The top Saudi clerics have found another person to execute for free speech. We have previously seen a number of people accused of blasphemy for brief tweets or Facebook entries or even reading a book or speaking insulting thoughts at prayer. There is now a campaign to execute 23-year-old journalist Hamza Kashgari for a tweet that he sent to Mohammad on his birthday about Kashgari’s faith. There is no evidence that Mohammad is actually one of his followers but Mohammad’s followers are pretty ticked and labelled Kashgari an “apostate” who must be killed for his offense to Islam.
You are probably thinking the tweet must be pretty darn bad to fit serious blasphemy into 140 characters or less. Yet, Kashgari is being charged over a fake conversation that he had with Mohammad, who is not even listed as one of his “followers” on Twitter. Kashgari (who has apologized) wrote “On your birthday I find you in front of me wherever I go. I love many things about you and hate others, and there are many things about you I don’t understand.” As also tweeted “No Saudi women will go to hell, because it’s impossible to go there twice.”
The faithful even created a festive Facebook page with nearly 10,000 members dedicated to executing the journalist — declaring “The Saudi people demand Hamza Kashgari’s execution” already has nearly 10,000 members.
The committee of top clerics confirmed that these people are only doing what is right and told Saudis that “Muslim scholars everywhere have agreed that those who insult Allah and his prophet or the (Muslim holy book) Koran or anything in religion are infidels and apostates.” They called on him to be “judge[d] based on sharia law,” which demands death for those who insult Mohammad or the religion.
Other clerics repeated prior warnings that good Muslims do not Tweet. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh announced that Twitter is “a great danger not suitable for Muslims… it is a platform for spreading lies and making accusations.”
Once again, these stories show the perils of the effort of the Obama Administration to establish standards for the criminalization of anti-religious speech with Muslim countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Source: Washington Post