Saudi Writer Could Be Executed for Blasphemous Tweets

After tweeting about the Prophet Muhammad, 23-year old Saudi writer Hamza Kashgari could face the death penalty for blasphemy. His tweets ignited a firestorm of controversy in Saudi Arabia, leading to over 30,000 tweets in less than 24 hours. In response, Kashgari lost his job as a columnist for the Jeddah-based al-Bilad, while the Saudi Information Minister has censored reprinting and carrying Kashgari's writings. Meanwhile, Saudi Sheikh Nasser al Omar pulled a Ed Muskie as he asked the Saudi King Abdullah to execute Kashgari for his "apostasy."

Al-Jazeera has translated a few of Kashgari's tweets:

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.

On your birthday I won't bow in front of you, I won't kiss your hand. Instead, I will shake it as an equal, I will smile at you and you will smile back and I will talk to you as a friend, no more.

All the great gods that we worship, all the great fears that we dread, all the desires that we wait for impatiently are but figments of our imagination.

No Saudi women will go to hell, because it's impossible to go there twice.

Kashgari has since deleted the tweets and has recanted:

I deleted my previous tweets because after I consulted with a few brothers, I realized that they may have been offensive to the Prophet (PBUH) and I don't want anyone to misunderstand.

I swear to God, I wrote what I wrote because I love the Prophet, but I made a mistake and I hope that God forgives me and all those who were insulted forgive me as well.

After receiving death threats and finding his home address leaked to the public, Kashgari fled the country and sought asylum. However, he was just arrested in Malaysia. His extradition is currently being coordinated with the Saudi government. If he returns to Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Fatwa Committee is calling for Kashgari to be punished in accordance with Sharia law, which could be execution.

Reason on Islam and censorship. Human Rights First on blasphemy laws worldwide.

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  • o3||

    amazing how religious zealots overreact isnt it?

  • Confusius Say||

    WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?! WHERE DID I PUT THAT OLD S.U.V. FULL OF PROPANE?!
    (now breathing through a paper bag... slower... slower...)
    (ahem.) I mean, "Oh really? Think so?"
    (more paper bag...)

  • o3||

    hey confusion - try breathing the propane & pray teh gay away mmmkay?

  • Confusius Say||

    When man call you fat, just turn the other chin.

  • Hank Hill||

    One should always follow proper propane procedures. Otherwise, you could wind up with a narrow urethra, and that's no fun, lemme tellya whut.

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  • tarran||

    I'd like to thank the British government for promoting Wahabism as a way of rallying the Bedouins against the Ottoman empire, trusting that their religious fanaticism would make it impossible for the Ottomans to come to some accommodation - and thus advance short term British aims.

  • FH||

    When religion and politics ride in the same cart, the whirlwind follows.

  • Barack the Jaunty Future King||

    Render unto Caesar, bitches!

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Yes, the West is entirely to blame for everything and the poor Arabs are just too stupid to know what they're doing.

    There should be a term for the special kind of racist it takes to blame everything on white people and absolve anyone else of adult responsibility.

  • tarran||

    And you, sir, have very poor reading comprehension.

    Where did I say that the west had all the blame?

    I have a feeling that I hire Sandusky to watch your children, would you be showing up at my house with a rifle? Or would you be telling everyone how I didn't do anything wrong...

  • tarran||

    er.. last paragraph should have been

    I have a feeling that if I hired Sandusky to watch your children, you be showing up at my house with a rifle rather than telling everyone how I didn't do anything wrong...

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Well, let's see here: should I blame the White Colonial Masters who committed this Power Play in 19-fuckin'-16, or the grown men and women who are beheading people for tweets in 2012? What does it say when you reach back almost 100 years to vitiate adult responsibility?

  • tarran||

    Could you point me to where I vitiated responsibility?

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    You didn't per se absolve them, but your priorities are inarguably out of whack. Whose first thought, when presented with something like this, is "Blame the West"? How about blaming the compliant sheep and their barbaric shepherds?

  • tarran||

    Whose first thought, when presented with something like this, is "Blame the West"?

