In Algeria, the trial of a renowned Islamologist, Saïd Djabelkheir, prosecuted for insulting Islam, opened on Thursday before the Sidi M’hamed court in Algiers, one of his lawyers told ‘AFP.
Saïd Djabelkheir, a 53-year-old researcher, is accused by seven lawyers and another academic of “insulting the precepts of Islam”. He appears without having been questioned by the investigating judge, unlike the plaintiffs and their witnesses who were interviewed in early February. A graduate in Islamic sciences, author of two books dealing with religion, Saïd Djabelkheir considers that he is “accused by people who have no competence in matters of religion”.
The academic affirms that he is criticized for having recalled that the sacrifice of the sheep – a Muslim tradition – existed before the advent of Islam, and criticized certain practices such as the early marriage of young girls in certain Muslim societies.
On social networks, his detractors accuse him of having denigrated verses from the Koran and pillars of Islam such as the pilgrimage to Mecca. A specialist in Sufism, a mystical and esoteric current of Islam, he believes that his words were “intentionally misinterpreted in order to harm (him)”.
The law punishes with three to five years imprisonment and / or a fine “whoever offends the Prophet or denigrates the dogma or precepts of Islam, whether by writing, drawing, statement or any other means ”.