Egyptian journal banned over 'blasphemous' poem

An Egyptian court has banned a liberal literature journal for running a poem two years ago likening God to a villager who feeds ducks and milks cows, an Egyptian paper reported Wednesday. The Tuesday ruling by Egypt's administrative court came after a lawyer filed a lawsuit against the journal Ibdaa, or 'Creativity' for publishing a poem titled "On the Balcony of Leila Murad" by a well-known poet Helmi Salem, according to the Al-Ahram daily. The court said the poem carries "insulting expressions" about God. The poem, which led Ibdaa to be briefly censored in 2007 when it was published, reads in part: "God is not a policeman, who catches criminals from the back of their neck. He is a villager who feeds the ducks and feels the cow's udders and squeezes them with his fingers and yells: 'Plenty of milk.'" Judge Mohammed Attiya said in his ruling, "freedom should be responsible in serving society and should not be misused," the paper reported.