Now a piece of horrible news from Mauritania:
A Muslim man has become the first person to be sentenced to death for apostasy in Mauritania since independence in 1960 after a court ruled he had written something blasphemous.
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, who is around 30 years old, fainted when the ruling was read out late Wednesday in a court in Nouadhibou in the northwest of the country, a judicial source told AFP.
As well he might. Imagine being sentenced to death by a court of law for writing “something blasphemous.”
During the hearing the judge told Mohamed that he was accused of apostasy “for speaking lightly of the Prophet Mohammed” in an article which was published briefly on several Mauritanian websites.
In it he challenged some the decisions taken by Islam’s prophet and his companions during the holy wars, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
He also accused Mauritanian society of perpetuating “an iniquitous social order” and defended those at the bottom rungs of society who he described as “marginalised and discriminated against from birth”.
And for that they intend to kill him. They intend to kill him, with the dignity of the law behind them.
Mohamed, named by some local media outlets as Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir, explained that it was “not his intention to harm the prophet”, the source added.
His lawyer asked for leniency as he said his client was repentant but the judge agreed to the prosecutor’s request for the death penalty.
No information was immediately available on whether Mohamed would appeal.
Local Islamic organisations said it was the first time text critical of Islam had been published in the country.
The verdict was met with shouts of joy from the gallery, while on the streets there were jubilant scenes as cars sounded their horns.
How disgusting. How bottomlessly horrible to welcome a death sentence on someone for having a social conscience.