February 16, 2012
Saudi writer faces execution over Twitter posts about the Prophet Muhammad
There have been a lot of entries, but here’s a horrifying addition to the Don’t Insult Islam’s Holy Prophet file: A Saudi writer faces execution in his native country for insulting Muhammad on Twitter.
Hamza Kashgari, a 23-year-old newspaper columnist, was detained upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and has been deported by Malaysian authorities. His crime? Tweeting this on the occasion of Muhammad’s birthday last week, via the AP:
Somehow, that is blasphemy worthy of death.
Andrew Brown of the Guardian opines that Kashgari likely “will not be executed, if he makes a sufficiently grovelling apology, though he will certainly be punished cruelly for something that is not a crime in any civilised society.” But his fate remains unknown.
As for Saudi Arabian authorities, not only are they telling other countries to butt out of the situation, which is ripe for human rights violations—they’re also theatening Kashgari’s supporters.