Egypt film star sentenced for `defaming Islam`

Egyptian comedy giant Adel Imam, arguably the Arab world`s most famous actor, was sentenced with hard labour in absentia.

Updated: Feb 02, 2012, 23:00 PM IST

Cairo: A Cairo court has sentenced Egyptian
comedy giant Adel Imam to three months in jail for "defaming
Islam" in several roles he played on stage and screen, the
actor said on Thursday.

Imam, arguably the Arab world`s most famous actor, was
sentenced with hard labour in absentia, he said, after he was
sued by Asran Mansur, a lawyer with Islamist ties.
"I will appeal the ruling," Imam said.

"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," he said.

"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
criticised 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.

PTI