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Feb 07 2012

This is why we’re defending free expression – for the likes of Hamza Kashgari

Hamza Kashgari, a young journalist, was banned from writing in Saudi Arabia by the Saudi Minister of Information and has reportedly been forced to flee after being accused of blasphemy, atheism, and apostasy and following calls for his head.

His crime? Tweeting about Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, including about how he’s equal to him and how he hates some of Mohammad’s characteristics… (Only some?)

The Saudi Minister of Information ‘wept’ upon reading Hamza’s tweets ‘offending’ the prophet (and not as you might expect when he heard that someone must flee for his life for merely tweeting and despite having had to apologise)…

And, dear readers, this is why we’re defending free expression on 11 February – for the likes of Hamza Kashgari.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: It seems the Saudi government is trying to get Hamza back from wherever he has fled to in order to prosecute him. We need to step in and defend him so watch this space so we can see what we can do to help him.

(Via @SaudiHope on Twitter)

29 comments

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  1. 1
    Saudi ex-muslim

    There is very important points I need to point out,
    One, the overwhelming number of Saudis of fundamentalists, moderates and even so called liberals who called to punish him from jail to death, including a Saudi Human Rights Activists!

    Two, muslims, call his tweets offensive, but when I read his tweets I noticed they’re barely so, maybe critique, this is dangerous indicator which show the high level of intolerance.

    Three, MOST WORSE, is how social media is used out in the public to plan killing him. he got hacked and his addresses is published in Youtube while people devising how to kill him on twitter! under the blessings of Twitter sheikhs calling for violence.

    Saudi Arabia government is no place for trust, and right now he is running out of hope, unless there is an international intervention then he have no hope to survive.

    1. 1.1
      Maryam Namazie

      I think one of the things we can do at the rally is highlight his case and also that of Alex Aan and people who are being persecuted for expressing their views. I will also send a letter to the UNHCR tomorrow. They cannot allow his deportation if he faces a risk to his life. Once I have the letter ready I will post it here with some addresses so others can also send letters to them. If anyone can help set up a petition too it would be good.

      1. nshaikal

        M Namazie , I am an Indonesian and really against sharia law and I support secularism and also freedom of speech . Keep up the good work , M Namazie !

        1. tempatmukini

          Sharia law kejam sekali. Umat muslim harus sadar bawha itulah hukum islam yg benar dan kalau mereka tolak sharia, seharunya islam ditolak juga…

      2. Have a nice day!!

        Hello!!
        Best of luck…
        don’t touch Muslim’s faith… OK?

        1. dirtyMuhammed

          or what?

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Nightmare.

  3. 3
    Saudi ex-muslim

    I want to add, there is published Twitmail articles which show that his tweets was under surveillance by fundamentalist fanatics, a dangerous indicator of how freedom of expression monitored, not just by the government but even by fanatics volunteered to monitor the society. This will be adequate to push the any social change efforts 10 years back.

    In a desperate attempt some tried to write to protect him but also received death threats.

    1. 3.1
      nshaikal

      And they also received death threats?It s scary

  4. 4
    Jet

    Ah, good old religious tolerance rearing it’s head again. It’s really too bad that religious people can’t get their heads around the idea that it’s not their problem if other people don’t have the same beliefs that they profess, and it’s not their duty to put them to death for it.

  5. 5
    Rafiq Mahmood

    We have just been reminded that the same situation applies here in Indonesia. Tweets here which are deemed “insulting” can lead to between seven and twelve years imprisonment. Jakarta Globe: ‘Rude’, ‘Anonymous’ Tweeters Beware: Tifatul to Target Twitter

    Well damn it. If I’m going to be hung for a lamb I might as well be hung for a bloody camel. This has gone far too far.

    This is what I have commented on Indonesian and global facebook pages about this fascist oppression:

    What greater madness can there be than worrying that someone who has been dead for fourteen centuries might be upset about something a young man tweeted? WE MUST FIGHT THIS BARBAROUS INSANITY before it crushes all of us.

    Yes, Hamza Kashgari, you ARE better than Muhammad ibn Abdullah. I am better than Muhammad ibn Abdullah. We are all better than Muhammad ibn Abdullah. We are far better educated, have a higher moral understanding and do not suffer his delusional psychoses and we do not make his absurd claims.

    And the most important way in which we are all better than Muhammad ibn Abdullah is that we are all actually alive now. We can really think and really speak. Muhammad does not exist any more. He is just as imaginary as his alter-ego, Allah. Yet it seems the eejuts worship the sensitive shade of Muhmmad ibn Abdullah more than Allah whom they keep reminding themselves is supposed to be “the greatest”.

    1. 5.1
      yasmeen

      thank you, what you wrote eased the pain i’m feeling towards hamza’s case.
      what happened to hamza will happen to many young minds in saudi. something has to happen to stop this insanity with those fundamentalist rats.

    2. 5.2
      nshaikal

      Excellent,R Mahmood!

  6. 6
    Mr.Kosta

    “Religion of peace” my ass. Fuck Islam.

    1. 6.1
      Rafiq Mahmood

      No “Mr Kosta”. Not “fuck Islam”. That is the problem, there are too many interests in close congress with it already. Fight it, expose it, help people escape from it.

