Briton faces jail in UAE for insulting Islam

A British engineer is facing jail in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for allegedly insulting Islam with an angry comment during a meeting, a media report said here.

The engineer -- who has not been named -- told colleagues: "When will we finish with the damn mosques?"

He has now told an appeals court that he did not mean to insult the religion, the Daily Mail reported.

The engineer works at the parks and recreation section of the Abu Dhabi municipality. He was in charge of a project to create gardens around a mosque, The National daily reported.

The Briton told the court he lost his temper at a meeting because the project was progressing slowly. He was reported to police by his colleagues for asking the offending question.

He told the judge he did not mean to insult the mosque and that he respected Islam as well as the UAE.

"I said it out of concern for the project because I wanted it to be ready as soon as possible," he said, following which the judge asked him: "So your keenness on completion drove you to curse?"

A decision on his appeal will be announced Feb 7.

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