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Egypt: Court sentences 7 Christians, American pastor to death over anti-Islam film

Emad Adel Ghaffour, the head of Egypt’s second-largest political party in Parliament said that global leaders must understand that some things are off-limits.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: Bikyamasr | National
By Joseph Mayton | November 28, 2012

Egypt court on Wednesday sentenced 7 Christians, US pastor to death in absentia over anti-Islam film.

CAIRO: Despite widespread court closures as part of fast-growing strike against Egypt President Mohamed Morsi, a court on Wednesday convicted 7 Coptic Christians and an American-based pastor to death in absentia on charges stemming from an anti-Islam film that led to large anti-American protests in September across the Arab world.

Among those sentenced is Mark Basseley Youssef, the man behind the film. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to one-year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter.

Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver’s license under a false name. He had been on probation for a bank fraud case.

Florida-based Terry Jones, another of those sentenced, is the pastor of Dove World Outreach, a church of less than 50 members in Gainesville.

He has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the film, as well as Morris Sadek, a radical ultra-conservative Coptic Christian in the US who posted the video clips on his website, were also among those charged.

He has had his Egyptian citizenship revoked and has even called Bikyamasr.com an “Islamic terrorist site” in the past.

The film sparked massive anger and protests in Egypt, including one on September 11 that saw demonstrators scale the American Embassy in Cairo’s wall and take down the flag, replacing it with an Islamic one.

Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafists called in late September on the United Nations to criminalize “contempt” of Islam after an anti-Islam film defaming and insulting Islam and Prophet Mohamed led to protests across the Islamic world.

The Salafist Party in Egypt, al-Nour, has called on the global governing body to criminalize such actions after French magazine Charlie Hebdo published nude caricatures of Prophet Mohamed also in September, which led to a small protest near the French Embassy in Egypt.

The head of the party said in an interview that the rise of anti-Islam sentiments seen in the film and cartoons “demonstrates growing racism.”

Emad Adel Ghaffour, the head of Egypt’s second-largest political party in Parliament said that global leaders must understand that some things are off-limits.

“We call for legislation or a resolution to criminalize contempt of Islam as a religion and its Prophet,” said Ghaffour, one of four permanent assistants to the president.

“The voice of reason in the West will prevail if there is mutual respect, dialogue and efficient lobbying for this critical resolution,” he told Reuters in an interview.

The Nour Party is a puritanical Islamic group that believes in a “traditional” approach to Islam. While they have been instrumental in the political sphere in recent months, they remain at odds with the larger Muslim Brotherhood, of which Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi came out of.

Read original post here: Egypt: Court sentences 7 Christians, American pastor to death over anti-Islam film

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