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Egyptian court confirms controversial preacher’s jail term

Published: Updated:

An Egyptian court confirmed a previous one-year jail term ruling for preacher Abdullah Badr, the latest update in a controversial case which raised public interest.

Badr was previously sentenced for defaming actress Elham Shahin during his talk show on an Islamic television channel. He criticized the actress by saying: “Elham Shahin is cursed and she will never enter heaven.”

The popular Egyptian Islamist preacher is known for unleashing fiery statements on the media. Earlier this month in an online video, he said he would kill the country’s judges if he were president because they refused to shut down the television program of satirist Bassem Youssef.

Sheikh Abdullah Badr said the country’s judges who are often accused by Islamists of being part of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime “lack conscience” and deserve to be killed.

Sheikh Badr attacked Egypt’s liberal media, saying they are trying to spread Western culture and dismantle the country’s social values.

Even Islamist President Mohammed Mursi wasn’t immune from Sheikh Badr’s criticism. The fiery Sheikh said President Mursi “wasted life and religion for us.”

Mursi pledged to implement the Islamic Shariah law during his election campaign, but when in power the president found himself facing a daring liberal opposition and widespread social unrest that is threatening his rule.

Mursi’s unrealized Shariah pledge has frustrated hardline Islamists who had hoped that an Islamist president would realize their dream Khalifat state.