CAIRO – An Egyptian court has confirmed a prison term for a former TV host and a researcher in Islamic heritage found guilty of "defaming religious symbols, imams and senior scholars."
A court of appeals reduced Islam Behery's prison term to one year from five on Monday night. Behery's lawyer, Gamil Said, plans to challenge the verdict.
Before his show was suspended in April, Behery argued that historic Islamic texts, some upheld and deemed sacred by Al-Azhar, the pre-eminent seat of Sunni Islamic scholarship, contain passages that promote extremism. He said such texts need to be reviewed and that in some cases, passages from historic texts need to be discarded.
Behery's comments, and his debates with mainstream Islamic scholars, sparked public outrage earlier this year.