A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sawiris Case Dismissed

An Egyptian court has dismissed one of two cases against media mogul and billionaire Naguib Sawiris charging him with insulting Islam, for sending a cartoon on his Twitter feed of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed as Salafis (Mickey bearded, Minnie veiled). (Lacking Sawiris' billions, I'll just note that if you Google "Naguib Sawiris Mickey Mouse cartoon" you can find the image. I don't think it insults Islam, though perhaps it inslts Salafis. I think it makes Mickey and Minnie look bad, though.) Though Sawiris had deleted the tweet and apologized for it, the case took on added import because of his financial power and the fact that he is a Copt; it was seen as a Salafi attempt to prevent criticism by Egyptian Christians. (He's also the founder of a liberal; secularist political party.) Other stories here and here. (Full disclosure note: the first link above is to The Egypt Independent, which is a member of Sawiris' media empire.)

Sawiris still faces another court ruling in the case, due Saturday. (No word if he's worried about the potential threat of a trademark infringement case from Disney, which should scare anybody.)

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