A Jordanian Christian minister was forced to resign after it emerged that he was charged with involvement in his sister’s honor killing in the 1980s.
Transportation Minister Malek Hadad tendered his resignation to the king on Thursday a mere 24 hours after being sworn in, making him the shortest-serving minister in Jordan’s history.
According to media reports, Hadad, a Christian, was arrested in 1982 in connection with the murder of his sister, who had married a Muslim man.
Hadad’s past had to be uncovered due to the statute of limitations, as well as the fact that he was pardoned.
Alquds al Arabi newspaper reported that King Abdullah was made aware of the issue while visiting the family of the Christian journalist and author Nahed Hatar, who was killed by a Salafi after he published a cartoon that was deemed slanderous of Allah and Islam.
Many residents of Furheis, a Christian stronghold where Hatar resided, felt compelled to tell the king about Hadad’s past. The king immediately asked Hadad to resign.
Hatar’s murder put a strain on sectarian relations in Jordan. During his memorial visit, King Abdullah condemned on behalf of “every Jordanian citizen” the “cowardly crime that is so foreign to the Jordanian people and their culture.”
“Since the Kingdom of Jordan was founded,” the King said, “our values were centered on the spirit of unity between Muslims and Christians, as far removed as possible from extremism, violence and bigotry.”