At what point does Saudi Arabia become treated as the pariah state they are? Saudi Arabia whose official faith is a strict form of Islam known as Wahabism, has bestowed upon the world some of the worst terrorism mankind has ever seen. Sharia, in all its seventh century glory, reins supreme to this day. Be-headings, amputations, stoning, floggings, all punishments handed down by the Koran, are done in the pubic square, with crimes as blasphemy, apostasy, rape and murder on par with witchcraft, homosexuality and the simple act of being a woman in public without an escort. But the world turns a blind eye to this disgusting behavior over oil, again.
In December Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bought a stake in Twitter for 300 million. Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king who was estimated by Forbes magazine this year to have a fortune of over 19 billion, already owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp and plans to start a cable news channel.
Twitter, which allows people to send 140-character messages, or Tweets, to groups of followers, is one of the Internet’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and Zynga Inc. Twitter now says it has the power to block tweets in a specific country if the government legally requires it to do so, triggering outrage around the world, especially in Arab countries.
If the Saudis trying to stifle free speech throughout the world are not bad enough, now they have Interpol doing their work for them as well.
Hamza Kashgari, a 23 year old Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammad, was on his way back to his home country on Sunday to face a possible beheading, after he posted three controversial Tweets on the birthday criticizing the Prophet Muhammad earlier this month. Kashgari quickly apologized and removed them from his feed, but by then the campaign against him had grown too powerful to reverse course. From the Jerusalem Post:
In the first, Kashgari declared “I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me,” but then added: “I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.” He followed that with a second tweet, “I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.”
In a third, Kashgari said: “I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.”
The response was massive and virulent. Within 24 hours, it had elicited more than 30,000 tweets accusing him of blasphemy and calling for his death. Someone posted Kashgari’s home address in a YouTube video, which friends said led vigilantes to come looking for him at his local mosque. A Facebook page demanding retribution garnered more than 18,000 members.
But perhaps most dangerous of all for Kashgari, was remarks by cleric Nasser al Omar who called for him to be tried for apostasy. A crime that is punishable by death. In a YouTube video Omar can be seen weeping as he calls for Kashgari’s execution, saying he is crying because Muslims are not doing enough to defend the honor of their faith.
The Saudi government’s response was to contact Interpol and have him extradited from Malaysia by issuing a “red notice” declaring him a wanted man. He is now on his way back, with nary a peep from the UN, and dead silence from the EU and the Obama administration.
I’m sorry but if you want to have a draconian society in your country, whatever. But don’t expect up in the free world who passed the age of enlightenment centuries ago to do your 7th century dirty work for you..
I mean, after all isn’t that what the Saudi Anti-Witchcraft Unit and Sorcery hotline is for?
Jeff Treesh is @IranAware & iranaware.blogspot.com