Egypt’s Prime Minister, Sharif Ismail on Sunday sacked the Justice Minister after he said on a television interview that he would arrest even “the prophet” in a remarks that sparked outrage in the country.
Ahmed el- Zind was on a private Egyptian channel discussing his opponents on Friday when the interviewer asked him whether he would imprison journalists.
“Even if it’s the prophet – peace and prayers upon him,” Zind said before quickly repenting. He then added that anyone who is at fault will be imprisoned “regardless of their stature.”
Upon realising what he had said, Zind immediately stopped and said: “I ask for forgiveness from God.”
Zind’s statement sparked outrage on social media and a warning from Cairo-based Sunni Islam learning centre Al-Azhar.
Egyptian judges had issued a statement opposing Zind’s removal over what the head of the Judges Club told Reuters news agency was a slip of the tongue that could have happened to anyone.
“Egypt’s judges are sorry that someone who defended Egypt and its people, judiciary and nation in the face of the terrorist organisation that wanted to bring it down should be punished in this way,” said Abdallah Fathi.
The head of Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning,al-Azhar, released a statement warning against any blasphemous comments surrounding the prophet “ even if it were a mistake”