NEWS BRIEF Demonstrations broke out this week in Amman, Jordan, as hundreds of protesters called on the government to resign over its failure to prevent the killing of Nahed Hattar, a prominent Jordanian writer, Agence France-Presse reports.
“The people want the fall of the government … No security, they killed Nahed in Amman,” protesters chanted Monday.
Hattar, a secular activist from the country’s Christian minority, was standing outside the Jordan’s Palace of Justice Sunday in the country’s capital, where he awaited trial for sharing a cartoon on social media last month deemed by some to be anti-Islamic, a crime punishable under Jordan’s anti-blasphemy laws. As he entered the court house, a 49-year-old man identified by local media sources as Riad Abdullah, a former imam, shot Hattar three times. Security sources told the Jordanian Times the gunman confessed after the shooting, and said he targeted Hattar for posting the controversial caricature.
The controversy started last month when Hattar posted a satirical cartoon titled “God of Daesh,” a term in Arabic used to describe the Islamic State, which views it as derogatory. The caricature depicts a bearded men in heaven lying in bed with two women as he orders God to bring him a glass of wine and some cashews, as though he were instructing a servant. Hatter’s relatives said the writer posted the cartoon to mock ISIS’s distorted religious views of what awaited them in the afterlife and that he had no intention of insulting Islam, which strictly prohibits depictions of God or the Prophet Mohammed.