Islamic hardliners in Egypt are calling for the severed tongue of a Christian telecom mogul who posted a Muslim-ized Mickey Minnie Mouse online.
Nasguib Sawiris, founder of Mobinil and a prominent promoter of a secular Egypt, tweeted an apology for an online cartoon that showed Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie Mouse in a face veil.
"I apologize for those who don't take this as a joke; I just thought it was a funny picture; no disrespect meant. I am sorry," he tweeted.
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But hardliners started Facebook groups attacking Sawiris, and others have filed lawsuits accusing him of religious contempt, according to The Associated Press.
"If you are really a Muslim, and you love your religion, boycott his projects," said a message from a Facebook group called We are Joking Sawiris. "We have to cut out the tongue of any person who attacks our religion."
Another Facebook group calls itself "We Hate You Mickey Sawiris."
Sawiris launched a political party calling for the separation of mosque and state after the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Sectarian violence between the majority Muslims and the minority coptic Christians has plagued the country since the revolution began.