Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail mandated on Monday that legal and parliamentary affairs minister Magdi El-Agati act as a caretaker justice minister until a new minister is appointed, replacing recently sacked Ahmed El-Zend.
Ismail said that there are no candidates yet for the position, though a new minister will be appointed within days.
Ismail thanked El-Zend for his service, saying “El-Zend has acted fully within his role, and we thank him for his efforts while in office.”
On Sunday, El-Zend was fired after less than a year in office in the wake of widespread criticism of comments he made on TVthat were considered by many to be blasphemous.
Last week, in response to a TV host’s question on whether he would jail journalists, El-Zend said he would jail anyone even if he was “a prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.”
The minister faced a wave of criticism on social media after his comments went viral and were largely interpreted as an insult to the Prophet Muhammad, the most sacred figure in Islam and whose sayings comprise a prime source of Islamic jurisprudence.