    Here's a hint.... You don't have ESP. You don't know how I think.

    OF COURSE I CONDEMN THEM
    YOU TWIT!

    Go find where I have a kind word to say about Islamic terrorists!

    Hell, read what I wrote further down-thread!

    And I'm sure one of your idealogical descendants 100 years from now will be explaining why nobody should assign any responsibility to Obama for whatever problem groups that are taking root in Libya right now or to bush for whatever monsters come out of Iraq.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Could you point me to where I vitiated responsibility?

    You're too cowardly to even do that upfront. You just imply by talking only about colonial powerplays of old.

  • ||

    Western nations have much to atone for, sure, but blaming the West for the abhorrent degeneracy of these perma-fourteenth-century barbarians is utterly ridiculous. Fuck them all to the deepest, loneliest, hottest pits of hell.

  • tarran||

    Yet, without British support do you think the Wahabists would have any influence outside of a few tribes living in a desert which were hated by their neighbors?

    Giving guns, training and money to those guys was like putting Sandusky in charge of a boarding school. And it wasn't an accident: they were picked because they were so violently fanatical.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    *yawn* - point made about third-order effects of colonialism. You can stop "not blaming" Britain now.

  • ||

    The British did this a lot, almost everywhere they colonized in Asia and Africa. I won't blame them for the fanaticism of the people they empowered but I'll blame those long dead British leaders that implemented the divide-and-empower-to-help-conquer style of colonialism for that empowerment. Sweeping it under the rug and not recognizing how some radical groups gain power is a bad idea.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Yet, without British support do you think the Wahabists would have any influence outside of a few tribes living in a desert which were hated by their neighbors?

    Pipe down there, Harry Turtledove.

  • ||

    That's right Rev. Because we think that America and Britain did, and continue to, fuck with all those retarded ass nomadic tribes over there we are peacenik hippies who hate America. The West is completely blameless in this whole sordid mess.

    Here's an idea: Why don't we just leave everybody the fuck alone?

  • Cytotoxic||

    The West is blameless. Enough time has passed for these adults to rectify their mistakes. The Maldives is an Islamist hellhole too and that is not the fault of "the west (?)" either.

  • ||

    Except we are still fucking poking them in the ass like the little brother that taunts until the older brother does something.

    It. Is. Fucking. Stupid.

  • Maxxx||

    Hey, at least he blamed Britain instead of the US this time.

  • Fatwa Issuer||

    Al-Jazeera has translated a few of Kashgari's tweets

    Then Al-Jazeera must die!

  • sarcasmic||

    He shouldn't have fled to a Muslim nation.

    What a maroon.

  • Confusius Say||

    but Islam is dynamite religion.

  • o3||

    i see what u did there, propane breather

  • Confusius Say||

    Taoist: Shit happens.
    Buddhist: If shit happens, it isn't really shit.
    Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?
    Hindu: This shit happened before.
    Protestant: Let shit happen to someone else.
    Catholic: If shit happens, you deserved it.
    Jewish: Why does shit always happen to us?
    New Age: Shit is warm.
    Atheist: Who gives a shit.
    Agnostic: Don't know shit.
    Islam: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah.
    Wahabi: Turn that shit into a Bubba bomb.
    Confusius say: When chips are down, buffalo empty.

  • Anomalous||

    Calvinism: it is pre-ordained that this shit would happen.

  • More Succinct||

    Calvinism: shit was bound to happen.

  • db||

    Seriously. You might want to google "saudi extradition treaties" before you book that ticket.

  • db||

    BTW, is anyone really looking forward to the time when Saudi Arabia or Iran develop drone and/or orbital kinetic technology that can carry out fatwas across national boundaries?

  • Obama teh Magnificent||

    *yawn*

  • ||

    The drone will never be as effective as a lone assassin.

  • Mensan||

    Or an Iranian ninja.

  • tarran||

    Not really:

    The Saudi royal family is increasingly struggling to retain control.

