It is hard to mention Islam al Refaei with sorrow. His name is usually connected with joy and laughter.
A satirical young man faces tragedies with a smile. He is a man who is gifted with putting a smile on people’s faces with his witty satirical remarks.
“Khorm is just kidding”. A hashtag was launched by his friends, fans and those who are in solidarity with him. It was a big shock to arrest “the proponent of the hole theory”. An added shock mingled with laughs as people knew that Refaei is accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood banned group. Ironically, Refaei was in continuous dispute with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that he always mocked on his social media accounts.
In November 2017, Islam al Refaei disappeared. His friends tried to reach him in vain. A few days later, lawyers received information asserting that Refaei is detained by the Egyptian security. They tried to reach him in Abdeen police station but the police station denied having him in custody.
On the 23rd of November, ten days after his disappearance, Islam appeared before the State Security Prosecution as a defendant in case no. 977 of 2017. He was accused of joining “a terrorist group” – Muslim Brotherhood. He was deprived of his right to have a phone call.
On the other hand, some Islamist internet users, who were irritated by accusing Refaei of joining them, promoted a rumor describing Refaei as an atheist. Of course, they did not mean to defend Refaei by this as he had his own battles against Islamists. They just wanted to defame him in a society that does not respect freedom of belief. This rumor emerged from Refaei’s hostility to the Islamic political stream, as they believe that whoever disagrees with them is, naturally, an atheist.
As for the lawyers, they genuinely believed that these accusations are nothing but a mistake in procedures, or maybe his name was confused with another defendant. The accusations were absurd.
Refaei was detained pending the case known as “Mekameleen II” from November 2017 till August 2018. Finally, he was released on bail of EGP 2000 to find himself accused in another case: Case No. 441 of 2018, State Security, known as “the Muslim Brotherhood Media Wing”. The accusations were: joining a group founded contrary to the law aiming at hindering constitution and the law, and preventing state institutions and public authorities from performing their duties.
Everybody is perplexed by the state’s insistence to accuse Refaei of joining a group that he totally detests.
What is the “hole theory” of Islam?
According to Refaei’s social networks page, the “5orm” (hole) theory is: We have comprehended, a long time ago, that we cannot mend this world, change it or stop its misery. We only have one possible form of resistance: Never take this world seriously.
Islam Al Refaei deserves to be free.