Egyptian police officials on Monday arrested a Salafist cleric who told his Islamist followers that it's permissible to sexually molest or rape female protesters, according to an Israeli police source.
An Egyptian court magistrate had issued an arrest warrant on Sunday against the Salafi preacher, Ahmad Mahmoud Abdullah, who recently said it is permissible to rape female protesters, charging him with the defamation of religion, said Lyle Moshe, an Israeli police official who monitors radical Islam in the Middle East and North Africa.
Abdullah, who is also known as Abu Islam, is the owner of a television channel al-Ummah, furthered his hateful diatribe when he attacked women and Egyptian Christians, known as Coptics.
The radical Salafist leader is currently being prosecuted for defacing and ripping up a Holy Bible in the midst of an explosive protest outside the American embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012, as a result of a YouTube video made in the United States that denigrated the Prophet Mohammed, according to Moshe.
The Egyptian attorney general said he was swamped with police reports and citizens' complaints accusing Abu Islam (Abdullah) of verbally attacking Egypts Christian minority through statements he had made to Tahrir, an Egyptian newspaper, as well as on his own al-Ummah TV channel.
This new criminal investigation is the result of a report filed by a complainant, Coptic Christian activist Nagib Gibrail, who accuses Abu Islam of insulting Christians on television.
In a televised appearance, Abu Islam is said to have called Valentine’s Day a holiday “for the Christians to celebrate adultery and prostitution.”
Egypt has outlawed insults against religions and allows police to arrest Shiite Muslims or Christians for alleged slights.
The upheaval in the Arab world and the political changes in several Muslim nations have given extremists an opportunity to change the names of their terror organizations. That includes the Salafist movement, according to an Israeli National Police source on Monday via telephone.