(ABC NEWS) The verdict of a popular Egyptian comedian convicted of offending Islam has been upheld by a Cairo court, raising fears among Egyptian liberals and secularists about the Islamic tide rising since the downfall of former President Hosni Mubarak last year

Imam, one of the Arab world’s most famous actors, was first convicted in February of “contempt of religion” – illegal under Egypt’s penal code – and appealed. The case was brought against him by an ultra-conservative Islamist lawyer named Asran Mansour for three films Imam made in the early- to mid-1990s. The titles are “The Terrorist,” “Morgan Ahmed Morgan” and “Terrorism and Kebab.”

Imam, 71, played a fundamentalist terrorist in the first and a corrupt businessman in the third. Mansour accused Imam of blasphemous mocking of Muslim symbols like beards and the jilbab, a loose-fitting robe worn by some Muslims.

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