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Egypt journalist accused of ‘contempt of Islam’ after questioning Prophet’s ascension

February 21, 2022 at 10:39 am

Egyptian TV presenter Ibrahim Issa in Cairo on May 4, 2014 [STR/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt has launched an investigation into a journalist after he said that Prophet Mohammed’s night journey from Makkah to Jerusalem was “a completely delusional story.”

Ibrahim Issa told viewers during his private TV show on Friday that some scholars have disputed the ascension of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that Muslim preachers who ignore texts denying the journey took place have “Salafist views”.

Egypt’s Islamic advisory and governmental body Dar Al-Ifta said on Saturday that the journey “definitely happened and can’t be denied in any way.”

Egyptian actor Mostapha Darwish announced he would no longer be in the film, the Atheist, because Issa wrote the script.

READ: Sisi calls on CNN, but national and foreign press are not welcome in Egypt

Over recent years there has been a surge in blasphemy cases in Egyptian courts which rights groups say is part of a wider culture of intolerance.

In 2020 Egypt’s minister of higher education suspended a university professor after a video was shared online in which he insulted the Quran.

He was later accused by students of “contempt for the Islamic religion.”

In 2015 four Egyptian teenagers faced up to five years in prison and their teacher seven years after they were accused of insulting Islam after a video circulated of them mocking Daesh.

In 2017 university professor Dr Mona Prince was accused of “glorifying Satan” and “spreading destructive ideas” after she taught John Milton’s Paradise Lost to her students at Suez University.