I’ve received a number of calls and emails asking to help 23 year old Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari.
Hamza’s a Muslim who has been forced to flee Saudi Arabia because his Tweets about Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, have been deemed to be offensive and blasphemous by Islamists calling for his head. The Saudi king has personally issued an order to bring him to ‘justice’ and Saudi clerics have demanded that he be prosecuted for ‘cursing the prophet’. If he is found guilty, he will most likely be executed.
As a result of threats to his life, including the publishing of his home address and personal contact details, Hamza has been forced to flee the country. En route to New Zealand where he hoped to apply for asylum, he was stopped and detained in Malaysia.
There are fears that he will be deported back to Saudi Arabia where he faces imprisonment and even execution for tweeting the below to mark Mohammad’s birthday:
“On your birthday, 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, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.”
“On your birthday, 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.”
Though Hamza has apologised and ‘repented’, his life remains in danger.
It’s important that we support him and demand that he be granted protection.
Here’s what you can do:
Contact the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia and ask that they immediately interview him and grant him protection. He cannot be returned to Saudi Arabia where he faces a well-founded fear of persecution.
Here’s their details:
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
570, Jalan Bukit Petaling
50460 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2141 1322
Fax: 603 2141 1780
You can also sign this petition set up by one of Hamza’s friends.
You have got to do it now.
(Information via emails and phone calls from friends and supporters.)