Egypt’s general prosecutor issued arrest warrants Tuesday for seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor and referred them to trial on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that has sparked 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 unlikely to travel to the country to face the charges. Instead, the prosecutor’s decision to take legal appears aimed at absorbing at least some of the public anger over the amateur film, which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the accused, which includes the film’s alleged producer, face charges of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information. The office said they could face the death penalty, if convicted. No date for the trial has been set.