Lebanon's President Sleiman demands judicial action over 'Virgin Mary kiss'

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman delivers a speech during a ceremony at the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly in Tunis on Feb 7, 2014. Mr Sleiman demanded action on Feb 14 after a television station aired a photograph of a man kissing a st
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman delivers a speech during a ceremony at the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly in Tunis on Feb 7, 2014. Mr Sleiman demanded action on Feb 14 after a television station aired a photograph of a man kissing a statue of the Virgin Mary and quoting him as saying "she is no longer a virgin". -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BEIRUT (AFP) - Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman demanded action on Friday after a television station aired a photograph of a man kissing a statue of the Virgin Mary and quoting him as saying "she is no longer a virgin".

Mr Sleiman's office said he called on the state prosecutor to "consider what appeared on television yesterday", showing a man called Ali Eitawi kissing a statue of the Virgin and quoting him as making the remark.

Mr Sleiman, himself a Maronite Christian, said the judicial authorities must "take appropriate action" on the matter, without giving further details.

Multifaith Lebanon is considered among the most liberal countries in the Arab world, but its society and institutions are still relatively conservative.

Some 35 per cent of its population is Christian and 65 per cent Muslim, while there is a tiny number of Jews and members of other faiths, such as Bahais and Buddhists.

Comments