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Bible burning was not insulting to Egyptian Christians: Abu-Islam
Radical preacher Abu-Islam, on trial for burning a Bible at a protest outside the US embassy, defends his act in an exclusive interview with Ahram Online
Sarah El-Rashidi, Sunday 14 Oct 2012
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Abu Islam
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)

Islamist preacher Abu-Islam Ahmed Abdullah arrived with his supporters at a court in Nasr City on Sunday to face charges of burning a Bible during protests outside the US embassy in September.

The trial had been adjourned on 30 September until Sunday and was adjourned again until 21 October.

Abu-Islam, who is the president of two Egyptian satellite channels – the Umma and Mariya – which he maintains are culturally orientated, defended his radical views in an interview with Ahram Online.

"There is no such thing as the Bible or the Torah, there is only the Quran!" Abu-Islam said when asked why he said his act of burning the Bible was not an insult to Egypt's Christians

He asserted that he had set fire to an English-language Bible, rather than an Arabic version approved by the Coptic Church, out of respect for Egypt's Coptic Christians.

"All these translations of the Bible are evidence of its invalidity!" he said.

During a demonstration against an anti-Islam film in front of the US embassy in Cairo on 11 September, the Muslim cleric tore and burned copies of the Bible. Before leaving the demonstration, he told the crowd that next time he would get his grandson to urinate on it.

Abu-Islam's case is the first time charges filed for denigrating Christianity have been investigated, Egyptian Union for Human Rights leader Naguib Gebrail said, and it is a breakthrough because other cases filed against him have not been properly addressed.

In contrast, Coptic Christians charged with defaming Islam are immediately brought to justice, Gebrail asserted. 

Abu-Islam stated his admiration for the Salafist Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"They both have their strengths. The Nour Party is ideologically strong, strictly adhering by Sharia law, while the Muslim Brotherhood is sound in terms of organisation and structure," he stated.  

They should combine their different strengths, he said.

Both groups have an equally strong following, he asserted, and their ongoing success will be dependent on their use of the media, especially television.

Maintaining their public services will be an important factor in preserving their support bases, he added.

Abu-Islam dismissed the possibility of secular and liberal groups triumphing in the future.

"Secular groups have no voice and do not stand a chance as they lag far behind the ideological and organisational strength of the Islamists," he said.  





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Daniel
16-11-2012 02:38pm
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on that day
Every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
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Expat in Cairo
05-11-2012 12:08am
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Egypt out of control
How can we expect anymore from the Arab countries when they don't know any other way . It's gone crazy , The bible burner is just trying to make a statement of freedom of do whatever you want , as you only have to look how unstable the region is, and everybody seems to of lost their mind !!! Look at those men who are running around Cairo molesting , taunting and sexually harassing . So the bible burner decided it was his turn to get noticed, that's all it is . And the Quran burner in America was just nuts .
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hope
16-10-2012 01:52am
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waist of time
What do you exepect in a third world country ?????
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lilimanta
17-10-2012 02:57am
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i beg to differ
there are third world countries with developed countries mentality and developed countries with third world mentality!
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Francois
16-10-2012 01:02am
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You reap what you sow...
So this is the type of person let loose after your 'Spring uprising'? Well, your country will be an islamic hell-hole within a few years. We tried to warn you that removing Mubarak would lead to this, but would you listen? Of course not. You only have yourselves to blame when strict sharia laws are implemented dictating what you can wear, eat, watch, listen to etc.
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JoelB
15-10-2012 08:36pm
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Show trial
I doubt Abdullah will ever face actual punishment for his bible burning. Rather, this is just a show trial to demonstrate that the government is being "even-handed" but in reality will justify continued abuse of Copts in Egypt.
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19



kingofegypt
15-10-2012 05:53pm
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Bible burning was not insulting to Egyptian Christians: Abu-Islam
Jones and You are both idiots and nothing but haters and absolute morons. Grow up old man, spread peace not hate.
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richard aquino
15-10-2012 05:50pm
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bible burning
As a believer of the Bible I am not bother at all on what he says. The Bible was written hundred of years before the Quran and it is more authentic than ever. What he should be careful of is that he will, one of these days, face Jesus and HE WILL BOW DOWN HIS KNEES TO JESUS. Philippians 2:9-11
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ana
13-11-2012 06:08pm
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the irony...
the irony is that both of you guys believe in the ultimate authenticity of your own "holy" books to the same degree...neither on of you can present any evidence or solid reason as to WHY you believe in them, except that's what you were told. He believe EXACTLY the same as you, that you will one day face Allah and bow down on your knees...both of you guys are brainwashed as the other.
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Sami Pierre
15-10-2012 04:18pm
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So now we have freedom to desecrate Holy Books
I find it absurd that Abu-Islam decided to burn a copy of an English Bible, but not an Arabic Bible "out of respect for Egypt's Coptic Christians!" What he did was a disgrace to all Christians, Coptic or otherwise. People forget that this country played host to the Holy Family a couple of thousand years ago. So much of the historical stories in the Bible took place in Egypt. Just because a Florida pastor in the U.S. decided to burn the Quran sometime ago, doesn't mean we have to stoop to that level. The freedoms we got post-Mubarak should not include ridiculing religion, any religion.
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SDC
21-02-2013 12:54am
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Buring Bibles
I don't like the idea of burning bibles but when it comes down to it a bible is just paper, ink and a cover. Burn away. However, it does show that Egypt has fallen to one of those ignorant, radical countries of the Middle East. And to think, Egypt once was a respected country.
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M V L
15-10-2012 02:25pm
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Another disgrace to Islam
These acts show intolerance, ignorance, disrespect and wanton behavior to fellow citizens, hardly a way of thinking or doing that befits bona fide preaching. Another great way to discredit the image of Islam already used and abused to serve political agendas and further feeding the simmering unrest that is the current signature of this society.
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Porky's2istan
16-10-2012 05:34pm
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Islam disgraces itself
Islam disgraces itself every time someone reads the quran and hadith and actually does what they command. By western standards it is the religion of a pirate, murderer, assassin, paedophile, glutton, wife stealer, slave owner, rapist, war criminal, and madman. Anybody who says that islam is about peace and tolerance has never read the quran and hadith. There will never be peace on earth while islam practiced anywhere.
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Ahmed M Ibrahim
15-10-2012 01:45pm
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Devil's advocte
The very basic tenets of Islam calls for the recognition of Bible, Torah as holy books. Anyone trying to reinterpret this basic obligation is not a moslem but a follower of Devil and he should be dealt with accordingly.
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SDC
21-02-2013 12:57am
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Devil's advocate
Thank you, from a Christian.

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