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Egypt: renowned feminist writer, activist, physician, and psychiatrist accused of ‘contempt for religion’

Nawal al-Saadawi, a renowned feminist writer, activist, physician, and psychiatrist

On Tuesday, attorney Samir Sabri filed a complaint to Attorney General Nabil Sadeq and the Supreme State Security Prosecution, against feminist polymath and novelist Nawal el-Saadawi accusing her of contempt for religion in statements she made to BBC.

In his complaint, Sabri said that el-Saadawi, who is a writer, activist, physician, and psychiatrist, called for changed to the text of the holy books, the Quran, the Bible and the Torah if they conflicted with public interest and said: “There are no constants in religions, there is no fixed text, and renewal of religious discourse means changing the constants.”

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Sabri added that the statements made by el-Saadawi are contempt for religions and an explicit call to atheism and disbelief in Quranic texts.

He went on that they have been constants for thousands of years, and what the author is calling for has nothing to do with the freedom of creativity and thought that should not be exposed to divine constants and established Quranic texts, so as not to allow weak minded individuals to follow these statements; which might cause the spread of chaos and disbelief in society and threaten the security and stability of the country.

Sabri, who has been described by the New York Times as a “a tireless vigilante who wields the law like a cudgel to enforce his prickly, often paranoid, brand of Egyptian nationalism”,  requested that the multi-talented el-Saadawi be referred to the criminal court.