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Egypt justice minister fired after 'prophet slur'.

Summary: Ahmad Al Zend provoked a massive outrage by saying in TV interview a prophet can be sent to prison

Image Credit: Supplied Ramadan Al Sherbini

Cairo: Egyptian Minister of Justice Ahmad Al Zend was sacked Sunday evening under public pressure after he made a remark on the Prophet Mohammad in a TV interview triggering an outcry in the predominantly Muslim country.

Prime Minister Sharif Ismail decreed that Al Zend, who took the post nearly a year ago, is relieved of the portfolio, Egypt's state Middle East News Agency reported, citing a cabinet statement.

On Friday, Al Zend, a former judge, had an interview on private satellite station Sada Al Balada where he was asked if he would allow the imprisonment of some journalists whom he had sued for allegedly slandering him.

"Even if it's a prophet, God's prayer and peace be upon him," he said, using an Islamic phrase of reverence to the Prophet Mohammad. In an instant admission of error, Al Zend proceeded to say in the same interview: "I seek forgiveness from God Almighty. I meant the wrongdoer, whoever he is, must be punished."

His comment, which he later called a "slip of tongue", provoked fury on social media, with many accusing him of insulting the prophet.

Azhar, Egypt's influential seat of learning, expresseddismay and warned against "insulting the status of the prophet even unintentionally ".

Last month, Al Zend shocked rights advocates when he suggested that parents of those involved in terror attacks must be penalized too.

He is known for his hostility against the banned Muslim Brotherhood that Egyptian authorities have blamed for a spate of violent, which has hit the country since the army's 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Mar 13, 2016
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