On Thursday, Algerian journalist and scholar “Said Djabelkhir” has been given a punishment of three-year imprisonment. He was accused of offending Islam and hurting Muslims’ religious sentiments.
He has claimed that Traditional Islamic scripts are no more valid in the 21st century. He asked to renew the Islamic writings that could meet the requirements of modern Muslims. He favored the updation of books annually as it is done in some other religions.
53-year-old Said Djabelkhir has been released on bail. While talking to the media he showed the determination of challenging the court’s decision and fighting for the freedom of conscience. According to Algerian law, there is a punishment of up to five years in jail for denigrating the pillars of Islam or disrespecting the religion by speech, writing, drawing, or other means.
Djabelkhir is a book author and is well-known for criticizing various customs which Muslims practice in some societies. One of these practices is the marriage of girls and boys at a young age. He refused that he has committed any such crime during the trial.
While defending himself in the court, Said argued that he has not harmed the religion but gave the academic reflection. Those scholars, who accused me, are not even aware of Islam. They are misusing the law and targeting me. Earlier, his lawyers had shown confidence in the case as the case was filled by an individual, not a public prosecutor.