Egyptian Christians sentenced to death for Islam film

CAIRO Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:16am EST

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CAIRO (Reuters) - A Cairo court on Wednesday sentenced to death seven Egyptian Christians tried in absentia for participating in an anti-Islam video that was released on the Internet in September and prompted violent protests in Muslim countries.

"The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet," Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said.

The low-budget video, produced privately in California, denigrated the Prophet Mohammad and triggered anti-U.S. protests and attacks on Western embassies around the Muslim world.

The convicted persons included Egyptian-American Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, who is currently serving a one-year-jail term in Los Angeles after an American court convicted him of probation violations that stemmed from his role in the movie.

The 13-minute video portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a sexual deviant, although cast members have said they were misled into appearing in a film they believed was an adventure drama called "Desert Warrior."

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church did not issue an official comment on the ruling.

"The Church denounced the movie, which it has nothing to do with. As for today's case, it is a court ruling and the Church does not comment on court decisions," said a Church source who asked not to be named.

Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's 83 million people and many complain of discrimination in work and treatment.

(Reporting and writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Jason Webb)

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Comments (2)
Cognizant1 wrote:
I truly wonder if Cairo has heard of the saying. “Sticks and Stones may break my Bones but Names will never hurt me!”. I am a Christian and I didn’t approve of the movie that was made, but there is a right to the freedom of Speech. Many things have been said about my saviour Jesus and our Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost and yet many Christians do not convict in court just for being a different religion or name calling or depicting. Leave the judgement and wrath to God for no man has the right to pick up that stone. For we all have sinned and fallen short. Jesus said “Forgive those who sin against you as I have forgiven you.”

Nov 28, 2012 11:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
itsy_bitsy wrote:
This outcome can be laid right at the door of the Oval Office in the White House! I hope Obama is happy! He has irresponsibly put a death sentence on those men as much as if he had passed sentence himself. Media how can you keep supporting him so totally?

Nov 28, 2012 12:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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