x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Engineer: I did not mean to insult Islam

Engineer tells court he did not mean to insult religious monuments when he said "damn mosques" during a meeting.

ABU DHABI // An engineer told an appeals court yesterday that he did not mean to insult religious monuments when he said "damn mosques" during a meeting.

The British engineer, who works at the parks and recreation section of Abu Dhabi Municipality, was appealing against a one-month prison sentence imposed by the Court of Misdemeanours.

He was in charge of a project to create gardens around a mosque.

He lost his temper during a meeting because the project was progressing slowly. He was reported to the police by his work colleagues for saying: "When will we finish with the damn mosques?"

He explained to the judge that he did not mean to insult the mosque as a religious place and that he respected Islam and the UAE.

"I said it out of concern for the project because I wanted it to be ready as soon as possible," he said.

The judge asked him: "So your keenness on completion drove you to curse?"

The engineer reasserted his respect for mosques he works on and said he wanted them to be presented in the best way possible way.

A decision on the appeal will be announced on February 7.

hdajani@thenational.ae