Sherif Gaber, an Egyptian dissident in hiding, takes a look at Islam’s bloody history of conquest and concludes that ISIS is extremely Islamic.
If you haven’t heard the name Sherif Gaber, allow me to educate you about a brave man who, having had an epiphany about the Islamic world in which he was raised, tries his best, even while living in hiding, to educate the world about Islam’s true face. He does not indict all Muslims, but he understands the truth of the faith in which he was raised and will speak about it.
As best as I can tell, until early 2013, when he finally spoke up while a student at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia, Egypt, Gaber was not trying to change the Muslim world. He shared his ideas on social media, but otherwise did not advertise that he was skeptical about some Islamic doctrine. That changed when the professor in his “science” class announced this bit of “scientific” Islamic wisdom: “Homosexuality is a sin. Gays and lesbians shall be crucified in the middle of the streets, stoned, and burned to death!”
Rather than silently accepting this murderous religious indictment in the context of a science class, Gaber spoke up, suggesting that the science class actually look at homosexuality from a scientific, rather than moralistic, perspective. The professor turned on Gaber, harassing and threatening him for the remainder of the class.
Now that the professor knew that Gaber craved knowledge even if it ran counter to Islamic doctrine, the professor joined with other faculty members to scour Gaber’s social media pages for anything that could be deemed “un-Islamic.” The professor than gave to the public prosecutor the papers he had printed up from Gaber’s Facebook. To add insult to injury, he also gave Gaber an “F” in the class.
In October 2013, the state police raided Gaber’s home and arrested him. Eventually, Gaber was released from prison when he paid the government 7500 Egyptian pounds (about $420), 2500 of which was for the “Contempt of Religion” charge and 5000 was for “spreading immoral values and abnormal thoughts that provoke and disturb the public peace and the national security of Egypt.” This payment did not settle the matter. It was more akin to bail, and the government continued to prosecute its case against Gaber.
Eventually, in February 2015, the Egyptian government sentenced Gaber to a year in jail for his seditious un-Islamic activity. Rather than paying 1,000 Egyptian pounds for the right to an appeal, Gaber went into hiding. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
From his hiding place, the internet is giving Gaber a voice. He’s making videos in which he says all of the things that he could not freely say in Egypt. The ones that interest me most are those aimed directly at moderate Muslims and soft-minded Westerners.