When Three Muslim Youths ‘Offended’ The Virgin Mary, This Was Their Punishment 

When Three Muslim Youths ‘Offended’ The Virgin Mary, This Was Their Punishment 

A Lebanese Christian judge imposes an exemplary sentence and the whole country applauds.

The three Lebanese men were ordered to learn verses about her virginity and about the Annunciation

Three young Muslim men who were found guilty of desecrating a statue of Mary were ordered by a Lebanese judge (Who is a Christian) to memorize passages from the Quran that praise the mother of Jesus.

The defendants, who live in a mostly Christian village, were apprehended after circulating online a video of themselves desecrating the statue, news media reported.

At their sentencing on February 8, Judge Jocelyne Matta ordered the young men to memorise verses from the Al Imran chapter of the Quran, which describes the birth of Mary, Her virginity and the annunciation of Jesus’s conception by the angel Gabriel.

“Offending religious sentiments”, is a very sensitive issue in Lebanon, a country in which religious coexistence between Muslims and Christians has always been in a delicate balance.

Matta, reading her verdict at the court in Tripoli, said her decision was meant to teach the young men about Islam’s respect and love for Mary, reported the website Al Arabiya English.

And while some expected a negative reaction to this decision by the Christian judge, the exact opposite happened. In fact, many Lebanese, beginning with the country’s Prime Minister, who is a Sunni Muslim, Saad el Hariri, welcomed the decision with great respect and considered it a sign of culture, peace and coexistence.

Maronite Father Rouphael Zgheib, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon, spoke about the sentence to Fides, the news agency of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

“The judge realised that the boys did not know anything about the Quran despite being Muslims, and chose that kind of sentence in order to teach them to respect their own religion as well as the faiths of those who are not Muslims,” Fr Zgheib said.


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