Fill in your email address to obtain the download verification code.
Enter the verification code
Please fill the fields below, & share with us the article's link and/or upload it:
upload file as pdf, doc, docx
SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Religious Authorities Go after Comedian Shaden Fakih over Prayers Sketch

Source Naharnet
Saturday , 11 May 2024

Lebanon's Muslim religious authorities have filed complaints against a stand-up comedian and LGBTQ rights activist, after a sketch of hers about Friday prayers sparked controversy online.

Openly gay Lebanese comedian Shaden Fakih has amassed a large online following for her jabs at religious authorities and the sectarian factions that have long dominated the country's politics.

But her sometimes crude jokes have also angered many Lebanese, despite the country's reputation as one of the Arab world's most tolerant societies.

On Friday, the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council filed a criminal complaint against Fakih for "the crimes of blasphemy, insulting religious rituals and stirring sectarian... strife," the state-run National News Agency reported.

Islamist lawmaker Imad Hout also filed a complaint against her, NNA said.

On Thursday, Lebanon's grand mufti, Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan, ordered top Sunni religious authority Dar al-Fatwa to file a complaint against Fakih for "insult and blasphemy against the divine glory and Prophet Mohammed."

Dar al-Fatwa also accused her of "inciting religious and sectarian strife," and "undermining national unity," NNA said.

A judicial source told AFP the judiciary had not yet looked into the complaints against Fakih because the competent judge was still abroad.

Rights activists expressed outrage that Fakih was being threatened with prosecution for simply expressing her opinions.

"The idea that someone could be arrested... harassed and subjected to death threats just for expressing views that may contradict certain societal norms... is unacceptable," said Jad Shahrour of Beirut's Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom.

In August, Lebanese stand-up comedian Nour Hajjar was briefly arrested over a joke he made five years ago, days after he was detained over another quip.

In 2021, Fakih was summoned by a military court on charges of "insulting" the Internal Security Forces and "harming" their reputation.

Share News