Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cairo's Litigious Cleric

by Mariam Fam from The Wall Street Journal

Yusuf El-Badry -- religious scholar, former parliamentarian and onetime mosque preacher in Patterson, New Jersey -- is using Egypt's courts to promote his strict interpretation of Islam. He has become a courtroom celebrity, appearing regularly on Egyptian and Arabic satellite TV shows, and some see him as a defender of Islam ... He is currently seeking to reverse Egypt's ban on on female circumcision that came after the high-profile death of a 14-year-old girl undergoing the procedure. "The decision to criminalize circumcision means criminalizing something from Islam," he bellowed in court. Mr. El-Badry won international fame when he spearheaded a case against Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, a university professor he accused of heresy and apostasy. The judge ruled in his favor and ordered the professor to divorce his non-Muslim wife, but Mr. Abu Zeid and his wife fled to the Netherlands.

No comments: