Last week, a Tunisian court sentenced Jabeur Mejri and Ghazi Beji to seven years in prison for posting naked caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. They were given five years in prison for causing public disorder with what the court deemed as immoral actions as well as an additional two for bringing harm to others via public channels of communication.
The two young men, both in their late twenties, were also fined 1200 Tunisian Dinars ($790) each for publishing content considered blasphemous on the social network. Mejri and Beji were put on trial following a complaint filed by a group of residents.
This all started when Beji, a biotechnology food engineer, wrote a book called “the Illusion of Islam,” in which he discussed his views about Islam and religion. Mejri, an English teacher, meanwhile wrote a book called “Dark Land,” in which he criticized the government, Islamists, and Arabs in general.
And escaping Tunisia wasn’t enough for one as the jihad mentality has spread worldwide:
El Beji got residence in Greece for a month, but he is living with two Algerian young men in one room that lacks hygenic conditions, and all of them sleep on the floor.
After the end of his residence period, the Greek immigration department will have to ask him to leave, or emprison him for 6 months because of illegal immigration.
His flat mate smoke narcotics, which caused him a vision problem especially that he is asthma. He was also blackmailed by his flatmates after they have listened to his phone conversations with journalists after they have discovered he is escaping from Tunisia because of religion insults charges. He is now subject to blackmail and ultimatums: sometimes they would tell him that there is a Sudani terrorist that would not think twice before killing him if they tell him his story, and this morning they have asked him for 20 euros for their silence.
Ghazi’s Tunisian friends started avoiding talking to him. Even his best friend that was the “closest person in his life” turned against him according to Ghazi, who feels that the entire world turned hostile.
We have learned from Ghazi’s address that he lives in a neighberhood predominantly Salafi and Jihadi, and he is asking for immediate intervention from international Human Rights organizations to help him get a political refugee status that insures him personal safety.
I asked Ghazi to tell me what he feels after all of this: “Before the revolution,the system used to opress the religious extremist, but now they started oppressing the secular population, the thinkers, and the social intellectual elite, we made a revolution to free ourselves from oppression but now it’s gotten worse”
The Facebook page to keep yourself updated: Here
Blasphemy is just one aspect of sharia law that Muslims are fighting for when they vigorously oppose bans on sharia law in the U.S.