Egypt bans 'blasphemous' magazine

Cairo, Egypt - An Egyptian court has withdrawn the publishing licence of a monthly magazine, Ibdaa (Creativity), because it carried a "blasphemous" poem.

In its ruling the court said the poem, printed two years ago, had included "expressions that insulted God".

Egyptian courts have in the past convicted individuals or groups of people in blasphemy cases.

But correspondents say that it is unusual for a magazine to have its licence withdrawn.

The offending poem, On the balcony of Leila Murad, by Egyptian poet Hilmi Salem, was published in the small circulation magazine in 2007.

The court's ruling said: "Freedom of press... should be used responsibly and not touch on the basic foundations of Egyptian society, and family, religion and morals."