The charges sound an awful lot like the classic Islamic charge of, “spreading mischief upon the land” to me.
Mr. Nabil is a 26-year-old blogger who had been on the barricades in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demonstrating for the ouster of authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak, and later kept up the pressure for democratic reform from the transitional military government. “We are against what the army is doing to steal our revolution,” he wrote. His criticism pressed the limits of liberalism in the new Egypt. On March 28, Mr. Nabil was taken from his home by Egyptian soldiers and charged with “insulting the military institution, dissemination of false news and disturbing public security.”
Educated, secularist advocates for freedom like Mr. Nabil are the people the ruling classes in the Middle East fear the most. They are also the ones the United States should most ardently defend. He appeared at the anti-Mubarak protests with a banner reading “civil [government], not military or religious.” The military has a special grudge against Mr. Nabil because he is a conscientious objector who resisted compulsory service. He said in an interview last October, “I think that conscription is a kind of slavery; I have worked many years for my freedom.” Mr. Nabil also represents a challenge to the proponents of Shariah law for Egypt, both as a Coptic Christian (though frankly skeptical of organized religion), and as an advocate for women’s rights.
For the rest, click to WATI