Egypt court upholds 1-year jail ruling for Islam researcher

An Egyptian court has confirmed a one-year prison term for a former TV host who was convicted of "defaming religious symbols" and Muslim scholars after he called for removal of what he described as "extremist material" in texts of religious interpretation and heritage.

The court of appeals upheld the March sentence Sunday for Islam Behery, a researcher on Islamic heritage who hosted a TV show discussing religious texts. He's a vocal advocate for religious reforms and often argued that some texts of interpretation by historic Islamic scholars — including ones upheld and revered by Al-Azhar, the pre-eminent seat of Sunni scholarship — contain passages that promote extremism.

The ruling is the latest in a rash of cases cracking down on freedom of expression in the Arab world's most populous country.