On November 25, 2021, BBC Arabic (U.K.) aired an interview with Egyptian lawyer, researcher, and writer Ahmed Abdou Maher, who was recently sentenced to five years in Egyptian prison for criticizing Islam in his book, How the Imams’ Jurisprudence Is Leading the Nation Astray. Maher told the interviewer that his book doesn’t have one word of extremism, blasphemy, or incitement against Islam, and that it only criticizes Islam’s jurisprudents for their “blood-soaked ideology.” He criticized Islamic scholars that follow Maliki, Bukhai, Safi’i, Hanafi, and other schools of Islamic thought, saying that they espouse the killing of apostates, homosexuals, adulterers, people who don’t pray, people who curse the Prophet Muhammad, and prisoners of war. He also said that they espouse punishments such as the chopping of people’s limbs and beheading people.
Abdou Maher elaborated that the jurisprudents who adhere to these schools of thought consider anything that is outside of their “box” to be heresy, and he said that they have the ears of people in Egypt’s judicial system and are trying to turn Egypt into a religious state. He said that these schools of thought do not have a monopoly on what Islam is, and that Egypt’s president should declare that he is innocent. Abdou Maher also bemoaned the fact that there are many terrorist organizations and that Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan have all been destroyed. For more about Ahmed Abdou Maher, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 8473, No. 5999, No. 5669, No. 5409, and No. 5234.