News

Egyptian Justice Minister loses job for ‘blasphemous’ remark

Egyptian Justice Minister loses job for ‘blasphemous’ remark

In what has been described as ‘a slip the tongue’, Egypt’s Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind said that he would jail Mohammed himself if the prophet broke the law.

Zind, according to the BBC, made the remark in a televised interview on Friday. He immediately said “God forgive me” and apologised the following day, but he was sacked by the Prime Minister, Sherif Ismail.

He further apologised for the “blasphemous” remark in a telephone conversation with the CBC television on Saturday.

The thing that a Muslim or a non-Muslim is held culpable for is what is done willfully. I ask God Almighty for forgiveness over and over and over again … I know my apology will be accepted.

It was not immediately clear who would replace Zind, an outspoken critic of the Muslim Brotherhood.

A government statement said:

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree today to relieve Ahmed al-Zind … of his position.

It gave no further details.

Egyptian judges issued a statement opposing Zind’s removal over what the head of the Judges Club said was a slip of the tongue that could have happened to anyone.

Abdallah Fath said:

Egypt’s judges are sorry that someone who defended Egypt and its people, judiciary and nation … should be punished in this way.

But Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, al-Azhar, responded in a warning statement, without naming Zind:

All those involved in public discourse and in the media must respect the name of the Prophet. He should not be subjected to any insult even if it’s unintentional.

Zind, a former appeals court judge, has in the past denounced the revolt that ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule and ushered in the election that brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

He has also been a strong defender of the judiciary and its powerful position.

Egyptian courts have been absolving Mubarak-era officials, while imposing long sentences on liberal and Islamist activists.

The country’s  judiciary has faced criticism from rights groups over the past two years after judges issued mass death sentences against Muslim Brotherhood supporters, locking up youth activists and sentencing writers and journalists.

Zind’s predecessor was forced to resign last May after saying the son of a rubbish collector was ineligible to serve as a judge.

17 responses to “Egyptian Justice Minister loses job for ‘blasphemous’ remark”

  1. charles Longstreth says:

    It is pretty clear that the Muslims have at least three Gods; Allah,Mohammed, and the Koran. Monotheism indeed!
    Just like the Christians.
    (who may have even more in spots)

  2. Ivan says:

    “That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehova”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIaORknS1Dk

  3. Rob Andrews says:

    @carles Lonstreth:

    Certainly the R. Catholic version looks polytheistic, when you try to picture it. Heaven seems like the Greek Olympus.,populated by angels and saints.

    You have a trinity, a devil-and his host of angels also. And the ‘virgin Mary’ is worshiped like a godess.

    “The fact that ther’s a stairway to heaven and a highway to hell, says a lot about the anticipated traffic load”.

  4. Lurker111 says:

    Before we all pat ourselves on the back too hastily here, what do you think the half-life of an attorney general in the U.S., somewhere, would be if he said, “I’d arrest Jesus Himself if He broke the law”?

    One of the rare instances where having the punctuation outside of the quote is justified, methinks.

    Edit: BTW, shouldn’t “methinks” really be “Ithinks”?
    Whoops. There’s that punctuation outside of the quote marks again.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Ivan: “You’re only making it worse for yourself!”

    Lurker: It is quite acceptable to put exclamation marks, question marks and full stops outside of a quotation if they are not part of the quote. It is also acceptable to omit punctuation if including it would look cumbersome or even ridiculous, eg ‘Did Marie Antoinette say, “Have they any cake?”?’

  6. Cali Ron says:

    Rob Andrews: “The fact that there’s a stairway to heaven and a highway to hell, says a lot about the anticipated traffic load”. LOL! I wonder what the path to purgatory is?

  7. Cali Ron says:

    Ivan: My favorite Python movie! Personally, I believe it’s the gourd!

  8. AgentCormac says:

    Ivan beat me to it. A classic piece of comedy which highlights the absurdity of religion and its petty, all-controlling rules perfectly.

  9. Newspaniard says:

    Back to the point. Forgive me if I misunderstood but wasn’t the previous government thrown out because it was too fundamental and was running a cruel theocracy? Wasn’t the new government supposed to be secular? What happened? I read here that the boss theologian has right of diktat over and above the government and that ministers have to watch their P’s & Q’s or they will be severely punished. If anyone was thinking of going to see the pyramids, I should avoid it if I were you. Egypt has become another Iran.

  10. L.Long says:

    And dimwitted xtians want a theocratic dictatorship in Europe and the USA, their Sorry-Ass Law in place! Just so they can condemn people who say schite about their BS religion! Talk about a living hell!!!

  11. Peter Sykes says:

    “Religion: Together we can find the cure.” – Dr. Richard Dawkins

  12. andym says:

    “Methinks” is a good old English word. Shakespeare’s characters were methinking all the time.

  13. Trevor Blake says:

    Muhammad offers a “beautiful pattern of conduct” and “example” for mankind (Quran 33:21). He is the “exalted standard of character” (Quran 68:4). So if he was a child-rapist, a slaver, a murderer of poets, a thief, an extortionist, a liar… well, then that’s what Muslims are supposed to be too. They say so themselves, in their own holy book and with over a thousand years of history. Don’t listen to their apologists who say Islam is the Religion of Peace – listen to the Muslims themselves, read their own words, watch their own actions.

    What Would Muhammad do? Let’s find out…

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/WWMD.aspx

    Sounds like an arrest would have been in order and saved the world much grief.

  14. 1859 says:

    @barriejohn: ‘Yes, there’s something seriously wrong with Egypt these days:’
    ….It’s called a fanatical belief in a religion that masquerades as peaceful yet allows tribalistic butchery to slaughter its way across the planet. And, as I’m sure you will be the first to admit, it’s not just Egypt. Look at the resurgence of religion in Russia ( a former communist country); look at the stranglehold the RC has over all of central and south America (scores of women are in jail in El Salvador for having had abortions); and ‘hate-the-gays-Uganda’. Religion is a highly infectious disease – an ebola of the mind.

  15. barriejohn says:

    1859: Much as I despise religion and its influence upon society, there’s more to it than that. Religion, as people like Putin, and even “atheist” Joseph Stalin before him, have found, is a useful tool to influence and control the people. I have just read that President Erdogan wants to “redefine” terrorism, and what is the very first group that he wants included in his new definition? Journalists! Well – who’d have thought it? They must be laughing every time a bomb goes off or another atrocity occurs, as they just know that this strengthens their hand and gives them the excuse they crave to limit their people’s democratic rights. It’s a trick as old as the hills, and I’m amazed that it still works today.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35807987

  16. Cali Ron says:

    1859: “Ebola of the mind.” An apt description of religions insidious influence on man and mankind.