Nahed Hattar, a prominent Jordanian writer from a Christian home has fallen victim to religious extremism for expressing his opinion.
The 56 year old national figure has been shot dead on the steps of a courthouse in Amman, after he appeared to defend a provocative cartoon he shared months ago in court.
Mr. Hatter was in August arrested for sharing a cartoon on Facebook showing a bearded man in heaven smoking, lying in bed with women and calling on God to bring him wine and cashew. He deleted the cartoon shortly after posting it.
He said the cartoon was intended to mock jihadists and their twisted interpretation of Islam but Jordan’s government charged him with insulting the faith and “provoking sectarian rifts”. The writer rejected the charges and planned to fight the case.
“I am mocking the terrorists and their conception of hell and heaven,” Mr Hattar wrote shortly before his death. “I’m not insulting the supreme Allah, at all, on the contrary, I’m against the type of God that the terrorists worship.
The gunman was arrested at the scene has been identified as Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old imam who recently returned from making the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Jordanians have taken to the street in reaction to the killing.