Jordanian writer, on trial for insulting God, is shot dead

Jordanian writer, on trial for insulting God, is shot dead September 25, 2016

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

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Broga

    I sometimes think that the civilised occupants of the UK tacitly say to the sadistic, violent Muslims, “Here is my face. Feel free to punch it. We will retaliate very moderately and also allow you to take advantage of all the freedoms of the UK. We note that you are determined to live in the UK while you strive, without restraint, to destroy these freedoms.”

  • Matthew Carr

    Off with his phone privileges.
    Off with his phone privileges.
    Off with his phone privileges.

  • Club Secretary

    Ahmed’s lawyer has launched an appeal regarding his “excessive” sentence (at the taxpayers expense no doubt).
    There is a chance that the appeal court may increase his sentence but I doubt it.

  • Paul

    I have always found this type of belief disturbing that people can believe such things to such an extreme that they kill others. History appears to teach nothing.
    It is sad these beliefs are so out of touch with all that makes us human. The regression is staggering.
    How I wonder do we educate these types of people ? We probably cannot.
    My (imaginary) sky fairy is real and better than your (imaginary) sky fairy so I will kill you to prove it.

  • The Religion of Fear and Death strikes yet again…..

  • barriejohn

    You have to wonder what it is that the religious are so afraid of, and I think we all know the answer to that. They realize, in their heart of hearts, that their “mighty edifice” of faith is nothing but a frail illusion, ready to crumble in the face of the mighty storm of reason. In the end, violence is their only resort, as nothing else is going to save them from the onslaught. Nahid Hattar was another hero, now sadly a martyr to the cause of rationalism.

  • Many atheists are far too optimistic in my opinion. They do not quite realise just how insane human nature can be, and just how dreadful the human condition can often appear to those afflicted with its slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Millions of people need religion to give their hopeless lives meaning, alas. Arthur Schopenhauer was perhaps correct all those years ago: Existence is a catastrophe and it would be far better if life had never come into being. Is there anything good on the TV tonight?

  • AgentCormac

    Can’t wait for the justice system to decide if someone is gulity? Got it in your head that someone you don’t even know doesn’t believe in your deity in precisely the same way you do? Ah, what the heck – just do it the good old pre-historic way: take matters into your own hands and slaughter them right there in the street. That’s islam for you, folks. But whatever you do, don’t you ever dare take offence at their sincerely held beliefs or attempt to criticise their culture. That would be offensive!

  • Broga

    Miss Floribunda Rose. You also reflect the comment of Sophocles: “To Never Have been born may be the greatest boon of all”
    That is an opinion with which I have a measure of agreement. Much of the problem with human life seems to me to lie with the way our brains have evolved. We have consciences which wrack us with guilt. And no matter how much we have we soon take it for granted – hedonic adaptation – and want more.
    We are never satisfied. We cannot accept that “The time is always now; the place is always here.” And so we punish ourselves with a past which no longer exists and fear a future which we cannot know and may never happen.
    Meanwhile, my Labrador lies sleeping in front of a blazing log fire with the kind of relaxed contentment I can never enjoy. OK. Sermon over.

  • tonye

    ‘Meanwhile, my Labrador lies sleeping in front of a blazing log fire with the kind of relaxed contentment I can never enjoy.’
    That’s because dogs are cleverer than humans and don’t need religion.

  • L.Long

    As I said a year or more ago….they use the baloney method to rob you…They thinly slice away at your freedoms and insert their own demands. And get elected into your political offices and then institute their Sorry-Ass Laws and without notice they are the ones in charge. DO NOT RESPECT ANY RELIGION!!! It is immoral, illogical, and they are nasty bigots that want it all their way! This has been proven by the actions of religions somewhere!

