Blasphemy in Saudi

Blasphemy laws used to settle private scores


Update: Mulling New Blasphemy Law...

Saudi considers extreme punishment for religious insult via social media

Link Here 17th July 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Saudi...Blasphemy laws used to settle private scores

Saudi Arabia is studying new laws to criminalise insulting Islam, including in social media, and the law could carry heavy penalties, a Saudi paper said on Sunday.

Within the next two months the Shura Council will reveal the outcome of study on the regulations to combat the criticism of the basic tenets of Islamic sharia, unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter told al-Watan, adding that there could be severe punishments for violators.

Criticism penalised under the law would include that of the religious character Mohammed, early Muslim figures and clerics, it said.

The (regulations) are important at the present time because violations over social networks on the Internet have been observed in the past months, the sources said. Refering to the case of thw  Saudi blogger and columnist Hamza Kashgari. He was was arrested for tweeting comments deemed as insulting to Mohammad. Kashgari said that there were things he liked and disliked about him.



Update: Saudi Needs Someone to Rectify the Faith of Mohammed...

Saudi writer arrested for tweet critical of islam

Link Here 25th December 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Saudi...Blasphemy laws used to settle private scores

A well-known Saudi writer, Turki Al-Hamad, was arrested on Monday for tweets deemed critical of Islam. Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef reportedly ordered the arrest.

The response online has been polarised, with many using the hashtag ( Translated: The arrest of Turki Al-Hamad ) to come to Al-Hamad's defence and others using ( Translated: Turki Al-Hamad the heretic ) to condemn him.

The specific tweet Al-Hamad was allegedly arrested for, shown below, implies he thinks Islam should be corrected:

[Translation] Our Prophet came to rectify the faith of Abraham, and now is a time when we need someone to rectify the faith of Mohammed.

Update: Released

6th June 2013. See  article from

Saudi Arabia has released prominent novelist Turki Al Hamad, who was arrested in December after a series of tweets criticising extreme versions of Islamism and saying Islam needed renewal.

Hamad, one of Saudi Arabia's best known liberal thinkers, was not tried during his six months in jail.



Update: Victim Freed...

Saudi free blogger who posted an imaginary conversation with the religious character Mohammed

Link Here 30th October 2013
Full story: Blasphemy in Saudi...Blasphemy laws used to settle private scores
Saudi journalist and blogger Hamza Kashgari, detained for 625 days on blasphemy charges, has been released.

The writer was arrested in 2011 when he tweeted a mock conversation between himself and the religious character Mohammed which sparked furious responses, including death threats.

He tried to flee Saudi Arabia, but was detained in Malaysia and deported following a request by Interpol on behalf of Saudi authorities.


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