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Egyptian television preacher charged with blasphemy against Christianity

Egyptian television preacher charged with blasphemy against Christianity

Ahmed Abdallah, a Muslim television preacher in Egypt, has been charged with blasphemy against Christianity. Abdallah was videotaped tearing up and burning a Bible in a protest in Cairo earlier this month.

Abdallah told Al Jazeera that he'd do it again if Bibles were not so expensive.

"If I am convicted, it could cause further trouble. That man who burned the Holy Koran, Terry Jones, is protected in the United States; yet I, an icon of this nation, am accused of blasphemy against religion," he said.

Abdallah's case is rare in that it involves allegations of blasphemy against Christianity. Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country so blasphemy trials usually are targeted against people insulting Islam. But computer science graduate Alber Saber, 27, was arrested at his Cairo home on September 13 after neighbors accused him of uploading sections of the film "Innocence of Muslims" and making another movie mocking all religions. He is accused of blasphemy against both Islam and Christianity. His mother is too afraid to go back to their home, telling Al Jazeera that her son is a target of a witch hunt. "It's very difficult to hear these accusations against my son. Is this the change we strived for when we called for freedom and social justice?" she asked. "How can the prosecution ask me what I think about Prophet Mohammad and about my religious practices? Only God can ask me that."

The preacher's case, along with cases of blasphemy by Egypt's Christian minority, has led some to say the nation's laws need to be revised to insure the regulations are not being abused by lawmakers and prosecutors.

"These blasphemy laws are too broad," said human rights lawyer Gamal Eid. "Prosecutors can exploit them to bring charges against anyone who criticizes religion or practices freedom of expression."


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • Ross

    Oh are any Christians going to go kill a Muslim in a far away country to show our pain ? Stupid Muslims ……. Islam yea its like a starter religion… you can only progress upward from it …

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    You know, these people need to give up their blasphemy laws because they are nothing but human concepts. They are deciding what is blasphemy and what is not, which really needs to stop. So the man burned Biles and Terry Jones burned Qurans. Big deal. It's not like they went to the rest room with either one, sat down, and instead of reading it, they used it like the Sears catalogue (although some atheists, not myself due to texture, would love to do that).

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