Help Free Kareem Amer
Freedom of speech is a right that many of us in the ‘First World’ take for granted…which is why it can sometimes come as a shock when somebody in a less permissive country is punished for saying something that we could say every day without fear of retribution. In 2007, Kareem Amer was sentenced to four years in prison for the ‘crime’ of writing blog posts critical of Islam and the Egyptian government.Nobody should be imprisoned for criticizing their government or their government’s religion.
I’m often frustrated at the feeling of helplessness these situations inevitably bring on, but thanfully there is a concerted effort to pressure the Egyptian government into freeing Amer. You can sign an Amnesty International petition calling for his release here, or visit this site for a list of other ways to help. (Although as ebonmusing has said over at Daylight Atheism, it might be a good idea to refrain from donating money to a group we know nothing about.)
Events like this should be a stark warning to all of us who take freedom of expression and thought for granted. There are people out there who dearly wish to control what you say and even what you think, and some of them are a hell of a lot closer to home than Egypt.