Saudi Arabia: Critical tweets about Prophet Muhammad – death penalty?

Posted: February 14, 2012 in International
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Last weekend (3th / 4th of February), the Muslims have commemorated to the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Especially for the Shiite Muslims, it’s a day on which they celebrate and recall the Prophet Muhammad with processions.

In one of these processions in eastern Saudi Arabia, a young Saudi was killed after the procession has been again also used to demand political reforms in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, Islam is the state religion. In this kingdom, a variant, a radical version of Islam, is used and practiced: Wahhabism.

In Wahhabism, it is for example prohibited, among other things, to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, to avoid making an icon out of him which should be worshiped. In recent years, there were repeated clashes and conflicts between Wahhabis and the Shiites who also live in Saudi Arabia.

This year, however, another headline attracted a lot of attention. As you might have noticed, even in the Saudi society, there is a lot of turmoil and change. It´s questionable how long the Saudi king is able to keep “his” people quiet by his “benefit packages”.

They want political reforms and changes. These changes are acceptable as long as they do not violate the religious rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia, Wahabbism.

A young Saudi journalists and bloggers, Hamza Kashgari, used the birthday of the Prophet, to publish some critical statements. More precisely, this Saudi blogger published three critical Tweets on the known platform All three tweets cared about the Prophet Muhammad and his representation as a man.

Assuming that in Saudi Arabia, the prohibition of the worship of a man is a law, and that the birthday of the Prophet should not be celebrated for this reason, the tweets of this Saudi blogger seem not to be very disturbing for the Saudis.

Far from it: The critical tweets quickly triggered a storm of indignation on Twitter and later also on Facebook. Within 24 hours, about 30,000 tweets mentioned the Saudi journalist and blogger and his tweets about the Prophet.

Also a new Facebook page has been set up. This Facebook Page “demands” the death of the young Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari. Many Muslims have joined the death threats. The outrage quickly transformed into a smear campaign and showed how rigid the rules in Islam, especially Wahabbism, are maintained to prevent any criticism.

The critical tweets about the Prophet Muhammad were seen as much worse than the old known cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad, that had caused outrage some years ago. We also should mention that the cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad were modified and extended before they were used in the Islamic world to feed the hate against the West by dubious “groups”.

Of course, the 23-year old Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari never thought about that, that his three tweets could unleash such an avalanche. This Saudi journalist and blogger has been very unpopular in Saudi Arabia for a long time. After these tweets, he was deprived of his license and all newspapers and magazines were forbidden to publish articles from him.

He was put on a top position at the Saudi “wanted list”. His alleged crime? Blasphemy. On blasphemy, the death penalty is law in Saudi Arabia.

After the young Saudi journalist remarked, what anger he has triggered, he apologized to the whole Internet community and to all the people whose feelings he might have hurt with his words, but without benefits.

His life was suddenly very dangerous. He fled, as fast as he could, from Saudi Arabia towards Malaysia. He was able to escape the death threats, but only very briefly.

Saudi Arabia had an Interpol arrest warrant issued for him and so was the young columnist Hamza Kashgari was arrested after his arrival in Malaysia. Afterwards, Hamza Kashgari was handed over to Saudi security officials, who brought the Saudi blogger back to Saudi Arabia. Interpol? A willfully tool.

The young blogger is in a Saudi prison currently. He was rated by a Saudi Committee to be “incredulously” and there he waits for the execution of the judgment against him. On estrangement from Islam is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

The 23-year old Saudi blogger might not have a chance to escape this. Also the Saudi royal family demanded his arrest. Because he published critical tweets about the Prophet, they blame him to be disbelief.

Human rights should be upheld and respected. This is apparently not the case, when a Saudi is a bit critically with religion, or better said, just a bit critically with the Prophet.

Human rights. The Saudi regime, ehm, royal family, seems to consider human rights and democracy as worthy everywhere abroad, even with the threats of military interventions and war.

Only in their own country, Saudi Arabia, they have a rather split attitude towards human rights and democracy. But this seems to be easy to be, when you are an ally of the United States.

Image: Idea go /


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