Cairo court upholds jail term for actor Adel Imam on charges of insulting Islam


A Cairo court upholds a three-month jail sentence for Egyptian film star and the Arab world’s most famous comedian, Adel Imam, on charges of insulting Islam , Al Arabiya TV reported on Monday.

Imam, who is considered to be one of the Arab world’s biggest film stars, with 40 years of box office hits in and plays under his belt, was sentenced in absentia by a lower court in February.

“Some people seeking fame filed a suit against me over works I have done which they consider insulting to Islam, and this is of course not true,” Imam was told AFP after the first ruling against him.

“All the works in which I have starred went through the censors. Had they been found to be defamatory, the censors would have banned them.”

The 71-year-old celebrity said that among the works criticized are the 1994 production “al-Irhabi” (The Terrorist), in which he portrays an Islamic fundamentalist and the play “al-Zaeem” (The Leader), a comedy in which Imam pokes fun at the region's autocratic leaders.

Egyptian telecommunications and construction tycoon Naguib Sawiris, a founder of the liberal Free Egyptians political party, is facing similar charges of defaming Islam after he posted pictures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in Muslim attire on Twitter.