Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad (Arabic: بهاء الدين أحمد حسين العقاد; born 1949) is an Egyptian former Muslim imam who converted to Christianity. For more than 20 years, el-Akkad is 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 6 April 2005, el-Akkad was arrested by the Egyptian State Security Intelligence (SSI) on suspicions of blasphemy. He was accused of "insulting the heavenly religion [of Islam]", a misdemeanor under Article 98F of the Egyptian penal code. Although his release by a court in Cairo on 30 July 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 28 April 2007, after having been held without charges for two years.
- ^ Egypt: Christian convert from Islam jailed – Compass Direct News, 18 October 2006 Archived 21 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Egypt: Authorities release jailed Christian convert – Compass Direct News, 24 May 2007 Archived 21 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine