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Egypt: Christians, Actors Targeted as Islam Rises

Actresses, comedians and Christians among the targets of a new rash of accusations of “insult to Islam” in Muslim Brotherhood Egypt.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/2/2012, 2:44 PM

Egyptian soldiers at the Rafiah border
Egyptian soldiers at the Rafiah border
Flash 90

As Islamist parties gain power in Egypt, the country has seen a wave of lawsuits accusing various figures of “insulting Islam.” In the latest case, a group of lawyers belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood have accused high-profile Egyptian women of provocative behavior.

The lawyers argue that the women “encourage sexuality and other inappropriate behaviors.” The Egyptian paper Al-Bawaba named two of the targets as actresses Ghada Abd al-Raziq and Summaya al-Khashab.

The same lawyers previously accused renowned comic actor Adel Imam of insulting Islam. Imam was given a three-month jail sentence.

A Christian man recently received a far harsher sentence for the same crime. According to Bikyamasr, Coptic Christian Makram Diab was given a six-year prison sentence for making offensive remarks about Mohammed, who Muslims revere as a prophet.

Egypt’s Christian community has also been hit by kidnappings targeting young women. According to Christian community leaders, many Christian girls have been kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to convert to Islam. Police often decline to intervene.

Muslim leaders often argue that the girls fled home of their own accord, usually after falling in love with a Muslim man.

Christians held a protest over the issue outside Parliament this week. Protesters called on MPs to look into the kidnappings and enforce the law.