x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Mosque insult Briton loses jail appeal

Expatriate loses appeal against jail term for cursing mosques.

Abu Dhabi // An expatriate who insulted Islam by cursing a mosques project he was working on has lost his appeal against his jail term.

A court ruled yesterday that the one month sentence for JT, a Briton who works in the parks and recreation section at Abu Dhabi Municipality, would stand.

JT was reported to police by colleagues after he lost his temper during a meeting over delays to a project he was working on designing mosque gardens.

"When will we finish with the damn mosques?" he was reported as saying.

JT told the judge that he did not intend to insult Islam or curse mosques as religious places.

"I said it out of concern for the project because I wanted it to be ready as soon as possible," he told the court in a previous hearing.

"So your keenness on completion drove you to curse?" the judge asked him.

"Did you ever hear a Muslim insult Jesus or Christianity?" the judge added.

JT replied by saying he respected the UAE and Islam and would never intentionally curse a religious place.

JT was originally sentenced to one month by the First Instance Misdemeanour Court, which he appealed to. His appeal was rejected and the verdict upheld.

hdajani@thenational.ae