Terry Jones, Koran-Burning Florida Pastor, Sentenced to Death in Egypt

Terry Jones is going to have to put off that tour of the pyramids. The firebrand, Koran-burning, riot-inciting minister of hate in Gainesville has been sentenced to death in Egypt over his role in promoting a film tied to deadly protests around the Islamic world this summer.

Jones, predictably, used the sentence to issue a new diatribe against all Muslims, saying it "shows the true face of Islam."

See also:
- Terry Jones Unapologetic After Libya Violence, Calls Muhammad "Mentally Ill"

The Egyptian court tried Jones in absentia on Wednesday on charges tied to the "Innocence of Muslims," the hamhanded anti-Islam movie that helped spark waves of deadly clashes from Tunisia to Libya.

The video first came to notice across the Middle East because it was included in an email promoting the latest anti-Islam stunt by Jones, who was already well known for threatening to burn a Koran on 9/11's anniversary and then going through with the bonfire this past March.

The Egyptian court found Jones guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam, and spreading false information.

Though the death sentence sounds severe, it's common in absentia cases, the AP reports, and is largely seen as a symbolic condemnation.

Jones lashed out about the trial, calling it another sign of Islam's intolerance.

"We can speak out here in America," Jones tells the AP. "That freedom means that we criticize government leadership, religion even at times. Islam is not a religion that tolerates any type of criticism."

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink