CAIRO: Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud referred the complaint filed against author and novelist Youssef Ziedan, to the State Security prosecution, which will begin investigations early next week.
The complaint was filed by the head of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, Naguib Gobrael, against the award-winning author of “Azazil” for insulting Christianity through statements he made during one of his seminars.
Ziedan allegedly said that Sunday schools mislead students and tuaght them illusions.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) considered the accusations against Ziedan a violation of freedom of expression.
“Some Christian lawyers joined the Hesba lawyers, and called for the arrest of Ziedan for insulting Christianity according to Article 98 of the Egyptian penal code," a statement by ANHRI read.
"The complaint filed against Ziedan wasn’t a surprise, especially amid the attack launched by a number of Christian fanatics against the novel and its author ever since it was published and was a huge success,” the statement continued.
“What is ironic and aggravating is that these people affiliate themselves to the human rights field, while they support confiscation and seek fame. They had previously called for the confiscation of the movie ‘I love Cinema’ a few yeas ago," it added.
Head of ANHRI, Gamal Eid, said, "We continue to warn about Hesba cases and those who consider themselves religious guardians either because of their misconceptions or because they seek fame. These kinds of cases are a lethal blow to Egyptian culture and freedom of expression. Shame on the Egyptian government for taking a so-called neutral stance on these cases.
"Pope Shenouda III should announce his stance from the people who claim they filed this complaint as lawyers representing the Egyptian Coptic Church. We also hope that the church will dissociate itself from targeting a skilled writer and making these false accusations, promoted by fanatics," he said.
On the other hand, Gobrael told Daily News Egypt that his complaint against Ziedan wasn’t because of his novel "Azazil," but because of his statements mocking the pillars of the Christian faith.
"I am not against creative freedom, but I’m against mocking and attacking a religion and I’m going to testify to this in front of the State Security prosecution early next week," Gobrael said.