    The Mutaween (religious police) lost their aura of inviolability after they murdered a bunch of girls in a 2002 Mecca school fire.

    The muscle for the 9/11 hicackers came from provinces in Saudi Arabia where the royal family is hated with a passion. During the occupation of Iraq, the King had the imams preach jihad to the young men encouraging them to go fight Americans in Iraq allowing the U.S. Army to slaughter the troublemakers while his hands stayed clean. Back in 2006, the locals started figuring this out. Teh Wahabists maintain their power through terror. The thing about terror is that it only works so far; at some point people realize they hve nothing left to lose, and when he terrorists show weakness, the knives come out, and the whole edifice of power collapses as if a bomb obliterated the support columns on the first floor.

    I recently read a news article where a woman was attacked by two mutaween patrolers. She beat them up, with the assistance of bystanders. And even though the victors' names were known, the mutaween decided not to go after them further.

    Spring is coming.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After tweeting about the Prophet Muhammad, 23-year old Saudi writer Hamza Kashgari could face the death penalty for blasphemy.

    Should this be an indictment of the Saudis, of Islam or of religion in general? The U.S. government, at some point, will need to take a look at its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

  • db||

    It seems to be less of a point and more of a line that has been stretching for some time.

  • affenkopfs||

    Saudi Arabia are an enemy of Iran. Therefore Saudi Arabia is our friend. We have always been at war with Iran.

  • Don't Know||

    I don't think it's necessarily an indictment of Islam or religion in general. Especially considering religion isn't the only reason we kill or go to war. It does make the Saudis look like 15th century papists though. Or 17th (or is that 18th) century Puritans in Salem.

  • Confusius Say||

    Salem Witch Trials, 24 executions from February 1692 to May 1693.
    Also, 12 earlier executions for witchcraft in New England: 1647 in Hartford, 1648 in Boston, 1648 in Hartford, c. 1650 in Dorchester, c. 1650 in Cambridge, 1651 in Boston, 1651 in Fairfield, 1653 in Hartford, 1656 in Boston, 1662 in Hartford, 1662 in Hartford, and 1688 in Boston.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So in a few centuries they'll grow out of the bloodlusty zero tolerance, too?

  • ||

    The only way they'll be able to do that is the same way Jews and Christians did -- learn to either ignore wittingly, or fail to read enormous portions of, their holy books.

  • H man||

    Well the Saudis did outlaw slavery in 1962 so I would say they're on their way to ignore some of their holy book.

  • ||

    Islam. Truly believing the Koran to be the literal word of Allah could bring only such actions.

  • tarran||

    I think it's an indictment of the Wahabist sect and of Islam in general.

    The major danger in Islam is that the Koran is the literal word of God. The Bible is not; it is the word of men inspired by God.

    So if the Bible says that you need to make your wife live in a hut while she's menstruating, you can decide to ignore the command since the guy who put it in there might have mistakenly adulterated the divine message.

    The Koran, on the other hand, was dictated, in Arabic, by an angel. No plausible deniability there. It's God's word, period.

    Now most moslems are normal people and don't do the crazy shit the literal reading of the text commands. They smooth the edges and make compromises to make life easier. But, the fact that an angel dictated some crazy instruction biases people against that compromise.

    To be honest, if it wasn't for the practice of violently attacking or killing apostates, I think alot of moslems over the next few centuries would convert to Christianity, atheism or agnosticism.

    When I started considering converting to Christianity as an adult, I was struck by how humane the religion is. How its basic principles could be applied to any culture or issue. It bends and endures where harder ethical systems shatter brittely. The violence towards apostates is a sign of that brittleness.

  • ||

    I was struck by how humane the religion is

    ----------

    Sure, if you ignore half of its holy book.

  • tarran||

    Which is my point... You can ignore three quarters of it if you want and still be a Christian. Its central principle is very humane.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So if the Bible says that you need to make your wife live in a hut while she's menstruating

    This is timeless wisdom. When she's on the rag, somebody has to go and it damn sure won't be me.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    If the US didn't re-examine its relationship with Saudi Arabia on September 12th, 2001, it never will.

  • Andrew Hall||

    I don't know why Muslims simply can't get along and unite around hating Jews.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Fuck those guys.

  • rather||

    Some pigs officials are more equals than others

  • rather||

    And some pigs whore crappy websites.

    READ MY BLOG

  • rather||

    What is it with libertarian boys who hide behind anonymity?

    Have you always felt insignificant, and this gives you some do over for a middle school experience?

    Try acting like a man

  • The Big Ignore™||

    Tee hee hee.

  • rather||

    Hmm, you are not following the rules, and for god sake wear shoes!

    OMG, they have jerk circle food too!

  • o3||

    my eyes x>(

  • Apatheist||

    Clearly this means we should bomb Iran.

  • ||

    And begin drone strikes on Malaysia.

  • db||

    I have a co worker who is Malaysian and lives there. He's a really nice guy, and I don't think he's a practicicing Muslim. I wonder what he would think about this. I'll make a point to ask him (but when he's overe here, for his own safety). Maybe if people traveled more than 50 miles from their home in their lives they'd be a little less likely to want to kill different people all the time. I realize you weren't serious about the drones; just making an observation here.

  • ||

    Maybe if people traveled more than 50 miles from their home in their lives they'd be a little less likely to want to kill different people all the time.

    -----------

    Not if God Almighty, creator and supreme shaper and ruler of existence itself, commands you to.

  • Skip||

    There were plenty of farmboys in the US who never traveled 10 miles from where they were born who weren't bloodthirsty animals.

  • db||

    This is true not only of America but also of many other countries and cultures. However, hatred of the "other" can be found in many insular communities, such as Boston and New York, not only rural areas.

  • cynical||

    Maybe if people traveled more than 50 miles from their home in their lives they'd be a little less likely to want to kill different people all the time.

    It doesn't seem to work for soldiers.

  • ||

    The pretenses of their reason for travel differ greatly from those who travel to spend or make money.

  • ||

    I'm not so sure. But thanks for not thinking I was serious.

  • invisible furry hand||

    Is that the best he can do as blasphemy? If you're going to face death for your tweets, you'd want them to be really offensive - SugarFree level, no less

  • Don't Know||

    Would Warty level be too much?

  • Mensan||

    Warty level may not be too much as far as blasphemy, but it will get whatever website you post it on sued.

  • ||

    You think I was like this when I was younger? Do you think this is easy? I spent years honing my craft. The Saudis are never going to let him get that chance.

  • invisible furry hand||

    I would never dismiss the hard graft of the man who gave the world the phrase "pleasure pits of Columbus, Ohio." But surely as a callow youth the combination of your inherent genius and sweaty lucubrations could have produced something magnificent. Or at least better than this.

  • ||

    Yes, I was a wunderkind, but I had a lot of advantages, mainly access to smutty books and an early and deep-set anti-authoritarianism. This poor kid might only be a few years or months out of his mulism-straight-edge teen years.

  • tarran||

    The Saudis are never going to let him get that chance.

    Maybe a capable person outside the country should step up to the plate: a heroic Simon Jester. ;)

  • ||

    We need a central clearing house first. An anarchic AI agitator.

  • protefeed||

    I thought this one was world class funny blasphemy:

    No Saudi women will go to hell, because it's impossible to go there twice.

  • BoscoH||

    The overall apologetic tone sounds surprisingly like liberals abandoning Obama this year.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Okay, I'm not going to watch Sheikh Nasser al Omar. Does he cry? Because if he doesn't, the Ed Muskie crack is way over my head. It's not a Polack joke, is it?

  • ||

    Malaysia? Should've ran across the border to Thailand as soon as he landed! Why did he run to a muslim country like Malaysia?

  • An unnamed source||

    Some more of that Eastern enlightenment and tolerance a certain Indian immigrant is always advancing in her columns on Reason.

    Diversity kills. All Reasonable men know this.

  • Jumbie||

    Right, just as the Iraq invasion was more of that Western Enlightenment we keep hearing about?

    Go pick your cherries somewhere else.

  • ||

    Modern Western governments are becoming hives of assholes, retards, and thieves. Of course. How does that make apologism for Islam, and like degeneracy, any less disgusting?

  • ||

    This is the one inheritance of mainstream liberalism that often leaks into libertarian-minded people's heads -- pluralism. Apart from the Oriental nations, Asia can eat shit and die, for all I care.

  • +||

    You seem to have anger management issues.
    Would you care to discuss it with a stranger on the internet?

  • rather||

    aw, man I forgot to change my handle back

  • +||

    Go on...

  • rather||

    ^ spoof. Stop spoofing me assholes

  • rather||

    Get back to your jerk cicle assholes...please ignore me; I'd love it

  • Libertarian2||

    If the Saudis are our friends, why do I feel like taking a shower?

  • Attendant||

    Could be the chat room.

  • rather||

    ^spoof. Stop spoofing me assholes!

  • rather||

    It will be interesting when your name is published....

  • ||

    "I swear to God, I wrote what I wrote because I love the Prophet, but I made a mistake and I hope that God forgives me and all those who were insulted forgive me as well."

    Winston Smith converts to Islam.

  • Loki||

    Islam: religion of peace.

  • cynical||

    Requiescat in pacem, sure.

  • GILMORE||

    I've been reading The Looming Tower for the second time now..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Looming_Tower

    It is sort of a biography of Ayman Zawahiri (Egyptian) & Bin Laden (Saudi)...also basically a history of the major post 70s islamist movements (e.g. Islamist Group, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Jihad) some of which eventually merged into Al Q.

    So much of the book is about how the Saud family rulers have been holding on to power with their fingernails since 1979, when the Great Mosque was attacked by fundamentalist dissidents. Their reaction over the following 2 decades was to actually give the clerical establishment & fundamentalists *more* power. (i.e. basically, the 'godfather' strategy = keep your friends close, but your enemies closer) They were terrified of domestic revolt & insurrection - so they spent billions sending all the mujaheddin to Afghanistan in the 80s... they donated money to every 'rebel' islamist group in the world - as long as they kept their revolution outside the kingdom.

    One facet of this is that even when they're "modernizing" (e.g. allowing women to drive a little!)... they'll still on occasion get medieval when its politically expedient. A little arbitrary execution here and there *does* help keep people in line.

    Interesting book, btw, highly recommended.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    I must say that when I ponder how bad Saudia Arabia is with the Royals ruling with an iron hand, I then consider what it would be like with unbridled democracy. I find it hard to imagine an improvement.

  • erikjay||

    I take a back seat to no one in criticizing the U.S. government and our warmongering. We have plenty of domestic problems, too, the main one being the spread of Yuppie Tyranny or whatever you want to call it. However, to posit moral equivalence between our country and those that execute people for thought crimes is still way out of line. Yep, we have innocents in prison -- and we're getting some of them out. Yep, SWAT and cops murder people over dime bags of pot, but in my neck of the woods two Fullerton cops are on trial for killing Kelly Thomas, a homeless and harmless fellow. So we still have a battle here -- but it's all over for our poor brothers and sisters in many other nations. And if "pluralism" means I actually do care what happens to other people -- NOT their governments -- then I will have to plead guilty. If compassion becomes even further identified with leftist politics, and continues to be disdained by (some) libertarians, we will continue losing the PR battle. Remember, the left revolves around "fairness" and "caring" and we don't have to compromise principles to find better ways of reaching people.

    I have relatives (known and unknown) all over the world, and I will not write off Asia or any other place, or recommend to them a diet of offal, like a previous poster. If I am going to be quoted out of context, I would rather sound like a liberal than a right-wing nutcase. You see what happened to Romney when he made a (fairly) appropriate comment that he "didn't care about the very poor" because they had a safety net. What happened to THAT sentence? The usual.

  • ||

    All Muslim countries are still in the 7th century,and will stay that way for the next thousand years or so. Any fanatics of Allah out there care to disagree?

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