CAIRO: A Cairo court has sentenced Egyptian comedy giant Adel Imam to three months in jail for "defaming Islam" in several roles he played on stage and screen, the actor told AFP on Thursday.
Imam, arguably the Arab world’s most famous actor, was sentenced with hard labor in absentia, he said, after he was sued by Asran Mansur, a lawyer with Islamist ties.
"I will appeal the ruling," Imam said.
"Some people seeking fame filed a suit against me over works I have done which they consider insulting to Islam, and this is of course not true," he said.
"All the works in which I have starred went through the censors. Had they been found to be defamatory, the censors would have banned them."
The 71-year-old celebrity said that among the films criticized are the 1994 production Al-Irhabi (The Terrorist), in which he portrays a fundamentalist and the play "Al-Zaeem" (The leader), a comedy in which Imam pokes fun at the region’s autocratic leaders.