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Cairo court postpones trial of alleged Egyptian Bible-burner

posted 30 Sept 2012, 08:05 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 30 Sept 2012, 08:06 ]

A Cairo court adjourns the trial of the owner of an Islamist television station, Abu Islam, who is accused of burning a copy of the Bible during protests outside the U.S. embassy against an anti-Islamic film.

CAIRO, EGYPT (SEPTEMBER 30, 2012) (REUTERS) - An Egyptian court on Sunday (September 30) postponed the trial of a man accused of burning a copy of the Bible outside the U.S. embassy during demonstrations protesting an anti-Islamic film broadcast earlier this month.

Abu Islam Ahmed, the owner of private satellite channel al-Ummah, is charged with defamation of the Christian faith for tearing up and then setting on fire a copy of the Bible.

Also accused in charges of defamation are his son Abu Yusuf, who is the executive director of the channel, and journalist Hani Yassin Gadallah, of the independent daily Al-Tahrir.

Abu Yusuf was accused to have taken part in the Bible burning outside of the U.S. embassy, while Gadallah conducted an interview in which Abu Islam made inflammatory comments about the Christian faith.

Egypt's prosecutor general's office referred the case to the courts in response to a formal complaint filed by an Egyptian lawyer.

"What we are experiencing from the West in term of insults to Islam makes any Muslim very angry and distances them from objectivity and logic," said Abu Islam's lawyer, Morad Hamed.

The courthouse in the capital was filled with Abu Islam's supporters, who chanted as he entered the courts.

Abu Islam, who will face trial later this year.

"The copies of the books which are in the hands of the Christian Arabs are not at all the real holy books. I will file a case to prove that the holy name of Allah that is mentioned in (their) books is fake and fabricated, because Allah who is being worshipped by them is not the same Allah who we are worshipping," he said.

Christians gathered outside of the courts jeered at Abu Islam while pointing at him, chanting: "Here is the liar."

Egypt's Security Prosecutor said there is evidence against all three defendants including mobile video footage showing the accused in the act of ripping and burning the Bible.

The trial will be resumed on October 14.