Saudi Arabia has produced almost weekly stories of grotesque and medieval sentencing out of its Sharia court system. The Sharia courts apply Islamic law that can be both brutal and primitive in flogging and beheading people for crimes against the faith. The latest is the sentencing of a man to death for renouncing Islam and allegedly posting a video ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe. Saudi Arabia still enforces death sentences for apostasy for those denying their Islamic faith. It is crime that places the Kingdom well outside of the most basic guarantees of human rights and civil liberties.
The unnamed man is reportedly in his 20s and is from Hafr-Al-Batin. He was arrested by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice after the posting of a video on social media site Keek which allegedly shows him ripping up Islam’s holy book and hitting it with a shoe. That constitutes apostasy and blasphemy.
The “court” found “In the video he cursed God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his daughter Fatimah and ripped a copy of the Holy Qur’an and hit it with a shoe.
‘The death sentence was issued after his apostasy was proven.”
The death penalty sentence is likely the result of the apostasy charge as opposed to the blasphemy charge. Thus, he will be beheaded for following his own conscience and beliefs. Sharia law does not permit a Muslim to leave the faith and calls for the death of those who simply want to embrace a different faith. If Muslim nations are ever to be fully incorporated in the modern world and accepted as advance nations, they must denounce the crime of apostasy which denies rights of free speech, free exercise, and association. The Saudi Sharia system compounds these abuses with a system that lacks basic guarantees of due process. Yet, the Kingdom continues to receive unwavering support from the United States.