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Egypt jails Christian for religious contempt

Africa

Cairo - An Egyptian court has sentenced a Christian man to six years in prison on charges of showing contempt for religion and insulting the Prophet Mohammed, reported the semi-official newspaper Al-Ahram on Thursday.

The court, in the southern Egyptian province of Assiut, said that Makram Diab, a school employee, had made offensive remarks against Islam's prophet, according to the report.

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The remarks infuriated Diab's Muslim colleagues, who went on strike until he was arrested and prosecuted.

Earlier this week a Cairo court dismissed a lawsuit against the Christian business tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, who was accused of insulting Islam by tweeting images of Mickey Mouse with a beard and his counterpart Minnie wearing a veil.

Sawiris faces two other lawsuits over the same images.

Recent parliamentary elections have produced a strong showing for Islamists in Egypt, sparking concerns over freedom among liberals and Christians, who make up around 10 per cent of the country's 80-million-strong population. - Sapa-dpa

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