Feb 12 2012

Free Hamza Kashgari

You know the drill – same old same old. Join this Facebook group. You know the media report it when causes get big support on Facebook, so join. I added a few people, because you can’t just invite any more – but I’m shy about adding because it seems so presumptuous, so if I neglected to add you, add yourself. And all your friends. Don’t be shy!

And sign the petition.

And say harsh things about Malaysia as well as Saudi Arabia.


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  1. 1

    Dammit, Ophelia, I have such deep reservations about Facebook that I have no wish to join it. Why not Change.org, or Human Rights First?

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    The petition is at Change.org.

    I understand about Facebook, but the media do count heads in pressure groups, so it is worth joining urgent ones like this.

  3. 3

    Thanks. I’ve found it and signed.

  4. 4
    'Tis Himself

    Petition signed. Like Gordon, I don’t do Facebook.

  5. 5

    I had sent emails out to people in KL begging for help and advice on late on Friday night (as Maryam had said that she was looking for a lawyer to rep Hamza) and before they could even reply, the bastards had deported him. They sidestepped the legal manoeuvres deliberately.

    Despicable but exactly what you’d expect from a home minister- Hishamuddin- who held aloft a knife/kris at his political party’s annual convention and warned that blood would flow if nonmuslims and non-malays (one and same according to the malaysian constitution) questioned the supremacy of race and religion in malaysia.

    Or that he instigated his party thugs to defile a hindu temple with a cowhead demonstration. Literally. They walked brandishing a bloody cow’s head and ‘warned’ their fellow hindu citizens. On another thread in FTB, someone is actually mentioning Malaysia as a moderate muslim country. Yeah, once upon a time.

    Bet the Improbable joes of this world dont know any of this stuff right? But that Ophelia does because she actually writes about and links to the people who fight against this kind of numbingly callous religious thuggery. That she or Namazie have done more to save ‘muslim’ lives than the fucking joes of the world.

  6. 6
    Bernard Hurley

    Petition signed and joined facebook group – I don’t like that organisation either, and reblogged (is that a word?)

  7. 7
    Irreverend Bastard

    Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari was detained at the airport following a request by Interpol on behalf of the Saudi authorities.


  8. 8
    Irreverend Bastard


    Never mind, old news.

  9. 9

    Interpol’s mandate has nothing whatsoever to do with enforcing religious “law”. Since when has Inteerpol been in the business of fatwas?

    Why is a secular law-enforcement organisation helping the OIC impose sharia diktats about “blasphemy” on the entire planet?

    To boot, one wonders if the Saudis have ever contributed a single cent to Interpol’s operating costs.

  10. 10
    Ophelia Benson

    In fact Interpol (I read in one of the articles yesterday) specifically does not police political or religious “crimes” – so it broke its own rules. Why the hell?

  11. 11
    Roberto Malini

    Poetry Before the Law

    on the deportation of the poet Hamza Kashgari back to Saudi Arabia

    Spare the poet, O Law,
    for his soul expands
    beyond the sources of reason,
    as far as truth.

    Spare the poet, O Death,
    for his heart is the brother of a quasar
    that ignites the Universe.

    Spare the poet, O Faith,
    for his song
    rises like the Sun
    and reawakens the eternal in stone.

    Roberto Malini (English translation by Glenys Robinson)

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    Grazie, Roberto Malini!

    It’s an honor.


  13. 13

    There’s also this guy
    imprisoned since the age of 18, for 20 years already, after joking about praying on the penis of the “prophet”

  14. 14

    Not a Facebooker either, but I’ve signed the petition. Interesting comment from Mirax at #5. I look forward to the Guardian or New York Times article pointing this stuff out. Not.

  15. 15

    All freedom loving people in the world must show their disgust to the S.-A.s barbarian regime !
    Free this young, gifted man ! There ought to be freedom of thought all over the world in 2012 ! Even in Saudi Arabia !

  16. 16
    Artiom Gevorgyan

    Save Hamza (Video appeal from Russia)

    This is a battle not only for the life of a person,
    but also for the freedom of speech and thinking,
    a battle for a peaceful future for our planet.

  17. 17

    I was investigating this issue for a class assignment and I wanted to share the video response I made:


    I honestly believe that people like Hamza Kasgari who have unique views about Islam, and anything really, should be free to express them. The government may think they can control what goes out, but in the end, social media will ensure that it is peope like him who will prevail.

    Having studied the media, I have faith that through social media, support for Hamza can be generated, and that he will be released!

  1. 18
    Roberto Malini: Poetry Before the Law | Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] Group, an NGO supporting Roma people and refugees, left a poem he wrote for Hamza Kashgari in a comment. I want it to be more visible than that, so here it is again. Poetry Before the Law on the [...]

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