Tariq loves Jesus with his whole heart. He’s actively involved in his Orthodox church and serves as a deacon, which is fairly rare for someone his age. He is the last person you’d imagine being arrested for criminal behavior.
As an educated young man with a degree in business, Tariq is sharp. He’s lived in Egypt his entire life, so he knows all the ins-and-outs of being a Christian in a country that opposes his faith—and not only opposes it, but punishes the tiniest infraction of its religious laws.
So, he started a Facebook page online, a place where the curious or the searching could come and ask questions about Jesus. It sounds like a clever plan, and for the most part, it worked.
But the eternal impact he made on others cost Tariq everything.
“Members of the government’s digital monitoring teams began to try to bait and entrap him to disobey the country’s blasphemy law, which carries a 6-month to 5-year prison sentence,” our field partner told us.
Global Christian Relief met with Tariq’s father who explained Tariq was lured into a debate over an Islamic scripture that infers God favors one race over another.
Tariq quite wisely responded, “My Muslim brother, do you accept worshiping an unjust god, who holds man accountable only by the color of his skin?” However true this statement is, it is what landed him in jail.
“One week later, the assistant mayor met with me and told me that a National Security Officer had asked him to bring my son Tariq to him,” his father said.
After his father brought Tariq to the officer, he was asked to leave. Of course, he was concerned, but what else could a father do? Resisting would only make the situation more dangerous.
“We expected that they would release him at the end of the day, but they did not. Tariq was severely tortured for eight days at the National Security office,” Tariq’s father continued. “They told him to convert to Islam or they would charge him with ‘Contempt of Islam,’ but my son heroically refused to renounce his faith. As a result, charges were filed against him for ‘contempt for the Islamic religion.’ The charges were filed without the proper permissions from the prosecution and without taking proper legal measures.”
Finally, in February of 2022, the court sentenced Tariq to 2 years in prison with hard labor. After a couple of unsuccessful appeals, Tariq’s father was able to request a presidential pardon which was accepted by the Prison Authority and Prime Minister. According to National Security (NA), however, Tariq is considered a “danger to public security.”
While the NA says Tariq should be released in July, they’re hinting that 6 months could be tacked onto his sentence because of the supposed “danger” he presents to society.
“Please pray for my son Tariq, as he is devastated. He lost his job, he is wrongfully imprisoned and he is struggling psychologically,” his father says. “May God bless you.”