Turkish singer and songwriter Leman Sam is facing one year’s imprisonment over a Twitter post in which she likened Muslim people who slaughter livestock as a ritual during Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) to members of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
A prosecutor had previously dropped charges against Sam after individuals filed a criminal complaint against the singer regarding her tweet, on the grounds that her remark was within the scope of free speech. An İstanbul court has accepted an appeal by lawyer Turgay Balaban, who stated that Sam’s action needed to be prosecuted. Report Zaman
Sam wrote in her Twitter post during Eid al-Adha in October 2014: “For me, ISIL and a person who puts a knife against an innocent animal’s throat have the same feeling. ISIL does not surprise me.” Sam is charged with instigating people to hate and animosity and publicly insulting religious values adopted by a group of people among the society.
Balaban told the Cihan news agency, “Nobody can regard someone making a sacrifice [as an Islamic ritual] as being equivalent to the terrorist organization ISIL, which beheads people.” According to Balaban, hundreds of thousands of Muslims were accused and insulted through Sam’s statement.
In the Islamic tradition, most of the Muslims around the world sacrifice livestock to distribute meat to the poor. In modern times, most Muslims make a donation to charities for them to carry out the ritual and distribute a large part of the livestock sacrificed to the poor.