The PJ Tatler

Bearded Mickey, veiled Minnie not so magic in the new Egypt

How’s that Arab Spring working out? Let’s see, everyone’s expecting the Islamists to grab a share of power, and the Obama administration is establishing official contact with them. If Egyptians speak out against the Islamists, even if they’re rich and powerful owners of tech industries, they can expect to face charges, boycotts and death threats for insulting Islam. Even if the “insult” is harmless in the extreme.

An Egyptian Christian telecom mogul has angered Islamic hard-liners by posting an online cartoon of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie in a face veil.

The ultraconservative Islamists, known as Salafis, called the cartoon posted by Naguib Sawiris on Twitter a mockery of Islam. They launched an online campaign calling on Muslims in Egypt to boycott Sawiris’ mobile phone company Mobinil. Shares of Mobilnil and Orascom Telecom, which Sawiris founded, both fell Monday on the Egyptian stock exchange. …

Named “We are joking Sawiris,” the Facebook group said: “If you are really a Muslim, and you love your religion, boycott his projects. We have to cut out the tongue of any person who attacks our religion.”

At least 15 Salafi lawyers have filed lawsuits accusing Sawiris of religious contempt, an official at the prosecutor general office said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Here’s the offending tweet. It’s far less offensive than the tasks Hamas tends to put its faux Mickey to. Apparently it’s cool to steal Mickey Mouse to teach Palestinian kids to be terrorists, not so cool to slap a beard on him to criticize the terrorists’ ideology.