(Photo: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)
Controversial Cleric Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, also known as Abu Islam, has been sentenced in Egypt to three years in prison and fined for disturbing public peace, as well as being sentenced to another three years on charges of inciting sectarian strife.
Justice Ahmed Talaat, of the North Cairo Court, handed down the sentence this week resulting in the contempt of Christianity charge after a highly publicized trial.
Judge Assem el-Gebali of The Misdemeanor Court of Nasr City, previously sentenced the Salafi preacher, who is also the owner of Al-Ummah TV channel, to five years in prison with hard labor resulting from a contempt of Christianity charge, after the controversial preacher burned a Bible during demonstrations at the U.S. embassy.
That means the total years of imprisonment for Abu Islam is 14 years when all the cases are combined.
Lawyer, Girguis Bebawi, explained that the Cairo Court ruling against Abu Islam was a victory for Coptic Christians because Abu Islam had insulted Christianity, defamed Coptic women by calling them prostitutes, and additionally insulted Jesus Christ.
Bebawi expressed his hope that the appeal on Abu Islam's ruling would be fair, and that it should be remembered the cleric strongly insulted Christianity and its icons, burned the Bible in front of the U.S. embassy, and claimed that female protestors in Tahrir were Christian prostitutes who desire to be harassed.