When three young Muslim men charged with insulting Christianity appeared before a Lebanese judge, she hit them with an unusual sentence in a country noted for its religious diversity.

Instead of handing down a jail sentence for the contempt of religion conviction, Joceline Matta ordered the offenders to memorize verses from the Quran’s Al-Omran surah that glorify Jesus and his mother, Mary.

While reading out the verdict in court in Tripoli, North of Lebanon, Matta noted that her decision aims to teach the young men about Islam’s tolerance.

“The law is a school and not just a prison,” she said.

The decision was praised by Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Twitter. He saluted her for a decision which reflects justice and teaches mutual concepts between Muslims and Christians.


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