Egyptian prosecutor’s office has issued arrest warrants for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor for their alleged role in an anti-Islam video that has sparked deadly riots across the Muslim world.
The warrants were released on Tuesday, referring the defendants to trial on charges linked to the film entitled “Innocence of Muslims” which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womaniser and buffoon.
Riots triggered by the video resulted in the deaths last week of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his colleagues. The four men were attacked in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, where an armed rebellion that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi last year started.
More protests against the video have been held in Arab and Muslim countries – including Afghanistan, Yemen and Indonesia – with demonstrators calling on the US to punish the people behind the video.
The case is largely symbolic since the seven men and one woman are believed to be outside of Egypt and unlikely to travel to the country to face the charges. The decision to take legal action appears aimed at placating some of the public anger over the amateur film whose trailer has attracted tens of millions of views on YouTube.
Among those charged is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian Copt living in southern California and believed to be behind the film. Others include Florida-based Pastor Terry Jones, who has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the video and Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the US who pushed the video on his website.Continue reading