UPDATE: Expected but troubling–an Egyptian court has sentenced the three Al-Jazeera journalists to long prison terms. One got 10 years and the others, seven. One is Australian, another Canadian-Egyptian and the third is Egyptian. If one had been American, this would be huge news…
This post from my friend is about three Al-Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt months ago. There’s a common feeling in Egypt that the Qatari network is biased and pro-Muslim Brotherhood, but the imprisoning of journalists is troubling. It speaks to why so much news comes out of the freer countries, like Israel, and less from the authoritarian countries, like Saudi Arabia, which is exponentially more important than Israel and the Palestinians put together. If Egypt enters the Saudi Arabia category, it will suffer in the end.
By Nancy Youssef
Dear Egypt, Greetings from Washington, where America’s first Koran sits. It was purchased by our third President, Thomas Jefferson, as he was keen to see what Islam had to say about justice given the immense amount the Koran devotes to the topic. Justice is such a central tenet that how we practice it on Earth shapes our relationship with God, the Koran says. I am reminded of this as you consider your verdict against three journalists who committed no crime worthy of what they have endured. Jefferson sought the words of the Koran to shape his ideas for justice in this country, and it my hope that tomorrow the words of the holy book will be applied in one of Islam’s most populous nations. “You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of Allah, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to enlightenment. Fear [and respect] Allah. Allah is aware of what you do.” (Surat al-Maida, 8)