Coptic schoolteacher detained for 'insulting' Islam in Egypt's Luxor

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 May 2013

Coptic-Christian social studies teacher in Upper Egypt's Luxor governorate is detained for four days pending investigation after being charged with insulting Islam

Coptic Christians protest Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi outside their cathedral in Cairo Sunday, April 7, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Public prosecutors in the Upper Egyptian Luxor governorate on Thursday ordered the detention of a Coptic-Christian schoolteacher for four days pending investigation on charges that she had insulted the Islamic faith.

Demyana Emad, a 23-year old social studies teacher, was charged with insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohamed at a primary school in south Luxor, state news agency MENA reported on Thursday.

In April, the head of the parents association at the Sheikh Sultan Primary School lodged a complaint against Emad with the Luxor Educational Directorate.

Emad, who denied the allegations against her, said several Islamic "extremists" had incited school students to testify against her.

She demanded that additional witnesses be brought to testify in her defense.

Similar accusations were made against another Coptic teacher in July of last year after he posted pictures on Facebook deemed defamatory to Islam and the Prophet Mohamed.  

That teacher was sentenced to six years in prison.

Egypt's Coptic-Christian minority – thought to account for roughly 10 percent of Egypt's population of almost 90 million – have been targets of sectarian attacks by anti-Coptic elements in recent years.

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