Egypt's bible-burning trial postponed to mid-November

Ahram Online, Sunday 4 Nov 2012

Trial of Muslim preacher Abu-Islam Abdullah, charged with torching New Testament in September US embassy demo, is postponed to 17 November

Abu Islam
Islamic preacher Abu-Islam (Photo: snapshot from Tahrir channel)

An Egyptian misdemeanours court on Sunday postponed trial proceedings in the ongoing case of Muslim preacher Abu-Islam Ahmed Abdullah, who faces charges of defaming the Christian faith, to 17 November pending the court's response to a request by defence lawyers for the recusal of the presiding judges in the case.

Abdullah, a radical Islamist preacher and owner of the Umma and Mariya satellite television channels, is accused of defaming Christianity by burning copies of the New Testament during a September demonstration outside the US embassy.

Abdullah's son, the executive manager of the Umma television channel, and journalist Hani Gadallah, editor of independent Egyptian daily 'Tahrir,' face similar charges.

Gadallah is also charged with publishing an interview with Abdullah in which the latter disparaged the Christian faith.

Accusations of 'insulting religion' have become increasing common in recent months. Most such cases involve Coptic-Christian defendants, with the notable exception of the Abdullah's case.

Notably, all those charged with defaming religion – except for Abdullah – were held in police custody until they were proven innocent or their respective trials concluded.

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