      1. A R

        Dear Readers,

        Saying anything wrong to the elders or scholars or religious people might be a normal thing in your religion or society but saying any thing about others it is not allowed!

        My Question is to all the Press and Expression freedom lovers is that why they can’t say a word about Jweish or the so-called fake massacre done by Hitlor againt them? Just check any where on internet or print and electronic media, if any person says even a single word he / she is banned from his basic human rights and lot of other things.

        More over respecting other religious culture and honour them is also very very important. If you have anything against Islam or prophet (PBAH) please keep them to yourself and don’t tell us or Muslims about what we should we do.

        1. Sigmund

          Nobody is forcing muslims to do anything against their religious rules. What we are saying is that non-muslims should not have to follow those same religious rules.
          Is it fair that a muslim should be forced to avoid eating beef because it is offensive to the hindu religion?
          You wouldn’t think it fair to be forced to conform to the religious rules of another religion.
          Why try to impose the same thing on others?
          Portraying the prophet in a cartoon is offensive to you.
          Fair enough, we know that.
          However it should be pointed out that portraying the prophet exactly as it is written in the Koran and Hadiths is offensive to many non-muslims – especially when these teachings are direct incitements to discrimination against non-muslims and provide religious justification for disgusting practices like forcing marriage onto nine year old girls.

    2. 6.2
      ffffffffkkkk

      Fuck Christianity
      fuck Jewish

      fuck U

  7. 7
    mUntada

    Where is freedom of speech for those who say anything about the so-called Holocaust? No one is supposed to even question that there was a Holocaust, so why is voicing an opinion against everything else is labeled as freedom of speech? Isn’t it against the law in Thailand to make any derogatory marks against its king? Every country has its laws.

    1. 7.1
      Sigmund

      Who, here, is denying you the right to be a holocaust denier?
      You can deny it all you want, just as you can deny that the Earth is a sphere or that gravity exists.
      Some European countries have laws against holocaust denial (based on the idea that in denying the holocaust, you are labeling concentration camp survivors as liars) but I suspect most of us on this site are proponents of free speech and would be against the principle of those laws – although (hopefully) disagreeing with the ideas of the holocaust deniers themselves.

    2. 7.2
      Wow!

      And I can almost bet that none of those countries that have laws against holocaust denialism has the death penalty on the books as the penalty. Still, it is wrong to have such laws regardless of the nature of the penalty or the lack thereof.
      The worst kind of defense as you posited is saying, “well every other person does it, so it must be okay for me to do it too.” It does not speak well of your morals.

  8. 8
    Aslan

    Thank you for your effort Maryam Namazie.

    Please help stop the extradition of Hamza from Malaysia to Saudi. The guy will face the apostasy law by those savage barbarians if he’s sent back to Saudi.

    Sign this petition for Hamza
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/death-calls-for-saudi-poet-and-blogger/

  9. 9
    Really!!!

    Guys…
    Go and drink from the ocean…

  10. 10
    augustpamplona

    It doesn’t look good. He has now been detained in Malaysia.

    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-arrests-saudi-blogger-over-prophet-mohammad-tweets/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/saudi-writer-detained-after-tweets-about-muhammad/2012/02/09/gIQApsgW2Q_story.html

    The fact that the Malaysian Insider is trying to call it an Interpol operation makes me very suspicious. I am wondering if they are trying to get around something. Does Malaysia have the authority to arrest him for crimes committed in Saudi Arabia? Do they have an extradition treaty which would cover this?

    In any event, this appears to be against Interpol’s constitution:

    “It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”

    http://www.interpol.int/About-INTERPOL/Legal-materials/Neutrality-Article-3-of-the-Constitution

  11. 11
    Garudamon11

    This is real islam, not the sugar-coated version they try to show you.
    im glad that I left this crazy religion, death to religions and death to clerics

  12. 12
    Really!!!

    Dear All-
    Just a question to Maryam Namazie!! and please answer my question..

    What do you know about Islam? And what are the resources that you get your information from? What do you know about our prophet Muhammad BPUH..?

    Just I want to know your background and the mentality which I am talking to..

    Looking forward to hearing from you dear..
    Best.

    1. 12.1
      Please ask me!

      Dear Maryam Namazie-
      If you want to know why and how much we love our prophet, please take 10 min from you life and have a look at this website. This what I know about smart people like you the curiosity to look for the truth.

      http://www.rasoulallah.net/

      Best Regards.. :)

    2. 12.2
      dirtyMuhammed

      There is no god. get over it.
      muhammed was no prophet, worst thing to happen to the world.
      One day, there will not be religion in the world and we will have some peace.

  13. 13
    Let's talk!

    Hello..
    Please have a look at this link!!

  1. 14
    Saudi Arabia: Kill the Tweeter! | Religious Atrocities

    [...] Maryam Namazie. Hamza Kashgari, a young journalist, was banned from writing in Saudi Arabia by the Saudi Minister of Information and has reportedly been forced to flee after being accused of blasphemy, atheism, and apostasy and following calls for his head. [...]

  2. 15
    Insanity — Prosecuted for questioning religion. « oneiricspirit

    [...] Apparently this is the man where it’s all about (picture source): [...]

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