‘Innocence of Muslims’ filmmaker among seven sentenced to death in Egypt

By Daniel S Levine,

Mark Basseley Youssef, the man who made Innocence of Muslims, the video that enraged many in the Muslim world, is among seven who have been sentenced to death if they ever step foot in Egypt.

According to NBC News, a Cairo court sentenced the seven people on Wednesday in absentia.

The court lists a “Nicola Basily” as one of the men convicted. This is meant to refer to Youssef, the 55-year-old man believed to be behind Innocence of Muslims, a poorly made movie that insulted the prophet Muhammad. Youssef was convicted earlier this month of parole violations related to a 2010 bank fraud conviction and was sentenced to a month in prison.

“The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet,'' Egyptian Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said, notes NBC.

The New York Daily News reports that the controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones was also sentenced to death. Jones gained notoriety for burning copies of the Koran. He also publicly promoted Innocence of Muslims.

Jones told the AP that the ruling “shows the true face of Islam,” reports the Daily News.

The others sentenced to death are Egyptian Coptic Christians who no longer live in the country.

According to NBC, a church source told Reuters, “The church denounced the movie, which it has nothing to do with. As for today's case, it is a court ruling and the church does not comment on court decisions."



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