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EGYPT: Groups accuse Muslim actor Adel Imam of apostasy

June 26, 2008 |  7:56 am

Adel_imamThe legendary Muslim movie star Adel Imam has been accused of apostasy by Facebook activists over his role as a Coptic Christian priest in the upcoming production "Hassan and Marcos," according to news reports.

Under the slogan "A call to all Muslims, boycott Christian Adel Imam," a Facebook group has recently launched a smear campaign against the actor. The group accuses him of promoting Christianity and discourages Muslims from attending the big-budget movie, which is expected to be released in early July, according to a report posted on the website of the pan-Arab satellite channel Al Arabiya.

“This man is promoting conversion to Christianity and I am calling upon you to boycott him,” read the group’s mission statement. Another group was also created for the same purpose under the slogan “Boycott Imam’s new movie.”

The film, ironically, promotes national unity between Coptic Christians and Muslims through the relationship between a Coptic priest (Marcos), played by Imam, and a Muslim cleric (Hassan), played by Academy-Award nominated Omar Sharif. The criticism of Imam comes in a tense atmosphere marked by violent clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt.

-- Noha El-Hennawy in Cairo

Photo: Actor Adel Imam (center) dresses for his part in "Hassan and Marcos." He is flanked by two Coptic Christian priests. Credit: Al Arabiya