I recently raised concerns on PBS Newshour about a lawsuit by Israelis who are suing in the United States to force Facebook to take down violent, anti-Jewish sites. While I believe Facebook can and should take down the sites, the use of the government to close such sites raise serious free speech questions in where to draw the line on such censorship or regulation of speech. I noted that such lawsuits like the recent successful action against Twitter by Jewish students are part of a comprehensive attack on free speech that uses such civil actions as a form of speech regulation or retaliation. Saudi Arabia has again stepped forward to make this point more powerfully that I could ever hope to. The Saudi justice ministry has announced that it will sue a Twitter user who compared the death sentence handed down on Friday to a Palestinian poet to the punishments meted out by Islamic State. I have drawn the same obvious comparison in the case of Ashraf Fayadh as have readers on this site and other sites. Rather than stop acting like ISIS (which would require a greater recognition of due process and human rights in the Kingdom), Saudi Arabia is seeking to threaten people to stop them from making the analogy. However, the beheadings of nonbelievers will continue. For many, the Saudi Foreign Ministry sounds like it is putting out the word “if you say we are like ISIS again, we will behead you.”
Of course, most defamation actions allow truth as a defense but truth is highly relative in the Kingdom.
Seemingly clueless to the fact that pursuing critics is . . . well . . . ISIS-like, an official announced “the justice ministry will sue the person who described … the sentencing of a man to death for apostasy as being `ISIS-like’.”
Fayadh was sentenced to death for apostasy – a favorite crime of ISIS and a legal abomination of any nation that seeks to call itself part of the civilized world. Saudi Arabia bans other religions from having places of worship in their territory and routinely sentences people to flogging and death for morality crimes under its medieval Sharia legal system. What Saudi Arabia called “courts” and “judges” are really absurd Sharia tribunals headed by clerics following the harsh Wahhabi traditions of the country.
In this twisted legal system, it all makes perfect sense to seek to punish those who criticize the lack of justice by denying them any notion of justice: “Questioning the fairness of the courts is to question the justice of the Kingdom and its judicial system based on Islamic law, which guarantees rights and ensures human dignity.”
The case is interesting because for years I have been critical of the effort during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State to support efforts making blasphemy a crime. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.
Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Saudi Arabia to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech. We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard. Now that effort has come to a head with the new President of Egypt President Mohamed Mursi calling for enactment of an anti-blasphemy law at the United Nations. Mursi is also demanding legal action against the filmmaker by the United States despite the fact that the film is clearly protected by the first amendment.
This case shows how the Saudis treat exercises of a wide variety of free speech as threatening social order. The obvious intent is to chill others by hoisting some poor wretch who will be forced to confess his sins before some kangaroo court. The distinction with beheading non-believers in Saudi Arabia as opposed to beheading non-believers by ISIS can be hard for sane people to discern. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki defended the use of capital punishments on NBC such as beheadings in the kingdom by saying the country’s Shariah-based legal system guarantees fairness since it is based on Islamic Sharia law” “ISIS has no legitimate way to decide to decide to kill people.”
Clearly the Saudis remain enemies of ISIS despite their shared Sunni traditions. It is not the fight against extremism that I question (though we can debate the means), it is the selective measure that we apply between different countries. It is certainly true that Saudi Arabia is not viewed as a sponsor of terrorism, has attempted some marginal reforms, and has committed itself to fighting ISIS. I see the difference with ISIS even with Saudi Arabia beheading people in public squares and sentencing people to death for apostasy. However, it remains a country that refuses a single non-Mosque to be built on its territory, widespread denial of free speech, denial of basis rights for women, denial of the free press, and a host of other rights considered core human rights. The comparison however to ISIS is inescapable when you are killing people for apostasy after giving them laughable trials before clerics applying Sharia law.
36 thoughts on “Our Decapitations Of Nonbelievers Are Nothing Like Their Decapitations of Nonbelievers: Saudi Arabia To Sue Twitter User Over Comparisons To ISIS”
The real problem isn’t Turkey trying to take over the world by resurrecting their empire of centuries ago. The real problem is Great Britain trying to resurrect their empire of centuries ago. Just imagine if India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and half of Africa all got together and started ruling again. Wow, I think I am going to start my own radio show. If people listen to this idiot, then they will certainly listen to anyone, even me. I gots ta get me a doctorate of some kind though. Lemme see, a couple yrs online at Fizer or Keister University and I gots me my doctorate and all the credibility necessary to say just about anythin.
