Monday, March 14, 2016

Egypt's Justice Minister Fired Over Comment Seen As Blasphemous

Egypt's Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend was dismissed from office yesterday by Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail after comments that were interpreted as blasphemous went viral. Ahram Online gives background:
Last week, in response to a TV host's question on whether he would jail journalists, El-Zend said, "Even if he was a prophet, peace and blessings be upon him."
The 70-year-old then briefly uttered Islamic words of repentance before adding that "the culprit, whatever his description is... I am not talking about jailing a journalist or jailing a teacher, I am saying jailing a defendant."
El-Zend subsequently asked for forgiveness, saying his comment was a slip of the tongue, but Al-Azhar (the center of Islamic learning in Egypt) issued a statement warning against even unintentional blasphemous comments.