Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad
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Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad (Arabic: بهاء الدين أحمد حسين العقاد; born 1949) is an Egyptian former Muslim imam. For more than 20 years, el-Akkad was a member of the fundamentalist Islamic group Da'wa el Tabligh, which actively proselytized non-Muslims but strictly opposed violence. He also led a mosque community in Al-Haram, in the Giza area adjacent to Cairo. In 1994, he published, Islam: the Religion, a 500-page book reviewing the traditional beliefs and dogmas of Islam. He later became disillusioned with Islam and began to question certain Islamic tenets. A theological discourse with a Christian led him to conduct an intensive study of Christian Scripture, after which he converted to Christianity in January 2005.
On April 6, 2005, el-Akkad was arrested by the State Security Intelligence (SSI) on suspicion of blasphemy against Islam. He was accused of “insulting a heavenly religion,” a misdemeanor under Article 98-F of the Egyptian penal code. Although his release by a court in Cairo on July 30, 2006 was issued, the SSI deliberately ignored this decision and transferred el-Akkad to the maximum security Wadi el-Natroun Prison, where the majority of Egyptian Islamists sentenced for anti-government activities are incarcerated. He was finally released from prison on April 28, 2007, after having been held without charges for two years.
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