Jordanian writer in anti-Islam case shot dead at court

2016-09-25 14:14
Jordanian police and civilians gathering at the scene where prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was shot dead outside a court in Amman. (Ahmad Alameen, AFP)

Jordanian police and civilians gathering at the scene where prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was shot dead outside a court in Amman. (Ahmad Alameen, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Amman - A prominent Jordanian writer was shot dead on Sunday on the steps of a court where he was facing charges for sharing an anti-Islam cartoon online, in an attack condemned as "heinous".

Nahed Hattar was struck by three bullets before the alleged assassin was arrested at the scene of the shooting in Amman's central Abdali district, said the official Petra news agency.

The assailant - bearded and dressed in a grey dishdasha worn by conservative Muslim men - shot Hattar, a 56-year-old Christian, as he made his way up the stairs of the court, a security source told AFP.

Struck in the head, he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, said the source.

The gunman, a 49-year-old Amman resident, gave himself up to police at the court, the source added.

An AFP journalist saw blood lying on the steps of the courthouse, where police had cordoned off the area of the shooting.

Charges

Hattar was arrested on August 13 and charged with inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islam before being released on bail in early September.

The cartoon Hattar posted on his Facebook page featured an illustration of God under the title "God of Daesh", using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

It depicts a bearded man in bed smoking with two women lying to either side, addressing God as a servant.

He asks for a glass of wine, cashew nuts and orders someone to clean the floor, before telling God to knock before entering next time.

Any depiction of God is prohibited in Islam.

Hattar removed the cartoon from his Facebook page after it triggered outrage on social media.

At the time, he explained on Facebook that the cartoon made fun of "terrorists and how they imagine God and heaven, and does not insult God in any way".

The attorney general had imposed a blackout media coverage of the case against Hattar, also known as a leftist and supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Prime Minister Hani al-Malki ordered his interior minister, Salam Hammad, to summon the writer and to initiate legal proceedings against him after he shared the cartoon on the internet.

'Heinous'

The Jordanian government denounced his killing as a "heinous crime".

"The law will be firmly applied to the person who committed the crime and the government will strike with an iron fist anyone who dares to take advantage of this to spread hate speech," said spokesperson Mohamad Momani.

The opposition Muslim Brotherhood and Dar al-Iftaa, the highest religious authority, also condemned the attack.

Jordan is a leading member of the US-led coalition fighting IS in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, and was the target of a June 21 suicide bombing that killed seven border guards.

The kingdom has carried out air strikes targeting IS jihadists and hosts coalition troops on its territory.

In recent years, extremists have had other publications in their sights for publishing caricatures seen as insulting to Islam, including in Europe.

In January 2015, jihadists killed 12 people, including eight staff, in an attack on the offices of magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

The French satirical weekly had drawn the fury of Muslims around the world since publishing drawings of Islam's Prophet Mohammed in 2006.

Authorities in Denmark have thwarted attacks linked to the Mohammed cartoons published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

The publication sparked deadly protests in some Muslim countries.

Read more on:    jordan  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.