>> Gunned down on the street. A Jordanian writer was shot dead Sunday outside a court in the capital Amman. Nahed Hattar was due to stand trial there on charges of contempt of religion after sharing a caricature seen as insulting Islam on social media. He was a controversial character, a Christian and an anti-Islamist activist.
He was a strong supporter of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Hattar was arrested last month after he shared a caricature that depicted a bearded man in heaven smoking in bed with women and asking God to bring him wine and cashews. In the cartoon, the man also asks God to clear his dishes.
The authorities said he violated the law by sharing the image, and many conservative Muslim Jordanians considered his move offensive and against their religion. Others said his arrest was a breach of freedom of speech, a friend who called on the government to act.>>
> The Jordanian people must realize the seriousness of this issue.
They must unite to fight against the unjust forces that accuse others of being apostates. The government must take a stern stance towards these dark forces.>> The gunman was arrested at the scene. A security source said he was a local Muslim preacher from a nearby mosque.