by Hakim Khatib
A Jordanian writer, accused of sharing a cartoon considered offensive to Islam, killed two weeks after his release from prison on bail.
A perfect assassination starts with demonizing of a person and ends with a condemnation of the assassin.
On 25 September 2016, the prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, 56, was shot dead ahead of a trial before the courthouse in Jordan’s capital Amman. He was accused of sharing a caricature deemed offensive to Islam on his Facebook page. Hattar was an outspoken leftist, secular writer and a self-described Christian atheist, known for his controversial views on issues regarding refugees, his support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his hostility to movements of political Islam.
According to the Jordanian state news agency Petra, an armed man fired three shots at the writer at close range in front of the courthouse ahead of a hearing.
The long-bearded shooter, who was wearing a long grey robe characteristic of ultra-conservative Muslims, was identified as the 49-year-old Jordanian imam Riad Ismail Ahmed Abdullah, from one of Amman’s poor neighbourhoods – Hashmi. The perpetrator, Abdullah, was referred to the state security court on terrorism-related charges and might face the death penalty.
But why was Hattar arrested in the first place?