Egyptian Christian Teacher Sentenced for Blasphemy

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- An Egyptian appeals court has upheld the blasphemy conviction of a Coptic Christian living in exile, sentencing her to six months in prison and overturning an earlier ruling that only imposed a fine, according to Yahoo News.

The appellate court in Luxor ruled Sunday that elementary school teacher Dimyana Abdel-Nour had indeed insulted Islam in front of her pupils, according to Egypt's state news agency.

Abdel-Nour was convicted of blasphemy last year and ordered to pay a fine of about $14,000(US); she appealed, but so did the prosecution that successfully argued that her crime called for prison time in addition to a fine.

Abdel-Nour has been incognito while her appeal wound through the serpentine Egyptian legal system, according to Safwat Samaan, chairman of Nation Without Borders, a human rights group in Luxor. Samaan said Al-Nour was prepared to permanently become a refugee if her case wasn't dismissed.

"She has been in France since the case started. If she is sentenced, she will apply for a political asylum."

Al-Nour's nightmare began last year when several Muslims accused her of blaspheming Islam and its prophet. Their accusations stemmed from a lesson about Egyptian history and ancient religion even though it was part of the official school curriculum.