Posted by: becketfund | October 22, 2008

Jordan: Calls to Release Poet

AMMAN – Writers in Jordan are calling for the immediate release of the poet Samhan, whose recent collection of poetry, Grace Like A Shadow, has been accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, the BBC reported on October 22.  One of Jordan’s leading religious figures, the grand mufti, has accused Mr Samhan of blaspheming against “God, the angels and Prophet Muhammad.”  Jordanian law bans publication of any material seen as harmful to Islam.  Saoud Qubeilat, the head of the Jordanian writers association, told the daily al-Ghand that Samhan’s poetry relied on figures of speech and could only be taken as blasphemous if read superficially, and that the arrest of Samhan would stifle freedom of expression in Jordan.  The penalty in Jordan for insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad is up to three years in jail.


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