إزدراء (ezdera’a) n. [Arabic]
The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn.
The state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace.
Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body.
This past month saw the sentencing to jail of Beshoy Kameel and the arrest and prosecution of Albert Saber, both on charges of blasphemy and defaming religion. This week, Nevine ElSayed, a school teacher, was brought to prosecution; and two children, 9 and 11 years old (yes) are facing the same charge.
In the same vein, AbuIslam, a fundamentalist Muslim cleric, is also being tried for contempt of religion (having torn a copy of the bible during the protests by the US Embassy) – he and nine-months pregnant Nevine being the only two currently not in detention (the children have been submitted to a foster facility awaiting questioning).
The production crew of a TV show is currently being prosecuted for hosting a guest who insulted the president. The transitional period under SCAF rule saw the sentencing of Michael Nabil Sanad for insulting the military institution. And under Mubarak, Karim Amer served a five-year jail sentence for blasphemy and insulting the president.
The rising rate of claims of blasphemy, defaming of religion, or insulting of public figures being leveled against citizens voicing opinions, views, and thoughts, is as disturbing as the lynch mob behavior and persecution that usually follows those being charged and their families. The sharp sectarian overtones surrounding these cases are as ugly as the violation of freedom of thought and expression they carry. Peaceful criticism is prosecuted, tried and convicted faster than torture and murder. Religious sanctities and public order are the ball and chain on our expression, our consciousness, our lives.
These cases have compelled me to revisit an old entry, almost a year old now, which I am re-posting here. In its excerpt I warned my readers “Language and contents may be offensive to some.” – I still have nothing but these pixels, and I will use them to disdain and disrespect, defame, insult, and scorn everything and anything I find contemptible, it’s my right.
I have nothing but these pixels. I want to screech and scream and howl.
I am a whole person equal to the next, I am not a female and I am not a minority and you are not my guardian so fuck your chauvinism and fuck your patriarchal religions.
I am a being guided by your and my humanity, I am not christian and I am not muslim and I am not immoral so fuck your religious self-righteousness and double standards, and fuck your hypocrisy and your bigotry.
I believe in the sufficiency of our resources and in the right of the poor to their fair share of those, I do not believe in your capitalist world order and I will not be bound to your credit-based monetary system so fuck your opportunistic profit-driven work ethos and fuck your corporate greed.
I am egyptian of mixed cultural heritage and a citizen of the world, I am not an Egyptian National and I am not a foreigner, so fuck your interest-serving xenophobia and fascist nationalistic rhetoric.
My body is mine and my free time is mine and so is my right to choose what I do with both, I am not virtuous and I am not a whore, I am not conforming and I am not a dissident, so fuck your unlawful rules and dogmatic norms, and fuck your privacy breaches and intimidating policing.
I hold sacred the life of all beings and the dignity of the human soul and body, so fuck your military tradition and gun toting boys, fuck your torture chambers and fuck your court martial.
I have nothing but these pixels. I want to screech and scream and howl. Fuck you.