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Egypt orders Islamist detained for insulting Christianity

Firebrand Islamist preacher who burned copy of New Testament outside US embassy in Cairo last year is detained on charges of 'insulting religion'

AP , Sunday 17 Feb 2013
Egypt orders Islamist detained for insulting Christianity
File photo: Muslim cleric Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, speaks to media as he arrives at court for the opening session of his trial in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's state prosecutor ordered on Sunday an extremist Islamic preacher detained for questioning on suspicion of insulting religion after a complaint from a Christian activist, a judicial source said.

The preacher Ahmed Abdullah, known as Abu Islam, is already on trial for tearing up a bible during a protest outside the American embassy in Cairo in September over a short film made in the United States that insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

The latest probe came after a complaint filed by Coptic Christian activist Nagib Gibrail who accused Abu Islam of insulting Christians on a television show.

Egyptian law forbids insults against religion, allowing police in the past to arrest Shiite Muslims and Christians for alleged slights against Islam.

A court last month upheld death sentences for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians who live in the United States and were accused of producing "Innocence of Muslims," a movie that insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

The movie triggered outrage across the Muslim world when it surfaced last September.

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