Jordanian writer, on trial for insulting God, is shot dead
Nahid Hattar, above, was hit earlier today by three bullets outside court in the capital Amman where he was standing trial for allegedly sharing a satirical cartoon on his Facebook page.
According to the BBC, Hattar’s killer was arrested and police are investigating the murder.
The prominent writer and political activist was detained in August for 15 days on charges of insulting God.
The cartoon he shared depicts a bearded man lying in bed with two women and smoking, asking God to bring him a drink.
Hattar was attacked on social media for being anti-Islam.
He said he had not meant to cause offence and wanted to expose radical Islamists’ view of heaven.
But the authorities insisted he had broken the law by sharing the cartoon.
Meanwhile, the Independent reports that Tanveer Ahmed, above, who murdered Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah for “disrespecting Islam” has released messages from prison calling on supporters to behead other “insulters”.
Now, he is encouraging others to do the same in extremist audio messages that appear to have been recorded and released after he was jailed for at least 27 years.
In Ahmed’s most recent speech, uploaded to YouTube earlier this month, he celebrates sending Shah :
To hell with the help of Allah, the prophet, angels and saints. I have the honour of sending him to the hell forever.
Ahmed goes on to call Ahmadi Muslims “frauds” for their beliefs, which hold the sect’s founder as a prophet following Mohammed, and accused them of:
Contaminating the faithful. Whoever and wherever is listening my voice must make a resolve to protect the finality of prophethood. We will save the Lord’s followers from going down to the hell – will protect their faith.
The message then calls on listeners to repeat a chant vowing to “offer their lives and souls”, ending:
There’s only one punishment for insulters: cut off their heads, cut off their heads, cut off their heads.
It was one of five messages, uploaded to the same YouTube account in May, June, August and most recently on 7 September. They are believed to have been recorded on a mobile phone, possibly during a call made by Ahmed from Barlinnie Prison.
Margaret Ferrier, the Scottish National Party MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, is demanding an investigation into how the “disturbing” messages were released. In a letter to Colin McConnell, chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, she said officials must ensure that convicts are not able to broadcast “extremist rhetoric”.
It is worrying that the persecution the Ahmadi Muslim community face in Pakistan appears to now be manifesting itself in the UK. The brutal murder of Asad Shah is the only reminder needed that this issue needs to be treated with the utmost seriousness.
If we are sincere about tackling extremism, then we must ensure that hate speech like this is not given a platform. Freedom of speech gives nobody the right to incite hatred towards any faith group.
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said he could not comment on individual cases.
We work closely with Police Scotland to detect and prevent crime. We make overt recordings of phone calls made in prison.
Police Scotland have also launched an investigation into Ahmed’s audio messages, which could constitute hate speech or incitement. A spokesperson said:
We have been made aware of the communications and are currently assessing the matter.
The videos have generated fresh alarm in the UK’s Ahmadi Muslim community, following a Facebook page praising the murder of Mr Shah and leaflets calling for Ahmadis to convert or be killed distributed in London.
Farooq Aftab, from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community group, told The Independent:
Under no circumstances can hate speech ever be justified. We hope that the authorities clamp down all forms of extremism, hatred and hate speech.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn