“[F]or combining the sacred words of the Qur’an with sexual themes. If convicted the poet could face up to three years in jail.” Really, this is not so bad. After all, when the poet Ka`b bin al-Ashraf composed some amorous verse concerning Muslim women during Muhammad’s time, the latter exclaimed in front of his followers, “Who is willing to kill Ka`b bin al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His apostle?” Naturally a young, ambitious Muslim accepted the task (and was given permission to lie to Ka’b simply in order to assassinate him). Sure enough, the poet was slain and his head taken to Muhammad in triumph, who reacted with an exclamation of (according to the account of Ibn Sa’d V1P37) “Allah Akbar!” An update to this story.
“Jordan arrests poet for insulting Islam,” from the Guardian, October 24 (thanks to Shechild):
Jordanian police arrested a local writer on Tuesday for incorporating verses of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, into his love poetry, a judicial official said.
The poet, Islam Samhan, published his collection of poems, Grace like a Shadow, which allegedly insults the holy book, without the approval of the Jordanian government, the official added. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Samhan was charged with harming the Islamic faith and violating the press and publication law for combining the sacred words of the Qur’an with sexual themes. If convicted the poet could face up to three years in jail.
Jordanian law bans the publication of any books or articles that could be seen as harmful to Islam and its Prophet Muhammad. More than two years ago, the court convicted the editors of two weekly newspapers of insulting Islam and sentenced them to two months in prison after they reprinted Danish political cartoons of Muhammad.
Jordanian writers and artists urged the government in a collective petition to immediately release the poet, saying the arrest is a “retreat in the freedom of expression,” and called for an end to the “oppression of freedom and intimidation practiced against intellectuals.”