Egypt Islamist held for insulting Christianity freed on bail

CAIRO- A controversial Egyptian Islamist was freed on bail on Monday after he was held in custody for four days on charges of insulting Christianity, a judicial official said.
Ahmed Abdullah, an extremist preacher also known as Abu Islam, was arrested after Coptic Christian activist Nagib Gibrail accused him of insulting Christianity on a television show.

He was held for four days on orders of the state prosecutor and released on bail of 20,000 Egyptian pounds (around $3,000), the judicial official said.
The grey-bearded preacher has gained a reputation for extremist and outlandish statements against Christians and liberal opponents.
Abdullah is already on trial on separate charges of tearing apart a bible during protests outside the US embassy in September 2012 when several Muslim countries were rocked by often violent demonstrations against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.
One of the bail conditions imposed on Monday was that Abdullah attends hearings of that trial.
A court last month upheld death sentences for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians who live in the United States and were accused of producing "Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Islam movie that insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
Egyptian law forbids insults against religion, allowing police in the past to arrest Shiite Muslims and Christians for alleged slights against Islam.

Tuesday, February 26th 2013

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