An Egyptian court has dismissed one of two complaints over tweeted cartoons of a bearded Mickey Mouse and a veiled Minnie Mouse.
In June, telecommunications magnate Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire Coptic Christian, infuriated conservative Muslims with the satirical messages. Both complaints accuse Sawiris of insulting Islam.
The judge at Qasr al-Nil court dismissed the first case Tuesday, fining the plaintiff $8. The judge ruled that individuals who “lack legal standing” made the initial complaint, legal sources said.
However, a different court is slated to rule Saturday on the second case. That suit was filed by another group of lawyers, including member of parliament Mamduh Ismail, a member of the ultraconservative Salafist group of Islamists.
Sawiris tweeted images of Mickey with a full beard and wearing a traditional Islamic robe, and Minnie wearing a niqab (full-face veil) with only her eyes showing. However, her large ears and famed pink hair ribbon were visible.
After an angry response from people who said they took offsnse, Sawiris removed the pictures. He tweeted: “I apologize for those who don’t take this as a joke, I just thought it was a funny picture; no disrespect meant. I am sorry.”
Nonetheless, tens of thousands of people joined groups on Facebook and other social media condemning him. As well, conservative Muslim groups urged boycotts of the tycoon’s firms.