Al-Masry Al-Youm writer fined for slandering controversial thinker

An Egyptian court on Sunday found opposition journalist Bilal Fadl guilty of libel and slander in a case raised against him by controversial thinker Sayyed al-Qemni.

The Boulaq Misdemeanors Court fined Fadl LE10,000 for libeling and slandering al-Qemni, judicial sources said.

Al-Qemni had filed a lawsuit against Fadl in which he accused the latter of slandering him in an article published by Al-Masry Al-Youm in August of last year.

Al-Qemni charged that Fadl had called him a liar and had challenged the authenticity of his PhD. Al-Qemni also complained that Fadl had accused him of blasphemy for making calls to abandon the Holy Quran.  

Fadl, for his part, insisted that the accusations against him were false, saying that he had merely criticized al-Qemni's opinions and commented on his writings.

Al-Qemni is a controversial researcher of Islamic history who has been described as an apostate by many of his detractors. Last year, he won a state recognition award, sparking heated controversy.

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