Ahmed al-Zind (L) was appointed Egypt's Justice Minister in May 2015.

Story highlights

Egypt's Minister of Justice Ahmed al-Zind has been relieved of his post, state media says

Days earlier Al-Zind's reference to the Prophet Mohammed in an interview sparked criticism

CNN  — 

Egypt’s Justice Minister has been “relieved” of his post, amid widespread criticism of televised comments he made that many considered blasphemous.

Ahmed al-Zind was stood down on Sunday, according to Egyptian state media.

No official reason was given for the sacking but the move comes days after al-Zind, in response to a television host’s question regarding whether he would imprison journalists, answered: “Even if it was Prophet [Mohammed].”

The comment caused widespread criticism on social media and spawned a Twitter hashtag calling for him to be tried.

Al-Zind quickly issued an apology, describing the comment as a “slip of the tongue.”

He had been Egypt’s Justice Minister since May last year.

CNN’s Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.