Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who made national and international news for burning copied of the Koran, has been sentenced to death by an Egyptian Court. The Court convicted Jones absentia on Wednesday and tied him to the controversial anti-Islam film that the Obama administration blamed for the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans lost their lives including the U.S. Ambassador.
Jones, the pastor of Dove World Outreach in Florida, is considered a walking dead man if he ever steps foot in Egypt. While many remember Jones as the man who was going to burn Korans on the ninth anniversary of the attacks on 9-11, it was Reuters that pointed out, in September, that Jones was promoting the anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims."
The charges issued by the Egyptian court in September were viewed as only symbolic.
Egypt's official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam, and spreading false information — charges that carry the death sentence.
Maximum sentences are common in cases tried in absentia in Egypt. Capital punishment decisions are reviewed by the country's chief religious authority, who must approve or reject the sentence. A final verdict is scheduled on Jan. 29.
Jones told the Associated Press that he believes the ruling of the Egyptian court "shows the true face of Islam." Islam is intolerant of dissent and is opposed to freedom of speech, as well as, freedom of religion.
“We can speak out here in America,” Jones said Wednesday. “That freedom means that we criticize government leadership, religion even at times. Islam is not a religion that tolerates any type of criticism.”
Meanwhile, the filmmaker has been sentenced to year in federal prison for probation violations.
Many groups, including Christians and human rights groups are concerned that this will escalate persecution of opposition in Egypt. I have news for you. It's too late. There already is tremendous persecution in that area and it isn't just against Christians, but women and anyone that opposes the Muslim Brotherhood in the region.
On a personal level, I don't think burning books is something I would be engaged in. However, if that is what someone wants to do, that's up to them, but I think in the case of Jones it certainly didn't promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. With that said, it doesn't warrant a threat of death either.
My advice would be that Mr. Jones make sure he is well protected, for with these types of radicals there is no doubt that someone here in the U.S. will make an attempt on his life believing they are doing the work of Allah in carrying out the Egyptian "sentence," when all they are doing in reality is murdering him.