Islamist files defamation complaint against intellectuals

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CAIRO: Egyptian Islamist teacher Sheikh Yussef Al-Badri said on Thursday that he was lodging an official complaint against eight intellectuals for alleged defamation.

I have filed a complaint with the prosecutor-general against eight people who have written that I am a Salafist, an enemy of freedom of thought and a new Inquisition, Badri told AFP.

When my complaint is accepted, I will then institute proceedings and claim compensation from them, he added.

Al-Badri listed the eight as Gaber Asfour and Ezzat Al-Qamhawi, editors at Akhbar Literature, Mohammed Sheir, a journalist at the publication, celebrated writer Gamal El-Ghitani, Osama Saraya, editor in chief of Al-Ahram, the daily s editorial writer Nabil Omar, poet Ahmed Abdel Moeti Hegazi and activist Nasser Amin, director of the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary.

El-Ghitani told AFP that Al-Badri s move was nothing more than a witchhunt on intellectuals carried out by those opposed to progress in society and the freedom of thought.

We reserve the right to lodge a counter complaint against Sheikh Al-Badri for defamation, he said, and warned: Such incitement could lead to fanatics taking action against us.

Al-Badri recently obtained a ruling against the poet Hegazi, obliging him to pay LE 20,000 Egyptian in compensation for defamation for likening him to a Jewish fanatic.

In the 1990s the Islamist succeeded in getting a court to order the separation of professor Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid from his wife for apostasy. The couple had to flee Egypt to escape the verdict being applied.

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