In 2013, 20-year-old Sherif Gaber was arrested for starting a Facebook group about religion. His own post on the subject explained his deconversion:
I started to see the contradictions between the Quran and scientific facts, and day by day for 2 years after searching and reading I knew the truth. Then I became an atheist and hid it for a few months. Then I admit it despite knowing that I might get killed any moment…
Even though I’m not afraid to say I’m an atheist to everyone who asks about my religion… To die for the truth is much much better to live in a lie!
Apparently, the now-22-year-old Suez Canal University student was outed by his classmates. They told the school President, who in turn “filed a legal complaint against the student to the local prosecution on the grounds of contempt of religion.”
… Monday’s verdict on the case allows Gaber to avoid the prison sentence on a bail of EGP 1,000 [just over $130 USD]. However, a retrial that could increase the sentence to over two years is due to take place in the coming weeks.
Speaking to Daily News Egypt, Gaber said how he was a “good student… top of his class”, but that his run-in with the university began after he challenged a science teacher. This arose over the teacher calling homosexuality a sin, and for homosexuals to “be crucified in the middle of the streets”.
[After his arrest] The student was kept in detention by National Security until December 2013, when he was granted an EGP 7,500 bail. Gaber told Daily News Egypt that during this time, he was subjected to severe abuse and electrocution from the security officials, who “punished every part of me”.
Gaber’s sentence comes just a month after another student, Karim al-Banna was sentenced to three years in prison for basically the same thing.
And, of course, we’ve known about Alber Saber‘s three-year sentence on blasphemy charges for a while now.
You know, given that’s there’s supposedly only 866 atheists in Egypt — 0.00001% of the country’s total population — this government sees them as one hell of a threat for simply admitting they don’t believe in God. It exposes just how insecure this Islamic theocracy is.
(Image via Shutterstock. Portions of this article were published earlier)