Sherif Gaber, in his clip called ‘Why do you hate Israel?’ Photo: YouTube/screenshot.
A new YouTube clip defending Israel is causing a stir. What is unique about the recently posted video, which has reached more than 60,000 viewers so far, is that its creator is an Egyptian student on the run from the authorities who sentenced him to jail after he questioned his professor’s religious, rather than scientific, approach to homosexuality in a science class.
The 22-year-old (now former) sociology major from Suez Canal University in Ismailia, though living in hiding, is continuing to use social media to get his views across.
“Why do you hate Israel?” is the latest in a series of polished videos produced by Sherif Gaber, whose “crimes” – which include “contempt for religion” and the “dissemination of indecent ideas” – were reported to the Egyptian police by university faculty and fellow classmates in 2013. After being thrown in prison and having his computer, phone and books confiscated, Gaber was convicted in February and sentenced to a year of hard labor.
On the verge of escaping the country with the help of an American lawyer who took up his case, Gaber decided to stay in the meantime, because — as he said in an interview last week with Cairoscene, “I’m not a coward.”
From an undisclosed location in Egypt, keeping his distance from his family, who could be put in jeopardy, Gaber has been voicing the opinions that got him into trouble in the first place, “to encourage freedom of speech and help people think and present to them alternative viewpoints, simply to let people know they exist. Whether people want to believe or not is their own choice, not mine. But I didn’t want to simply get arrested without being heard.”
Though most of his focus is on the ills of Muslim society, “Why do you hate Israel?” — shows Gaber ranting in Arabic with English subtitles – takes his critique a step further.
The following are excerpts of the transcript from the video below:
“This is a true story. In 2011, there was this ‘third Palestinian uprising.’ When they said, ‘Let’s unite us — the Arab world — from everywhere’ and attack Israel to free Palestine.
“I myself was about to join them, and actually wanted to free Palestine, back when I was a dumb Muslim. But I tried to understand the situation differently.
“I said, let’s assume that the land actually belongs to the Palestinians. Meaning that the Palestinians came to it first. So it’s theirs. And if someone from outside came to take a piece of it, then it’s called ‘colonization.’ …
“But when I looked at the reality, I found it a bit different. For example, I found that Egypt itself is colonized! How? Egypt was first a Coptic country. But when Abu Ibn Alaas invaded it, he turned it into a Muslim country… They told you that it’s called ‘Islamic conquest.’ But it’s actually colonization…
“Second, I told myself, let’s assume the land is actually theirs, and Israel doesn’t exist. …read more
Source:: The Algemeiner