoo in 2016. Photo by Daniel Meyers

Complaint filed against Nawal el-Saadawi for defaming religions

Tue, Jul. 10, 2018
CAIRO – 10 July 2018: Egyptian Lawyer Samir Sabry filed on Tuesday a complaint against Egyptian author and feminist Nawal el-Saadawi for defaming religions in her statement with BBC channel; Sabry called for referring Saadawi to the Criminal Court.

During her interview with "Without Limits" TV program on BBC, Saadawi said that renewing religious speech means that religious texts in the Quran, Bible and Torah should be changed as the texts are fixed, while people’s interests are variable based on the era they live in.

Sabry further added that Saadawi's statement reveal clear blasphemy as it calls for atheism and disbelieving Quran’s texts, pointing out that this cannot be considered freedom of creativity and intellect as freedom should not be applied to the fixed Quran texts.

Saadawi was previously accused of blasphemy in 2007 after she had written an article entitled “God resigns”; she was charged by Muslim scholars of defaming God and the prophets, according to a statement issued by Al-Azhar.

Additionally, Sabry filed in 2008 a complaint against Saadawi calling for revoking her nationality after she called in a TV interview for rewriting one of the Quran verses to refer to God as a female, as the Arabic language is “sexist”.

Previously, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called for a “religious revolution”, but in a way that suits Islamic learning, through launching a national project that aims to confront misleading ideologies harming Islam and Muslims on social media, and through foreign visits, publications, and issuing fatwas that “suit the modern age”.

“We should closely examine the situation in which we are living. It does not make sense that the ideology we sanctify pushes this entire nation to become a source of apprehension, danger, murder and destruction to the entire world,” Sisi said in 2015 speech before Egypt’s top religious leaders on the occasion of the Birth of Prophet Mohamed.

“I am not saying the religion [itself]; I am saying the ideology, texts and thoughts that have been sanctified for hundreds of years. And disagreeing with [these texts and thoughts] has become very difficult,” Sisi added.

Born in 1931 in Kafr Tahla, a small village outside of Cairo, Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist, sociologist, medical doctor and one of the world’s most prominent contemporary writers with her works available in twelve languages.

She devoted her time to being a writer, journalist and worldwide speaker on women's issues; she faced imprisonment, exile and death threats in her fight against female oppression. Her writings have also addressed controversial issues such as prostitution, domestic violence and religious fundamentalism.
 
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