So has decreed the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Mohamed Sayyed "Ok" Tantawi, as islamic punishment for those bad journalists who spread rumors about the president and the country.
"God will not respond to the invocation of the arrogant and
pretenders who accuse others with the ugliest vice and unsubstantiated
charges," said Tantawi during a religious celebration Monday attended
by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and broadcast live on television.
"The Islamic Sharia (law) subjected all the people to be equally
punished for the crime of libel which is a flagrant aggression on the
virtuous men and women," he added. Tantawi's comments were published in
Al-Akhbar newspaper Wednesday and in Sawt Al-Azhar, the mouthpiece of
Al-Azhar, the following day.
During his speech, Tantawi seemed to argue for serious punishment as
well, quoting a verse from the Quran saying that those who accused
women of adultery without necessary proof were to receive "80
He said his example involved women but added that "libel is also
applicable to men … this punishment is set by God to protect the
honor of men and women from bad talk that hurts dignity and honor."
You know why we call him "Sayyed OK" in Egypt? Because before he became Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar (appointed by President Mubarak) he used to be Egypt's mufti, and he was famous for his ability to issue any Fatwa you would like as long as you pay him. The man is such a joke, that during the presidential elections he issued a Fatwa- when the opposition was trying to get the people to boycott the elections in order to say it was illegitimate- that egyptians have to go and particpate in the elections as their islamic duty and that it's haram not to do so, because that's suppressing testimony and god forbids that and hates those who suppress their testimony. No one, of course, listened. This is the man, who under his reign, Al Azhar became a place for breast-feeding fatwas and debates over if an actor gets married on TV, is he counted as married in real life, amongst other fun fantastic very relevant debates. And now he wants to lash journalists who libel the good honorable men of this government 80 lashes. 80.
and you thought journalists had it rough in your country.
Tantawi, do us all a favor: RESIGN!