Egyptian Christian teacher convicted of blasphemy

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian court has convicted a Coptic Christian teacher of blasphemy but didn’t hand down a prison sentence and only imposed a fine on her.

The court on Tuesday ruled that elementary schoolteacher Dimyana Abdel-Nour had insulted Islam. It ordered that she pay a fine of 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($14,000). Abdel-Nour was not in the courtroom for the verdict.

The case in the ancient southern city of Luxor began when three parents said their 10-year-olds complained at home, saying their teacher showed disgust when she spoke of Islam in class.

Angry Islamists protested the verdict outside the courthouse.

Egypt has witnessed a surge in blasphemy charges in recent months, widely seen as a reflection of the growing power of Islamists.

Blasphemy became a criminal offense under Egypt’s new, Islamist-backed constitution.

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