It was reported on Saturday that well-known Egyptian poet and author Fatima Naoot is facing trial, after she criticized the Muslim ritual slaughter of animals during the Eid al-Adha festival.
The Eid al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, which is celebrated by Muslims around the world, includes a lot of animals being slaughtered for the festive meals.
After posting on her Facebook page, “Happy massacre,” Naoot found herself in a whole bunch of trouble with the Egyptian authorities.
As part of the traditional festival, animals are slaughtered to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to fulfill God’s command to sacrifice his own son, although in the end, God provided him with a sheep. Unlike in the original Biblical story, the Koran’s version sees Abraham willing to sacrifice Ishmael, not Isaac.
In continuing to express her feelings on the matter, Naoot posted, “Massacre committed by men over the past 10 centuries and followed by men each year with a smile. Annual massacre observed because of a nightmare of one (prophet) about his son. Although the nightmare has passed for the prophet and his son, each year helpless animals pay with their lives the price of this sacred nightmare.”
France24 reported that Naoot, who is Muslim, deleted her posts from Facebook soon after controversy erupted about them.
In attempting to backtrack just a little on her remarks, the 50-year-old columnist denied she had any intention to insult Islam, as reported by the AFP, adding she had also been charged with “making fun of the right to sacrifice.”
As Naoot wrote on her Facebook page on Friday, “It is the price paid by those who carry torches of enlightenment at every age.”
And given Egypt’s track record on human rights — especially when it comes to women and any inclining of an insult towards Islam — Ms. Naoot will have a whole lot more backtracking to do to avoid the full force of Egyptian law.