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    » 02/10/2012, 00.00

    SAUDI ARABIA – MALAYSIA

    Saudi committee calls for “harsh punitive measures” against man who insulted Muhammad



    Writer and poet Hamza Kashghari is deemed an infidel and apostate. Malaysian police announce his arrest. Under Sharia, anyone who commits a “sacrilegious action” that may make him or her kafir should be given three days to repent, failing which the person is to be beheaded.
    Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Hamza Kashghari, a Saudi writer and poet arrested in Malaysia for a few remarks on Twitter about Muhammad, is an infidel and an apostate. His sacrilegious action deserve “harsh punitive measures”, warned Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Religious Edicts (IFTA). "Whoever dares make a mockery of Allah, the Prophet or the Holy Book undermines the religion and displays enmity toward it. It is the duty of the rulers to try such a criminal," the committee said.

    The accusation against Hamza, 23, stem from a few remarks he posted on Twitter last week, birthday of the prophet Muhammad. “On your birthday,” he wrote, “I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.”

    “On your birthday,” he added, “I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more. 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.”

    In one day, his comment generated 30,000 responses, many accusing him of blasphemy or calling for his death. Even though he removed the offending tweet, and apologised asking for forgiveness, the flood did not stop. Someone posted his address on YouTube, and vigilantes from a nearby mosque went looking for him.

    The information minister banned all newspapers from publishing anything written by him, and the Council of Elders issued a rare statement of condemnation and harsh request that he be put on trial. King Abdullah himself issued the arrest order.

    Two days ago, the young man tried to leave the country, but he was arrested by Malaysian police. “Kashgari was detained at the airport upon arrival following a request made to us by Interpol after the Saudi authorities applied for it," a police spokesman said.

    Malaysia and Saudi Arabia do not have a formal extradition treaty. However, an official with the Malaysian Home Ministry who asked to remain unidentified said Kashgari could be extradited under other bilateral security agreements.

    Under Sharia (Islamic law), anyone who commits sacrilegious actions that may make him or her kafir should be given three days to repent, failing which the person is to be beheaded.
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    See also

    15/01/2016 PALESTINE – SAUDI ARABIA
    Ramallah: intellectual stand up for Ashraf Fayadh, sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia
    On death row for apostasy, the 35-year-old poet could be beheaded. Next week, a panel of judges is expected to review his case. His works will be read in 42 countries as part of campaign designed to secure his release. Artists and intellectuals speak out on his behalf.

    09/02/2012 MALAYSIA-SAUDI ARABIA
    "Blasphemous" Saudi Poet arrested in Malaysia and deported to Jeddah. Risks death
    Kashgari Hamza, 23, the day before the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed published a comment on Twitter: " I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you ". Forced to flee; he was arrested in Malaysia, and will be tried at home for blasphemy. He risks the death penalty.

    20/04/2012 SAUDI ARABIA
    Sri Lanka woman accused of sorcery could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia
    She was arrested after a man complained that his daughter started acting strangely during a trip to a shopping centre in Jeddah after they came close to the Sri Lankan. Since September, two people have been put to death for the same reason.

    12/06/2007 MALAYSIA
    Lina Joy affair sparks apostasy debate among Muslims
    Legal experts and Islamic scholars and leaders square off before a large audience in a public debate over the conflict that pits Sharia against civil law in conversion cases. Some believe the issue has not been settled since the Qur’an is silent as to how apostasy should be punished and that what punishment that does exist “is man-made”. Others insist that any dialogue must be preceded by “respect for religion and its experts.”

    15/04/2009 SAUDI ARABIA – ISLAM
    Blogger convert to Christianity released from Saudi prison
    Arrested for openly choosing Jesus, Saudi man is released after some months. He still cannot leave the country or appear in media, but many are surprised by the leniency. Under Sharia apostasy is punished by death.



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