Egypt: Christian teacher charged with contempt after asking questions about Muhammad

A Christian teacher in Egypt has been charged with contempt of religion after posing a series of questions about the prophet Muhammad in a multiple choice test.

Magdy Farag Samir, 49, was arrested on March 14 and his detention has been extended to 15 days after being charged following the incident which took place in December, according to World Watch Monitor.

Egypt has risen sharply up the rankings to be named the 17th worst country in the world to be a Christian.YouTube / Open Doors

He was forced to change schools at the time but now parents at the original school have filed a complaint against him to the governorate's Directorate of Education, according to the persecution watchdog.

A human rights activist who did not wish to be named told WWM: 'The revolution of June 2013 was supposed to get rid of the religious regime.

'But this has not been achieved so far. Many Copts are being charged with contempt of religion and jailed for nothing...because the revolution dropped the Muslim Brotherhood but left their ideology unchanged.'

He added: 'Egypt's law of contempt of religion only applies to one side – Islam.

'Crimes of contempt in Egypt only refer to contempt of Islam.'

A relative of Samir, who also did not wish to be named, said: 'The students and their parents considered this as an insult to the prophet Muhammad and Islam.'

He added: 'But Magdy didn't mean any kind of insult, he did that just to facilitate the right answers to the two questions.'

The watchdog reported that Samir had asked students at Barot Preparatory School for Girls in Beni Suef Governorate: 'Where was the prophet Muhammad born?' He then gave them three options: 1. Yathrib (in Saudi Arabia) 2. Mecca (also in Saudi Arabia) 3. Hafiza Abo Tartour (Abo Tartour is a village in Egypt, but also the word for a cone hat).

He also asked: 'Who was the nurse of the prophet Muhammad?' The two options were: 1. Halima Al-Saadia (the correct answer). 2. Halima Bta'at El ta'amiya ('Bta'at El ta'amiya' translates as 'a seller of falafel', a Middle Eastern dish).