Seven Egyptian Christians were sentenced to death in absentia in Cairo for their participation in the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims, which was released on the internet and sparked massive protests in Muslim countries in September.
The low-budget movie was produced privately in California and made the Prophet Mohamed out to be a womanizer and a fool, reports Reuters. Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman stated in the ruling:
“The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet.”
Those convicted include Egyptian-American Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, the creator and director of the anti-Islamic film. Nakoula is already serving a one-year jail term for violating his probation from an earlier fraud charge.
The probation violations include using a fake identification, since he was not supposed to be on the internet or using a fake name without the authorization of his parole officer.
Along with the seven Egyptian Christians sentenced to death for the film, Egyptian courts are also bringing charges against Terry Jones, a controversial Florida pastor, who has been connected to the film, notes NBC News.
The case against Jones, who is known for encouraging people to burn the Quran, will be heard on December 29. The Coptic Christian Church in Egypt has not commented on the ruling, but released an earlier statement about the film, saying:
“The church denounced the movie, which it has nothing to do with. As for today’s case, it is a court ruling and the church does not comment on court decisions.”
Do you think that the seven Egyptian Christians deserve to be sentenced to death for their role in the anti-Islamic film?