Court upholds guilty verdict against popular Egyptian comedian for defaming Islam
CAIRO — An Egyptian court upheld a conviction against one of the Arab world's most famous comedians, sentencing him to jail for offending Islam in some of his most popular films.
The case against Adel Imam and others like it have raised concerns among some Egyptians that ultraconservative Muslims who made gains in recent elections after Hosni Mubarak's ouster last year are trying to foist their religious views on the entire country. Critics say the trend threatens to curb Egypt's vibrant film industry and freedom of speech.
Imam was sentenced Tuesday to three months in jail and fined around $170 for insulting Islam in roles he played in movies such as "The Terrorist", in which he acted the role of a wanted terrorist who found refuge with a middle class, moderate family, and the film "Terrorism and Kabab."
The actor was also found guilty for his 2007 role in "Morgan Ahmed Morgan," in which Imam played a corrupt businessman who tries to buy a university diploma. The film included a scene parodying bearded Muslim men wearing traditional Islamic clothing.
The case is one of many brought by conservative lawyers in recent months seeking to punish individuals they deem as having offended Islam.