Jordanian writer indicted and then assassinated for sharing cartoon depicting Allah

Several sources, including The Independent and Al Jazeera, report the death of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, shot to death outside a courtroom in Amman. Hattar had put the following cartoon on his Facebook page; he didn’t draw it or create it, but merely shared it. (Cartoon and translation from Elder of Ziyon; neither the Independent nor Al Jazeera had the guts to reprint it). Allah peeks into a tent where a bearded jihadist is carousing with two women, food, and wine:


 The translation:
In Green: In paradise…
Allah: “May your evening be joyous, Abu Saleh, do you need anything?”
Jihadist: “Yes Lord, bring me the glass of wine from other there and tell Jibril [the Angel Gabriel] to bring me some cashews. After that send me an eternal servant to clean the floor and take the empty plates with you.”
Jihadist continues: “Don’t forget to put a door on the tent so that you knock before you enter next time, your gloriousness.”
The cartoon was deemed offensive to Islam, though it showed not Muhammad but Allah, and Hattar, though he’d removed the cartoon, was charged with “inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islam.” (Hattar was a Christian.) Released on bail, he was returning to the courthouse when he was cut down with three shots. The assailant was arrested.  Al Jazeera gives a bit more background:

The backlash against Hattar was immediate with Jordanian social media users lambasting the writer for purposely causing offence to Muslims.

Social media users also called on the government to question and arrest Hattar, and some attacked him for being Christian and a secularist.

Attempting to explain his motive for sharing the cartoon, Hattar said that he did not intend to cause offence to Muslims and wanted the cartoon to “expose” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In another explanation, Hattar said that “as a non-believer” he respected “the believers who did not understand the satire behind the cartoon”.

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement in response to Hattar’s comments that called on the government to take strong measures against those who publish seditious material that undermined national unity.

Hattar was no angel, as he was a strong supporter of Syria’s murderous Assad regime, but nobody deserves to be killed for sharing a cartoon, especially one that mocks jihadists. The Jordanians who attacked him for that, and for being a Christian, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood who wants to stifle all criticism of their faith—are reprehensible.  And so, by the way, are the news outlets who, à la the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, refused to show exactly what incited the ire of Muslims.


Nahed Hattar

h/t: Malgorzata



  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Good for you for printing it.

  2. Colin
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The religion of peace strikes again.

    • Posted October 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      The religion of piece like a piece of you here and a piece of me there

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I can only guess this must have been a colonial issue of some kind. Praise Allah.

  4. Rob
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Since it doesn’t take much to offend the thin-skinned Islamist babies, maybe we should start really getting under their skin. Any ideas? Maybe a coming-of-age musical about Muhammad (PBUH) in which he discovers that he’s in love with a gay, Jewish man? Keep the witness protection program on speed dial, of course.

  5. jaxkayaker
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Surely this assassination has nothing to do with Islam!

    • Posted October 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Pretty sure this assassination has some thing to do with “The Religion of Peace”.

  6. W.Benson
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The people who killed Hattar seem to share the philosophy of Washington’s Arab allies in Syria and elsewhere. At least a victory by Assad would give a chance for some kind secular reasonability to gain a hold in Syria. In Damascus you actually see local women walking around in Western dress. Where else in Arabdom does this happen?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      All due respect, I would rather see secular under the bus if it means bringing Assad back to power.

      • Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Provided that the replacement is not ISIS…

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          Fortunately that does no appear likely but you are right, one murdering scum is the same as another.

          • gluonspring
            Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            I actually think there are degrees of awfulness even among murdering scum. My money would be on ISIS being worse because they are ideologically awful, which permeates everything more completely, instead of merely tactically (or strategically) awful. But I have made no study of it so I could be wrong.

          • zikos
            Posted September 26, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            assad is not murderer , assad is doing his duty as president of syria , protecting his peopole and killig invader terrorists backed by saudi arabia , quatar and usa , shame on usa for supporting terrorists

            • Posted September 26, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

              Assad is a murderer who has violated both international law and humanitarian dictates. He used chemical weapons on his own people. I don’t know where you get the idea that that is not “murder”, but your moral compass is pointing in the wrong direction.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        While I agree with you, and I want Assad gone too, I can understand why the secularists, Christians, Shi’ites and other non-Sunni groups are mostly supporting him. They fear what will happen to them. Many of the groups opposing Assad (not just the terrorists like DAESH, Al-Nusra, Khorasan group etc.) want to impose Sharia once they’re in power.

        • nicky
          Posted September 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          That is the reason I think the ‘West’ should not be complicit in getting rid of Assad. We have seen what happens when these ME semi-secular ‘strongmen’ (aka dictators), dispicable as they are, get ousted; the Shah Pahlevi, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Ghaddaffi, etc. You get a not-so-secular dictatorship or a civil war and nobody, except for the new henchmen, is better off.
          Did we learn nothing? We should stop our support for the Syrian opposition asap.

