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Egyptian sheikh to face charges of denigrating Christianity

Islamist Sheikh Abu Islam Ahmed Abdullah is referred to criminal court to face charges of disparaging Christianity following Bible-burning incident outside US embassy

Ahram Online, Tuesday 25 Sep 2012
Egyptian sheikh
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Egyptian prosecutors have referred prominent Islamist Sheikh Abu Islam Ahmed Abdullah, owner of the Umma and Mariya television channels, to criminal court to face charges of defaming the Christian faith.

The referral comes after two lawyers filed legal complaints accusing Abdullah of showing contempt for Christianity by burning copies of the New Testament in front of the US embassy in Cairo during protests in mid-September against a US-made film mocking Islam's Prophet Mohamed.

"This is the first time that a complaint filed for denigrating Christianity has been investigated," Naguib Gebrail, Coptic lawyer and head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights, told Ahram Online. "I personally have filed three complaints in the past against Abu Islam Abdullah and they were never looked into."

He added: "We strongly condemn the double standards regarding lawsuits related to contempt for religion." 

Gebrail went on to note that four Coptic-Christians charged with defaming Islam remained in police custody in different governorates of Egypt pending investigation.

"All four were brought to court immediately following their arrests, while Abdullah was not immediately detained," Gebrail claimed.

Hani Gadallah, editor of Egypt's Tahrir newspaper, also faces charges for publishing an interview with Abdullah in which the latter disparages the Christian religion.

Abdullah's trial is slated to begin on 30 September.

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Neter
26-09-2012 09:03am
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Double Standards
Unfortunately double standards prevail everywhere. If this Sheikh is indeed charged for denigrating a religion other than Islam in an Islamic country - this will be quite unique. As many of us whom reside in and originate from Islamic countries are aware, denigration of faiths other than Islam is common practice and no one so much as bats an eyelid. Unfortunately respect for religion in the Islamic world often means only respect for Islam.The main problem for me is the preponderance of badly educated Sheikhs and no checks on their stupidity. The above gentlemen for example quite obviously is unaware of the fact that Islam is supposed to be a continuation of Judaism and Christianity and so burning the bible simply does not make sense.In the West on the other hand free speech prevails and can have disastrous consequences if done so irresponsibly as witnessed recently. I cannot help but recall Hume at such times as these and his quite apt allusion to the inherently base nature of the bi-p
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be fair
26-09-2012 02:24am
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Arrest him!
Arrest him! Arrest and bring to justice anybody who abuses other religions!
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Najjar
05-10-2012 06:57pm
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Don't see any problem...
...putting him in the shade for a while :).
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