Coptic Christian teenagers face trial in Egypt for ‘insulting Islam’

Men mourn over the Egyptian Coptic Christians who were captured in Libya and killed by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group, at the Virgin Mary church in the village of el-Aour, near Minya, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. (Associated Press)

Four Egyptian kids face up to five years in a detention facility for making fun of the Islamic State in a video. Their teacher could be sent to prison.

The five Coptic individuals, Christian descendants of non-Arab people whose Pharaohs ruled ancient Egypt, were charged with “insulting Islam” after their Muslim neighbors took the video to police.

The four boys, aged between 15 and 16, could serve time in a youth detention center if the court finds them guilty of violating Egypt’s blasphemy law, Fox News reported Saturday. The five have already spent weeks in police holding cells.

Egyptian Christian and civil rights groups are leading calls for their release saying the Sunni Islamic majority in Egypt uses the blasphemy law to persecute religious minorities, among them Christians.

“They are some kids who decided to have fun in a private place,” Mina Thabet, a Coptic activist and research at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, told Fox.

“They were on a trip with their teacher, but somehow rumor got out that they’d thrown down the Koran, and had insulted Islam, so that led to their arrests,” Ms. Thabet said…