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May 21 2013

Saudi Wingnut: Twitter Leads to Hell

A Saudi cleric who leads that country’s religious police — how’s that for a dangerous concept? — has declared that using Twitter will condemn someone to an eternity in hell. Why? They don’t say. Some weird mixture of Islamic fundamentalism and Luddite philosophy, perhaps.

Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites – and especially Twitter – “has lost this world and his afterlife”.

Twitter was the platform for those who did not have any platform, he said.

His remarks reflect Riyadh’s concern that Saudis use Twitter to discuss sensitive political and other issues…

The sheikh’s comments echo those of the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in April who used his sermon – seen by millions on TV – to warn that Twitter was a threat to national unity, our correspondent says.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the kingdom’s most senior Muslim cleric, had dismissed Twitter users as “fools”.

These rhetorical attacks are part of a concerted offensive by the Saudi establishment on the social network site, our correspondent says.

Actually, the explanation for this is simple. They’ve seen how Twitter and other social media sites have helped amplify the efforts of reformers, especially during the Arab Spring that brought down several dictators in the region. Funny how God always seems to agree with whatever is most convenient for the ruling class at any given time.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Yeah! And the music them kids today listen to sucks too right?!

  2. 2
    jnorris

    …using Twitter will condemn someone to an eternity in hell. Why?

    Because Saudi clerics cannot count to 140.

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    “They’ve seen how Twitter and other social media sites have helped amplify the efforts of reformers, especially during the Arab Spring that brought down several dictators in the region.”

    Yup. The whole point of theocracies is to bring the power of religion and divine punishment to keep the ruling elite as the ruling elite. It is much easier to enforce a “ruling against sin” than arbitrary censorship.

  4. 4
    Abdul Alhazred

    Yeah! And the music them kids today listen to sucks too right?!

    According to the religious enforcers in question all music is prohibited (plainchanting the Quran not being considered music for the purpose of the prohibition).

  5. 5
    laurentweppe

    But the best part is:

    This guy inherited his position. He’s the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia not because he joined his clergy and raised through the ranks, nope: he joined the clergy because his family, closely tied to the royal house of Saud through arranged political marriage, own religious leadership like it was some private asset: The guy is literally a Lanister by way of Borgia: if a fiction writter had invented a similar character, he or she would have been slamed by the critics for inventing such an unbelievably unrealistic character.

  6. 6
    lofgren

    Twitter was the platform for those who did not have any platform, he said.

    And this is… a bad thing?

  7. 7
    Alverant

    Can a husband divorce his wife by tweeting “I divorce you” three times?

  8. 8
    a2audrey

    #1 Sharia don’t like it- Rock the Casbah!

  9. 9
    Abdul Alhazred

    @7

    Can a husband divorce his wife by tweeting “I divorce you” three times?

    Think you’re kidding?

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/05/world/asia/indonesia-text-divorce

  10. 10
    Worldtraveller

    All this time, I’ve been avoiding twitter. Might be time to get an account. :)

  11. 11
    anubisprime

    Twitter was the platform for those who did not have any platform, he said.

    And it would seem that all religions pine and drool for the yesteryear when their victims were disenfranchised, ignorant and unaware of the facts on any subject the clerics liked to smother in order to promote their own ‘facts’ on the situation.

    Well if you take away that isolation and manipulation in society, folks start questioning and where will that lead?

    All religions hate a communication technology that contains truth, and criticism, in equal measures, it makes them feel uncomfortable and precarious on their self imposed pedestals!

    But guess what?…to little to late, that genie is well and truly out of the bottle of clerical bullshite!
    To many gaps and sprung plates on the hull of their ark now, they are sinking, and not one of these cretins have a bucket to bail with or a valid clue as to how to plug the holes!

  12. 12
    sunny

    Worldtraveller

    All this time, I’ve been avoiding twitter. Might be time to get an account. :)
    ———

    All I have to say is: Welcome to hell! :)

  13. 13
    Alverant

    @9

    Divorce via text message has already been around for years. That’s why I brought up tweets. Next up, an app for the iphone so you can divorce with a touch of a button.

  14. 14
    Olav

    You all can laugh, but this sheikh is right. Twitter and Facebook are indeed from the Devil.

  15. 15
    busterggi

    Trust the Imans to make the Pope look progressive in comparison.

  16. 16
    grumpyoldfart

    Are we allowed to poke fun at the Saudis? I thought they were the good Arabs.

  17. 17
    Modusoperandi

    He’s lashing out because he feels unloved. Quick, somebody send him a dick pic!

  18. 18
    slc1

    Re grumpyoldfart @ #16

    The only good Arab is a **** Arab.

  19. 19
    bmiller

    Ah, slc1 freshens the conversation with a little bit of genocidal longing. What’s wrong, slc, are you just peeved the ultra orthodox don’t have the same degree of power as the Sheikh in the U.S. OTHER favorite little client racist colonial theocracy?

  20. 20
    Margaret

    So the guy on TV is complaining about the people using Twitter? Clearly his problem is not with technology but with the direction messages are sent in — he wants to send his messages to everybody and not get any back.

    Maybe I need to reconsider and get a Twitter account.

  21. 21
    shouldbeworking

    So I’m going to hell. If it exists, I’ll be in good company with lots of pork and good beer.

  22. 22
    Uncle Glenny

    …using Twitter will condemn someone to an eternity in hell. Why?

    When the Saudi religious police arrest you for what you tweeted it will seem that way.

  23. 23
    David Hart

    A few days ago there was a radio news-based comedy show that mentioned the Saudi “religious police… with their familiar catchphrase: Allah, Allah, Allah, what’s all this then?”

    Though that joke might not work outside the UK.

  24. 24
    Bronze Dog

    I think I might finally break down and get a Twitter account. Might as well see what newfangled things these kids are doing on my lawn.

  25. 25
    bryanfeir

    @David Hart:
    I think anybody who remembers Monty Python (especially their Church Police skit) will recognize what that joke is referring to.

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