Egypt's attorney-general on Wednesday commissioned State Security prosecutors to investigate formal accusations made against ten individuals for their alleged involvement in a controversial short film – produced by a US-Israeli filmmaker – that critics say defames the Islamic faith.
Attorney-general spokesman Adel El-Saeed announced on Wednesday that he had received five different legal complaints regarding the film – which was widely shared on Facebook and YouTube – claiming it contained material that was offensive to God, the Islamic faith and its Prophet, and the Egyptian authorities.
According to El-Saeed, a handful of US-based Coptic activists are believed to have participated with a group of non-Egyptians in producing the film and sharing it on social-networking platforms.
Earlier on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters that President Mohamed Morsi had instructed the Egyptian embassy in the US to take "all possible legal steps" against those "seeking to destroy relations and dialogue between countries and peoples."
Initially, the film was thought to have been made by US-based Coptic-Christian activists, but was later found to have been produced by US-Israeli dual-national filmmaker Sam Bacile.
The film was, however, promoted by Maurice Sadek, a controversial Coptic figure living in the US, along with Pastor Terry Jones, a firebrand American Christian preacher known for organising mass burnings of Muslim holy book the Quran.