A Jordanian writer charged with offending Islam after sharing a satirical cartoon on his Facebook page has been killed.
Nahid Hattar was hit by three bullets outside the court in the capital, Amman, where he was standing trial, the BBC reported.
The cartoon shows Allah catering for the whims of a man joined by two black-eyed girls in bed. The man, who has a thick, unruly beard, asks Allah for more treats in “paradise”.
It seems to draw on the concept of “houris”, or black-eyed virgins, promised in the Islamic tradition among the rewards given by Allah to the “pious” (Suras 52:17-24, 55:54-74, 56:10-24).
Jordan, a country in the anti-Islamic State alliance, had filed the case against Hattar for offending Islam, through what media reports described as an anti-IS cartoon.
The country’s highest official religious fatwa authority criticised Hattar for what it said was an “insult to the Divine Entity, Islam and religious symbols”.
Hattar, born into Jordan’s small Christian minority but known for his left-wing secular views, had shared the cartoon on his Facebook page, prompting outrage in the predominantly Muslim country.
He said he had not meant to cause offence and wanted to expose “radical Islamists’ view” of heaven.
He was outside the Palace of Justice court-house on Sunday (25 Sept.), having remained in custody for 15 days in August, when a “bearded imam” shot him dead.
Family and supporters of the assassinated writer said police did not shoot the attacker, while an ambulance took too much time to arrive.
In an interview by BBC World Service Newshour, Hattar’s son called for Jordan’s Prime Minister to resign, accusing the state of not doing enough to stop hostilities against his father ahead of the trial.
Charges of blasphemy have been levelled across different parts of the Muslim world, targeting members of minorities and liberals, for criticising, ridiculing or speaking out against ideas espoused by jihadists but not categorically disowned by representatives of Islam’s mainstream institutions.