Excerpt from the Mother Jones article and a friendly reminder.
“The Saudis problematic relationship with extremism isn’t news. In US embassy cables leaked by Wikileaks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in 2009, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to SUNNI TERRORIST GROUPS WORLDWIDE”. The cables also list QATAR, KUWAIT, AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES as major sources of money for militants. These three nations are part of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in YEMEN, and each has bought weapons from the United States, including GUIDED MISSILES AND APACHE HELICOPTERS (to Qatar), SNIPER ADVANCED TARGETING PODS for their F/A-18S (to Kuwait), and GUIDED BOMBS—a lot of them (to the UAE).”
When is a terrorist group not a terrorist group?
When it supports the goals of Western foreign policy.
We Just Sold Another Billion Dollars Worth of Weapons to Our Frenemies in Saudi Arabia
IS is the Saudi proxy militia, just an off brand.
Authoritarians just can’t seem to help themselves at telling other people how to live or how not to live and what to and what not to say. They appear to come in all shapes, sizes and genders and they like to kill you when you protest or do not observe their mandates.
Funny how these type people gravitate to power within the nation state. I think they are merely trying to justify their kleptomania. We need them to rule over us because we obviously can not do it ourselves. Most of us can get along without such authorities except for those like KF and bam bam, who seem to worship the nation state.
The difference between SA beheadings and ISIS beheadings is who get to hold the axe.
Darren Smith, is there an explanation for missing posts on your new Peltier art blog?
“On” should be “only.”
Jonathan, do you believe the Talmud should be banned for its inciting of Judaics to murder goyim? “Even the best of the goyim deserve on death.” (A Talmudic verse.)
Thank you. I stand corrected.
Ben Franklin admonished “…a republic, if you can keep it.” Franklin’s republic was a restricted-vote republic, not a one man, one vote democrazy. The criteria to vote in the republic Franklin referenced were 21, male, European and 50lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.
The vote has been manipulated, diluted and corrupted through unpopular, illegal and unconstitutional immigration and perversion of representative government which begins in the home with the male’s vote representing the family (presuming America is to follow God’s paradigm of heterosexual procreation – that being the sole function of human beings; perpetuation of the species/race). As Stalin admonished, the people who counted Nixon’s 1960 election conducted a coup de etat for JFK and America is on course to achieve Tytler’s dictatorship.
Thomas Jefferson –
“Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom? If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.”
Alexander Hamilton –
“The safety of a republic depended “essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment, on a uniformity of principles and habits, on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice, and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.”
“The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”
Joseph Stalin –
“The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”
Alexander Fraser Tytler –
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”
The Constitutional enforcement mechanism and rarely used tool to impose corrective action is impeachment and conviction, including impeachment of those who refuse to impeach. A wise man indeed would be imperative to wield the device well.
Article 2, Section 4
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
What you can not criticize (Israel, Jews, Judaism) is your God. How do you like your Judaic Gods, goyim?
If you are a good human in your lifetime you can be reincarnated as a dog. When you get the interview with Saint Peter he will give you a choice, if you have been a good human or dog, to come back as a human or dog or some other species. Of course only a fool human would choose to come back as a human. A bad dog will not get to come back as a dog. Sometimes a dog in Moracco and he ends up hanging by his rear feet in a food market available for human consumption. Dogs can recall their prior lives in past incarnations. Humans cannot.
The constitution is simply a piece of paper. “It” doesn’t do anything. And I’ve already put the blame squarely on the People.
But Olly, the Constitution does indeed protect us from the government. It is not the Constitution that is failing, it is us.
“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair”.– Alexander Hamilton
The Federalist Papers, No. 28
” As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
— Tench Coxe (1755–1824), writing as “A Pennsylvanian,” in “Remarks On The First Part Of The Amendments To The Federal Constitution,” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, p. 2 col. 1
I find both ISIS and Saudi conduct appalling but how is it our business as long as Muslims are not blowing us up or demanding we live a certain way? It is probably not a good idea to bring a large number of people who will not easily assimilate to one’s society or get overly involved in that region. Of course, we are doing both on steroids.
I find many, if not most Americans incredibly ignorant about the rest of the world combined with a desire to tell others how they should live. A bad combination, if you want my opinion. Americans really believe every country should be just like America and democracy is an exportable commodity.
Too bad Barkindog. You do provide a good explanation though as to why everything seems to be going to the dogs.
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