Comparative religion is not taught in schools in the Middle East. Which is a pity because a little understanding of Christianity would have informed Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah that Christians from different Churches or Denominations have very different theological tenets resulting in very different bibles.
Had he known this, he might not have publicly torn up a bible during the riots last week outside the US Embassy in Cairo. And he might not be arraigned for blasphemy in an Egyptian Court next Tuesday.
And having done so, it is difficult to know how such an act could be construed as blasphemous.
The first question must be, which bible?
There is no definitive bible. There are as many versions of the bible as there are Churches or denominations, and they differ in significant theological ways and quite often in the events included. Each worshipper will cleave to ‘their’ bible and have almost no knowledge of its difference to any other.
In any case, whatever the version, the Christian bible is accepted as written by men – holy and learned men deserving respect to be sure – and some time later of the events.
Maybe a little bit of knowledge would also stop Christian extremists from defacing a Qu’ran, or worse – but maybe they are after mischief.
For the record, and considering only mainstream Churches, after 4th century AD there were: the Coptic Church (Oriental Orthodox Church); the Orthodox churches (Greek, Syrian, Russian); the Roman Catholic Church.
In mid 16th Century, the Protestant Churches split from the Roman Catholic Church resulting in a plethora of denominations: Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Church of Scotland, Mormons, Baptist Quaker, Wesleyan to name but a few. For a more complete list see: http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/denominations_stats.htm