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The New Arab

Lebanon judge hailed after ordering Quran memorisation for youths who insulted Christianity

Jesus is the most mentioned prophet in the Quran [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 February, 2018

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A Lebanese judge has been hailed for handing down an ingenuitive punishment to three young Muslim men who were on trial for contempt for religion.
A Lebanese judge has been hailed for handing down an ingenuitive punishment to three young Muslim men who were on trial for contempt for religion, local newspaper The Daily Star reported.

Judge Joceline Matta this week ordered that the men, who were accused of insulting Christianity, memorise verses from the Quran that praise the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.

Matta, who is Christian, has been hailed for the ruling by leading Muslim politicians and social media users in the multi-faith country.

"The ruling is an exemplary example of justice and teaching the shared beliefs between Muslims and Christians," Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Twitter.

Former prime minister Najib Mikati also hailed the judge's sentence, which spared the teenagers of jail time for the serious offence.

"This is an example of corrective judicial rulings based on tolerance, correct religious education and respect for others," Mikati said.

The judge ordered the youths in the northern city of Tripoli to memorise the Quran's Al Imran chapter, which recounts the birth and life of Jesus.

Twitter users from around the Arab world have praised the move using the Arabic-language hashtag #JocelineMatta.

"This will be a great lesson in promoting tolerance for these young men who smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary at a church in Tripoli," said one Saudi commentator.

Jesus, who Muslims believe was the last prophet before Muhammad, is the most mentioned person in the Quran.

Lebanon is made up of a multitude of religions, sects and ethnicities.

The country has a Christian as president, a Sunni Muslim as a prime minister and a Shia Muslim speaker of parliament.

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