By Rana F. Sweis and Peter Baker
AMMAN, Jordan — Some of the most extreme elements in Jordan made clear in recent weeks that Nahed Hattar should pay for a provocative cartoon he posted online depicting a bearded man in bed with two women ordering God to bring him cashews and wine.
So when Mr. Hattar, 56, a prominent writer from a Christian family, showed up at a court on Sunday to face criminal charges of insulting Islam, at least one man with a gun decided a trial was not enough. As three bullets ripped through the writer in front of the courthouse, Jordan’s simmering tensions boiled over.
The brazen daylight killing of Mr. Hattar in front of his horrified family was not only the latest example of violence tied to cartoon renderings of Muslim figures, it was also the sort of manifestation of extremism that Jordan’s government has struggled to contain in a nation that finds itself under pressure from multiple directions.
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