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The Algerian researcher, Jab al-Khair accused of insulting Islam

Thursday – February 11, 2021 – 23:18

On February 25, the Algerian justice will begin the trial of a university professor and researcher in Islamic affairs, Saeed Jab El-Khair, for insulting Islam, according to what he declared on Wednesday this famous expert in Algeria specializing in Sufism.

Jaab al-Khair has been supported by academics and politicians after seven lawyers and a university professor accused him of “mocking knowledge of religion”.

In a statement to Agence France-Presse, the researcher said: “I take responsibility for what I wrote on my Facebook page. I have never offended religion or the prophet. He added: “Some of my statements have been intentionally misinterpreted in order to hurt me.”

The university, a graduate in Islamic sciences and author of two books on Islam, said he was “accused of people having no knowledge of religion.”

Said Djab El-Khair was tried on February 25 before the Sidi M’hamed court in Algiers. The plaintiffs and their witnesses were heard at the beginning of this month, while the investigating judge did not hear him.

The researcher says he is being prosecuted in order to remind him that the sacrifice of sheep is a tradition that predates the emergence of Islam, and for criticizing certain practices such as the early marriage of girls in some Muslim societies.

But his critics believe he targeted the Prophet Muhammad by claiming he married Aisha when she was only nine years old.

Social media posts were deemed to have offended Quranic verses and Islamic pillars such as the Hajj.

The Algerian Penal Code punishes with imprisonment of three to five years and / or a fine “whoever offends the Messenger or the rest of the prophets or necessarily makes fun of the knowledge of religion or with any ritual of Islam, whether by writing, drawing, declaring, or any other means.

The 53-year-old Islamic affairs researcher had already started controversies with clerics, whom he was considering adopting a “militant” view of Islam.

The expert, Saeed Jab, describes himself as a defender of “the Islam of enlightenment” against “the proponents of traditional reading who claim to possess absolute truth in the interpretation of religious texts.” He is active on Facebook and is often invited to participate in television programs.

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