(scroll down for updates) In case you haven't heard already, an Egyptian Blogger got arrested by the egyptian police seemingly for what he wrote. Here is what Alaa, who knows more then I know about this, has to report. Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman is a 21 year-old Egyptian student of law at the Azhar University, Damanhour Campus, a women's-rights activist and a correspondent for Copts United. In addition to writing at Civic Dialogue, he also publishes at a blog he maintains. On Wednesday 26 October 2005, Egyptian State Security took Abdolkarim from his home, and confiscated hard copies of his writings. He is now on his way to an unknown detention. Three Egyptian bloggers visited Abdolkarim's family. The family attributed the state security raid to his writings, although it was not clear if his blogging is directly related. According to his brother, Abdolkarim's relations with Islamist Fundamentalists in his neighborhood of Moharram Bek, Alexandria, are tense. It is possible that the fundamentalists have filed a security complaint that led to his detention. Abdel Karim's writing, if you can't read arabic, is very very critical of Islam. So critical that Big Pharaoh is wondering if he was a convert to christianity or something. Abdolkarim could be a convert to Christianity or someone who left the Muslim faith, and I was stunned when I saw that he posted his picture on his blog. Anyway, he will be in a very serious situation if a case was levied against him. If sent to court, the charge of "izderaa el adyaan" or "blaspheming religion" can be applied leading to his imprisonment. What's interesting is that he went to Al Azhar University and lived in Alexandria, which could mean that the people who did file a report against him are islamists. If that were the case , given the upcoming elections, the recent riots and his connections to Copts-United, it's very well possible that they arrested him as a pre-emptive measure to stop another riot that could be started by the MB in Alex. The egyptian government would never take the side of Free speech against secterian relationships stability. Figuring it's safer to arrest just one blogger who the majority of egyptians would disagree with and with his writing, then to deal with another riot over his right to free speech, which doesn't exist in our country. It kind of makes sense for them to do it, for they have no shame or fixed morals or principles to stand by and defend, and the fact that, again, many egyptians wouldn't mind him getting punished for what he wrote. If you find this statetment to be harsh then please go over to the comments section in Alaa's post and see for yourself what some people had to say about his arrest. Hell, Alaa is being attacked in his comments section for starting the free Abdal Karim campaign. This attitude that some people have drives me nuts, because this is about free speech and civil rights, not about who said what about Islam. We should support him, not because we agree with what he said, but because if we don't rally out and support those who get detained and arrested for writing what they believe in- no matter how unpopular their opinion may be- we will be the ones arrested next. If you violate the rights of one of our own, then it's like you violated all of our rights. I may not agree with what many egyptian bloggers have to say, but if they were in that same situation as AbdelKarim I would be doing the exact same thing I am doing right now, for I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will fight for your right to say it. This isn't something that should be compromised on, or we might as well all take our blogs down and hide in our homes, waiting for that 3 am visit by Amn el Dawlah like a bunch of scared rats. If you are unwilling to live life like this, as any self respecting human being wouldn't, then you should support the immediate release of AbdalKarim. It is not a matter on which we can compromise. Update: Toman Bay has a different take on the whole thing after reading what AbdelKarim wrote: Following my own principles, I don't think that the government represented in Amn El-Dawla should prosecute the guy (they are doing it for purely political reasons, to appease the masses who may sympathize with Muslim Brothers especially before the parliamentary elections; just as they did when they arrested some rock kids as Satan-worshippers, to balance their crack-down on Islamist terrorists in the mid-90s), and his freedom of expression should have been protected; but you won't see me walking in any rallies supporting him, as he and similar enticers (whether Muslims, Christians, or Jews) are as much a menace to freedom of expression as Amn El-Dawla is. I respectfully disagree of course, because at the end of the day what he did was write an article. He wrote words, opinion, of what happend. That could never even measure against getting detained for writing something, especially in a country like Egypt where he has no rights. Here is the AP story on what happend. Egyptian police have detained a blogger for his anti-Islamic and anti-government writings and confiscated his books and copies of his articles, his family and other bloggers said Thursday. Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman, a 21-year-old law student at Al-Azhar University, was arrested on Oct. 26. His whereabouts are not known. "A group of seven police officers knocked at the door at 3 a.m. and asked about Abdolkarim,'' his mother, who identified herself as Yousseria, told The Associated Press by telephone from Alexandria. [...] "He is stubborn, he has ideas that contradict the true religion and he posts that on the Internet, serving no one but himself,'' his mother said when asked about his writings. Seliman belongs to a pious Muslim family - his parents were performing umra, or a minor Islamic pilgrimage, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, just days before his arrest. He is also a student of Al-Azhar, the world's highest seat of learning for Sunni Muslims. Another blogger, Malik Moustafa, closely followed Seliman's detention and accused followers of the fundamentalist Islamic Salafi movement in Alexandria of being behind the arrest. Moustafa said the arrest followed articles in which Seliman accused the Salafis of inciting the latest sectarian tensions in his neighborhood of Mouharm Bay. Seliman was detained three days after posting an article to his blog commenting on the violent riots that erupted when thousands of security forces clashed with streams of angry Muslim worshippers in front of a Coptic Christian church over a play put on by Christians deemed offensive to Islam. [...] In addition to his anti-Islamic writings, Seliman posted several articles blatantly attacking Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak regime and describing it as a "symbol of dictatorship.'' See, This gives me more of a reason to be supportive of his release. The same could easily be said about me. I mean, I have never gone as far as he did in his articles, because I don't believe what he said in them to be true, but I have been both critical of things that have been done in the name of Islam and of the regime before. I would make an equally easy target for them as he did. But if we let them have the easier targets first, then it's only a matter of time before coming after the rest of us. You know? There is something fishy about this guy though: He had his face, name and telephone number up on his blog. He was practically daring them to come after him. I am not one to blame to victim here, but I can't figure out why he would do such a thing. There is a fine line between courage and stupidity, and from his writing he doesn't seem to be stupid to the degree that he can't imagine someone to recognize him or come after him for what he wrote. Hmm..... Update: Mostafa Hussein has more information on this: In an email sent on the day of his detainment he wrote to Milad, in response to a survey about Egyptian bloggers that he doesn’t mind his name being mentioned in it. He says that although what he writes is considered very sensitive by many. Freedom of expression is in jeopardy if religion is going to be considered a red line. He says in the email that he was once attacked by some thugs as a reaction to what he writes and publishes. Almost everyone in the blogosphere do not support his opinions at all. Yet, a lot stand against his detention by security forces. Malek says (Arabic) that such acts weaken the images of Islam. As a civilised debate would reconstruct all his invalid opinions. Other believe in his right for a free trial. While some see that this is totally against freedom of speech. However, the comments of some anonymous posters and non-bloggers consider his detention a right thing and that the security forces did a good job. Accusing the bloggers who started the campaign, that they are trying to blindly copy Western democracy. Ibn abdel aziz warns (Arabic) that the security forces might be dividing the blogosphere, when they take away someone outspoken against Islam, Muslims would cheer. If they detain a radical Muslim; secularists and Christians would cheer. One by one they would divide bloggers. Indeed. Update: InstaPundit is on the case and wants his readers to cause trouble.