Egypt to try 7 Copts, US pastor over Prophet film

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CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s general prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and an American pastor and referred them to trial on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that’s blamed for riots across the Muslim world.

The case is largely symbolic since the seven men and one woman are believed to be outside of Egypt and are unlikely to travel there to face the charges. Instead, the prosecutor’s action appears aimed at absorbing at least some of the public anger over the amateur film, which portrays Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.

Among those charged is Florida Pastor Terry Jones, who has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the video.

Jones said he won’t respond to Egypt and hoped the U.S. government “would take a radical stand” on a case “that carries a possible death penalty for a U.S. citizen for exercising his First Amendment rights.”

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