  • 1859

    Remember the atheist who went to prison for murdering a believer in a god? And when he was incarcerated he used the internet to incite all fellow atheists around the world to murder other believers in gods? You don’t remember? Probably not… and we all know, too well, why not.
    @Broga: If you haven’t already seen it (you probably have), I think you might like to watch a video posted years ago on YouTube called ‘We got scared'(ca.14 mins). It tries to catalogue the ‘progress’ humans have made in butchering one another, but it does attempt to end with many optimistic examples of our scientific achievements.Also the music’s quite neat.
    I try to not be so fatalistic as you appear to be and I try to hold on, foolishly perhaps, to some of the ‘good’ things we have achieved. I sometimes allow my naive hope to convince me that one day scientific – and especially medical – discoveries will so so rapid and profound that religious interpretations of reality will come to be seen as more and more irrelevant and obsolete and so slowly wither away.

  • Yes, but I ready a series of lengthy rebuttals by Muslims (both leaders and non-leaders) saying these murders are the last because the peaceful majority is going to flex its might and stop them.
    No, of course I did not. But you better believe I will read about the oppression of Muslims by Western nations this week, next week and every week to come.
    The religion of perpetual complaint. And where whining won’t work, they have their guns and bombs and knives ready at hand.

  • Broga

    @1859 : Thanks for that. I haven’t seen it and I will check it out. Like you, I grasp whatever reasons I can for optimism. I have every reason to try to be optimistic as I have two grand children whose company I delight in and I want them to inherent a decent world.
    There are also, of course, so many admirable people including in the USA which is far from being entirely inhabited by religious fools. This site, quite rightly and by its very nature, exposes the nastiness of religion and it is easy to ignore the positive aspects of life.

  • 1859

    @Broga: I wanted to end my post on an optimistic note, however after I posted, the thought did occur to me that the more science advances the more threatened and beleaguered the religious feel and so the more readily they slide into extremism as a way of countering the tide of scientific advances. They desperately ‘dig in their religious heels’ so to speak, or smash holes through the bottom of the boat, or fly planes into tall buildings. It’s as if the only way they can ‘prove’ they are correct is to create universal death and destruction – in this way only they think they will prevail.
    Oh dear! What a pessimistic read! I just wish someone, somewhere would find a humanistic way of defusing all these jihadis and persuade them that might is not right, that tolerance of diversity is the only way out of this stew.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: Some people have cracked it. My late grandmother was a jolly woman, much loved by everybody. She had a very hard life, bringing up eight children without modern household aids, and my grandfather – another genial, easygoing, hilariously funny man, whom we all loved, and who NEVER hit any of his children and had the patience of Job – was only a labourer, but supported the family by growing all their food in their very large garden. Her eldest daughter (conceived before they were married, we found out only after she passed away!), had TB and had a lung collapsed, their second child was stillborn, and their third child had “TB hip” and spent years in a sanatorium, ending up with a pronounced limp which blighted his life. She had umpteen grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren, and her motto was “fat, glad and happy” – though she was more portly than fat, by anyone’s reckoning! She never seemed to worry about anything, nor to judge people, but just got on with life and accepted what came. When she eventually died at the age of 96, her last words were: “I think I’ve made everyone happy”, and she had. I can’t think of a person whom I would more like to emulate, can you?

  • Brian Jordan

    Here’s the latest claim about this killing.
    “The gunman was arrested at the scene and a Jordanian security source identified him as Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old imam who was wearing traditional Islamic robes at the time of the shooting.
    The alleged shooter recently returned from making the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, the source said. The gunman is believed to have acted alone rather than as part of an organised group. ”

  • Paul

    Brian Jordan
    That report quote cannot be correct.
    He is part of an organised group it’s called Islam.

  • Broga

    @barriejohn: My grandmother, long dead, also had eight children. I know what you mean as my grandmother’s focus was so much on family. She was satisfied with life.
    She did believe in the Devil as someone said the heard him when they had to visit the stables in the night and it was so cold. Apparently a sign of the devil although it was December. And he heard the devil’s chains rattling. Not a surprising sound in a stable full of horses. I think the devil belief was far from serious and more to give a frisson of fear to her listeners.