BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman asked the judiciary Friday to take action against a man who posted a photo on the Internet of himself kissing a statue of the Virgin Mary.
"Sleiman asked the [state prosecutor] to consider...Ali Itawi's photo kissing a statue of the Virgin Mary and his comment ‘she is no longer a virgin’..." his office said in a statement.
The state prosecutor’s office is expected to launch an investigation into the incident and will likely summon Itawi for questioning. Inciting sectarian strife and desecrating religious symbols are punishable under Lebanese law.
Local media websites circulated Itawi’s photo which was posted on Feb. 15, 2011 along with comments made by him and others in response to the picture.