Makarem Diab, an Egyptian Coptic Christian, was sentenced to 6 years in prison for blasphemy against Muhammad. In February, Diab had a discussion with another employee of Deer Al Gabrawy Prep School, Al Hameed. Hameed stated that Jesus had sex with 10 women that were forbidden to him (no historical evidence exists for this statement), and so had broken Islamic law (Islam didn’t exist until 600 years after Christ). Diab replied that the prophet Muhammad had 4 wives, a fact commonly accepted by Islamic scholars. Witnesses say this was an ordinary discussion, and were surprised when, 11 days later, Hameed went to the police with blasphemy charges. Diab was arrested and held for 4 days, when he was then delivered to the court for a “hearing”. In the ten minute hearing, without his lawyer present, Diab was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in prison.
An appeal was heard on March 16th, but Hameed stirred up a crowd of angry lawyers who stormed the courtroom and interrupted the hearing. Peter Sarwat, a Coptic lawyer described it this way, “They said no Muslim will defend a Christian. It was agreed that Christian lawyers would take over and two Coptic lawyers volunteered, but the Muslims decided that even Christians would not defend him.” One of Diab’s lawyers, Ahmed Sayed Gebaly, was outside the courtroom unable to get inside. The defense lawyers who were in the courtroom were beaten up by the mob, right in front of the judge. “They were assaulting us in a beastly and strange way just because we went there to defend a citizen who happened to be a Christian… We left court in a security vehicle which took us to Security headquarters, otherwise, we don’t know what the outcome would have been for us,” said Adel Ramadam. The hearing was rescheduled for April 5th, when the sentence was upheld.
“I know Makarem well because we grew up together, and I know he wouldn’t do that,” said Gebaly, a Muslim. “To be honest, he didn’t do anything wrong. If he did, I would have told him… We were expecting that he would be released with no charges, but the law was used in the wrong way, and now we are trying to appeal again, if his appeal gets accepted,” Gebaly said. Diab is now in Assult General Prison, and is apparently being treated as well as can be expected.
What you can do:
- Pray for Makarem Diab, his family, and his friends, his jailers, the justice system in Egypt, and Al Hameed.
Father God, I pray for Makarem Diab, his family, and his friends. Support them with your tender compassion and comfort them in this time of great trouble. I pray that You will cause the truth to be made known, that Truth will triumph over deceit and violence in this situation. I pray that Diab and his family will awaken to know Your tender mercies each morning, and that Your loving kindness will provide strength, courage, and encouragement each moment of every day. I pray for the jailers’ eyes to be opened to Your glorious truth, that they may come to know You through Mr. Diab. I pray for Al Hameed, that You will bring him out of darkness into Your glorious light. Let Your light shine through Mr. Diab, and through all his family and friends, so that they are like a shining city on a hill. Keep his family safe, secure, and provided for while Mr. Diab is in prison. Supply all their needs according to Your riches in glory, Lord. Let Your name be proclaimed far and wide because of this terrible situation. You are the redeeming King! In Your beautiful name, Amen.
Information from Open Doors USA.