Justice Minister Ahmad al-Zend has been fired for making a comment that even Prophet Mohammed could be jailed.
Egypt’s Minister of Justice, Ahmad al-Zend, finds himself yet again with his foot in his mouth after making controversial statements about Prophet Mohammed, causing his dismissal and ‘relief’ of position as minister, according to Ahram Online.
During a live conversation with a TV host, and upon being asked whether it was acceptable to jail journalists, al-Zend replied that "even if it was the prophet himself, peace be upon him," after which he made statements of repentance.
The comment, which sparked a lot of debate and drew angry comments, led to Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s decision to fire al-Zend. The cabinet, however, has not yet revealed the exact reasons behind their decision, according to Ahram Online.
This is not the first time that ex-minister al-Zend makes such controversial statements. A couple of months ago, al-Zend stated that he will not be satisfied until 400,000 of the Muslim Brotherhood members have been killed, according to Al Jazeera. "I swear 400,000 will not suffice…I swear by God almighty that, personally, the fire in my heart will not be extinguished unless for each one [soldier killed] there are at least 10,000 [Brotherhood members killed]," he added. The statement was condemned by Human Rights Watch, according to Al Jazeera, as it advocated the mass killing of members of the Brotherhood.
Al-Azhar has also joined in condemning al-Zend’s blasphemous statement, stating that "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," according The Telegraph.
Ahmad al-Zend issued an apology for his statement on Saturday, according to Ahram Online.