          Wonder what would happen if we stopped support for Saud.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Yeah. There are moderates in the opposition, but they’re not a majority, and the Russians have been killing them off at a much greater rate than Islamists. If Assad had just relented a bit to the requests of the protestors in the first place, none of this would have happened. He created a scenario which the Islamists are exploiting.

            All the situations are different and I’m not sure if direct parallels can be drawn with the other messes, but it’s clear the West got involved without knowing enough and without good long-term plans.

          • Diane G.
            Posted September 26, 2016 at 3:12 am | Permalink

            That’s exactly how I see it, Nicky.

    • bluemaas
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Please, Mr Benson: no “Doctor” Al – Assad. That “First, Do No Harm” – busting bunkum of a man is a trained medical physician of human beings … … who, apparently, could .NOT. in his adulthood be actually trained.

      His ways, whatever they are (including pencil skirts on any), are — obviously — .not. the ways of a true healer.


  7. Zado
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I could appreciate the ironies piled atop each other in this episode if not for the final, most tragic irony: those involved are incapable of appreciating irony, and will continue enforcing their fearful taboos with violence.

    Religious thinking is a black hole that sucks all humor from the world.

    • Nell Whiteside
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes – black hole indeed.

      I’ve heard it said that no-one with a sense of humour ever founded a religion.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      You’ve probably seen the cartoons.

      There’s one with Muhammad on a psychiatrist’s couch telling the doctor, “Other religious leaders have followers with a sense of humour.”

      There’s another of a bookshelf with lots of big fat books about Jewish comedians criticizing Judaism, Christian comedians criticizing Christianity, Hindu comedians criticizing Hinduism etc but only a tiny very slim volume of comedians criticizing Islam.

      • jeffery
        Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        An ISIS jihadi died and found himself in front of St. Peter at the pearly gates. He immediately started yelling, “Where are my 72 virgins? I died fighting the infidel, and I was promised 72 virgins as my reward!” Just then, George Washington stepped out of a cloud and gave the jihadi a mighty punch in the nose, breaking it, and knocking him flat. Then Thomas Jefferson stepped out of another cloud and bashed the jihadi in the ribs with his walking stick. THEN, Robert E. Lee rode out of yet another cloud on his horse, Traveler, and gave the jihadi a wicked slice on the head with his saber while Traveler stepped on his leg, crushing it. The jihadi rolled around in agony, screaming, “This is terrible; what about my 72 virgins?” St. Peter smiled and said, “Mohammad misspelled it: you get 72 Virginians.”

        • busterggi
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          Wokka wokka!

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Ha ha – I’ve seen several versions of 72 virgins jokes over the years, but that’s a new one!

        • dallos
          Posted September 27, 2016 at 1:04 am | Permalink

          Because Mohammad spoke in English and could see the future.

        • Posted October 5, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Lol then the Jihadi yelled Allah Akbar and blew up

  8. Filippo
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Mohammed being such a positively outstanding role model, perhaps instead of the two comely adult lassies there should have been two female children, ages six and nine.

    I wonder if the cartoonist could have gotten by with drawing Zeus. (Or a stick figure as I heard Sam Harris mention in an online video.)

    • nicky
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Houri’s are ageless and eternal virgins (don’t ask me about the mechanics of that). But there should have been more than 2, 70 or 77, I always fail to remember correctly.
      I also note he didn’t ask for Viagra. 🙂

  9. tubby
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stop being confused by how much Allah looks like Santa Claus in this comic. I wonder if that was intentional, or if god=Santa is really a common conception.

    • nicky
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I found that curious too. And the little crown to top it…

    • Posted October 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      No one knows what Allah looks like so I believe his true identity is probably Satan

  10. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    It is notable that if the caricature of the Arab jihadist were used in Charlie Hebdo or elsewhere, there would be plenty of shouts about racism.

  11. Pliny the in Between
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

  12. Glandu
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    “no angel”

    The same could be said of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, who I always loathed.

    And who died for my freedom of speech. I’m not going to deny the new ones this freedom. Even if I don’t like them at all.

  13. Posted September 26, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    You forgot to open this piece with the words “This has nothing to do with Islam”. Please rectify this oversight immediately.

  14. Posted September 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    God has never killed anybody.
    It’s always his crazy and sometimes sane “believers” that do the killing.

    If only they could “leave it in the hands of God” like they are always espousing. The world would be a much safer place.

  15. Mike
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    But of course the killing has nothing to do with the religion of ISLAM

    • Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Islam promotes anti semitism and violence against non believers

  16. Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Muslims easily get offended and then they become violent

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