Neighboring Jordan is in an uproar over the ongoing trial of five university students accused of worshiping the devil and desecrating the Koran.
Police arrested the five students at Al-Albayt University north of Amman after fellow students said they had been observed conducting a satanic ritual and tearing pages out of a Koran.
The accused have yet to stand before a judge, despite being jailed for nearly a month now. Their lawyers and families insist the accused are innocent, and are the victims of a cruel ploy by those who turned them in.
If convicted, the five students - four men and one woman - could serve up to three years in jail. But leading Islamic clerics in Jordan are calling for a far harsher punishment - execution.
And if the courts won't sentence the suspected devil-worshipers to death, then a growing number of fellow students and activists posting to Facebook and other social media websites are saying they will. There is very real concern that if and when the accused are released, they will be lynched for their supposed crimes.
The entire episode is another example of the kind of region in which Israel lives. While almost no one would condone devil worship, it is notable that freedom of speech even in the most free and liberal of Arab states does not extend to violating the tenets of Islam.
A similar fate often awaits Muslims who come to faith in Jesus in the nations surrounding Israel, or even in the Palestinian-ruled territories.
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