Prominent Christian writer shot dead in Jordan after being charged with insulting Islam

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A prominent Jordanian writer was
shot dead by a suspected Islamist gunman on Sunday,

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September 25th, outside the
courtroom where he was due to stand trial for
insulting Islam by sharing a cartoon on
Facebook.
Nahed Hattar, a 56-year-old intellectual from
Jordan’s Christian minority, was gunned down on
the steps of a courthouse in Amman in what
appeared to be a religiously motivated attack.
Hattar was arrested in August for sharing a
cartoon on Facebook showing a bearded man in
heaven smoking, lying in bed with women and
calling on God to bring him wine and cashew. He
captioned the cartoon which he deleted shortly
after posting it:
“It mocks terrorists and their concept of
God and heaven. It does not infringe God’s
divinity in anyway”
Mr Hattar said the cartoon was intended to mock
jihadists and their twisted interpretation of Islam
but Jordan’s government charged him with
insulting the faith and “provoking sectarian rifts”.
The writer rejected the charges and planned to
fight the case.
“I am mocking the terrorists and their
conception of hell and heaven,” Mr Hattar
wrote shortly before his death. “I’m not
insulting the supreme Allah, at all, on the
contrary, I’m against the type of God that
the terrorists worship
The gunman was arrested at the scene has been
identified as Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old
imam who recently returned from making the Hajj
pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Mr Hattar’s family immediately blamed Jordan’s
government for failing to protect the writer, saying
the decision to publicly charge him with offending
Islam had made him a target for Muslim
extremists.
“We hold the Ministry of Interior
responsible,” said Jamal Attar, a cousin.
“This is the first assassination in Jordan
that targets a person over nothing but his
opinion, for freedom of speech. The prime
minister was the first one who incited
against Nahed when he ordered his arrest
and put him on trial for sharing the
cartoon.” the victim’s cousin Saad Hattar
said. ”

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Jordan’s government condemned his murder,
calling it an “ugly crime” and promised
“investigating the incident and holding the
criminal accountable for his offense”

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