Twitter Causes Cries of Blasphemy About Prophet Muhammad in Saudi Arabia
Oh God, here we go again. Another clash between the modern world and its technology in the 21st Century and those stuck in the past with obsolete traditions. Saudi Arabia seems to be having its share of lunatic fanatics that hate technology. There is the Saudi women uprising for the right to drive a car, something so common to the world, is alien to their old customs based on male dominated fears of losing control. Women cannot get a driver's license in most cases. So, several have taken the issue to their Court and Facebook under, women2drive, for international pressure to change the custom (there is no law prohibiting women from driving, mind you).
Now enters a 23 yr. old man, a Saudi columnist and very tech savvy. Last Saturday was the birth of Prophet Muhammad. The columnist, Hamza Kashgari, who was raised in a conservative religious home, mused about (as he tweeted on Twitter) how he might act if he met the Holy one, one on one, man to man. God, this sounds so innocent to probably most Westerners or others. I mean, you only have 140 characters to say anything! His musings wondered about this man who is their Prophet. How harmless can this be?
Within a 24 hr time span, his tweets had 30000 responses from mostly very irate believers. Some said that he had cursed the Prophet by talking about him, others had obtained fatwas, which was a cleric's decision. Many of the responses called for his execution and one cleric indicated his act was punishable by death. Those calling for these extreme measures used YouTube and Twitter themselves to gather support. One tweet offered $2600 for the murder of Hamza. Another tweet displayed a picture from Google to show where he lived and said he was a "Dead Man Walking". King Abdullah ordered his arrest for blasphemy!
Scared, Hamaz fled Saudi Arabia and remotely deleted his tweets and apologized, asking for forgiveness. One Cleric said he should be forgiven, yet Saudi newspapers received overwhelming emails asking for punishment should he return.
I know, this is such am incredible and ridiculous story to most humans on earth. But it demonstrates why the East and West will never be best friends, we will just tolerate one another as we watch such antics.
It was just this month King Abdullah pardoned a Saudi man from a long prison term for the same thing (he had been sentenced to death!). Earlier, an Australian man was found guilty of this same thing. He received 75 lashes.
Yes, you read this right-75 lashes before he got the hell out of that country.
- Saudi Arabia's Women2Drive Campaign
Why can't Saudi women drive a car?