According to Jordan Times, King Abdullah of Jordan issued a royal decree yesterday endorsing a Cabinet decision appointing Sheikh Abdul Karim Khasawneh as the chief Islamic justice. The chief Islamic justice oversees the Sharia courts that deal mainly with personal status law. Before his appointment, Khasawneh served as grand mufti, heading the Iftaa Department that has authority to issue religious edicts. In a second royal decree yesterday, Mohammad Khalaileh was appointed grand mufti to replace Khasawneh.
UPDATE: The appointment of a new Islamic chief justice was triggered by the resignation of the prior chief justice, Ahmad Hilayel, after he delivered a Friday sermon that embarrassed the Jordanian government. According to Al Jazeera (Jan. 23), Hilayel criticized leaders of the Gulf States for not sharing their wealth with Jordan.