Monday, February 13, 2012

This guy is probably going to be executed because of his Tweets

by Salman Hameed

At a theoretical level, we can analyze the reasons why freedom of speech can be a tricky issue for nations for various reasons. We can also see why more and more cases coming to light on the struggle for individual rights versus the state in many Muslim countries. We can see that individuals are pushing the boundaries of expression and the states - resisting change - are pushing back.

And then of course, there is Saudi "women-still-can't-drive" Arabia. Just this past December, the government there executed a woman on the charges of sorcery. The life of Lebanese TV host was spared on similar charges after severe pressure from the international community. He spend "only" two years in jail - waiting to see if he will be executed this week or the next. And there are countless other cases like this. And no - please don't try to provide any defense for this kind of barbarity.

Now we have the case of 23-year old Hamza Kashgari. Yup 23 years old. He has just been extradited from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia - where is likely going to face execution.

Shame on Malaysia! He was trying to go to New Zealand and was arrested in transit. Initially it was reported that Interpol arrested him - but now it turns out that it was the work of just Malaysians.

Oh - wait. You might ask that he must be a dangerous criminal if he is going to be executed back in Saudi Arabia. After all, there is Facebook campaign calling for his execution. Is he a serial killer on the loose.

Well...he offended people via his tweets. He is deemed to have insulted the Prophet (PBUH). Even setting apart the fact that people can call for execution for such things in the 21st century, how must he have said in the limited twitter space? Were his tweets full of profanity?

Here are some of his offending tweets from Al-Akhbar:

Below are the controversial tweets posted by Hamza Kashgari along with their English translations. 
On your birthday, I will say that I loved the rebel in you, which always inspired me. But I didn’t like the aura of holiness, I will not bless you.On your birthday, I see you in my face everywhere I turn. I will say that I loved some things in you, hated some things, and I did not understand many other things.
On your birthday, I will not bow to you. I won’t kiss your hands. I will shake hands with you as an equal, and smile at you like you smile at me, and talk to you only as a friend, nothing more.

Burn him. Kill him. Tie him at the stake. 
An obscene number of people were killed in the witch trials from 16th-18th centuries. The estimates of witch-executions range from 40,000-60,000 people - most of them older women. I'm glad that Saudi Arabia has a low population. In addition, I doubt that the current monarchy's efforts to keep Saudi Arabia in the middle ages will last very long. Otherwise, the protectors of the Holy Land have the pre-requisites to match the brutal record of the pre-modern Europe. 
We have to stand up and raise our voice on this issue. If there is a facebook group calling for his execution - then I hope a lot lot more people can join together to eclipse these insane voices. You can at least join Save Hamza Kashgari Facebook page. If you know of a single petition place, add that in the comments.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is still better than being given 86 years in prison with a broken nose and one kidney taken away, for attacking helpless, defenseless commandos. Remember something? Now I will scroll back into your blog to look if that also qualified to attract your esteem attention, my lord.

AnotherAnonymous said...

Due to ambiguity in the Quran, Islam can really be interpreted in any way. Saudi Arabia can kill this guy and use Quranic verses to justify this inhumane act.

Anonymous said...

Which verse exactly? In my limited knowledge, there isn't any. One has to descend down to the level of these beasts (Saudis) to really misinterpret the verses to that extent to make such things happen. Thanks to the unflinching US support for these petro-bastards.

Ayman Fadel said...

Another post on this matter by Dr. Jalees Rehman.

Thank you for drawing attention to this injustice.

AnotherAnonymous said...

@Anonymous: Since you asked, here is a link where a Sheikh justifies killing for apostasy or name-calling the Prophet with references from the Quran and Hadiths: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/22809.

This doesn't only happen in Saudi Arabia, they also have a blasphemy law in Pakistan which can make anyone insulting the Prophet Muhammad get a death pnealty.

Anonymous said...

@AnotherAnonymous:
Where is the verse ordaining such a thing? Regarding Ahadith, well they were compiled centuries after Prophet (SA)'s death based on oral traditions. No wonder why Shia and Sunni Ahadith are different, even contradicting at times. These guys even don't need to quote Prophet (SA)'s words if they want to go their way.
One more thing, didn't Mr Kashghari discover an easy route to find asylum in New Zealand? Insult Prophet and live in a country of choice happily ever after. Soon this will become a norm, exhausting the resources of asylum-offering countries till they change their asylum policies. Bad on these countries, and even worse for genuine asylum seekers true humanitarian grounds. I think he should be punished, not capital punishment, but some sort of hefty fine for example to set an example.

AnotherAnonymous said...

@Anonymous: I don't know of a verse that literally suggests killing for insulting the Prophet, but the Hadiths in the above link definitely do.

I disagree with you, Hamza Kashgari doesn't deserve any punishment for insulting the Prophet.

If Hamza Kashgari really did commit a sin, then according to Islam Allah alone will punish Hamza Kashgari. There's no need for countries like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan to intervene and decide who to kill based on religious reasons.

In Islam killing an innocent person is like killing all of mankind, so why does Saudi Arabia and Pakistan feel like they have the rights to punish and kill someone over religious reasons?

I hope they can re-interpret Islam in a new and more peaceful way. But I remain pessimistic by the way things are going on right now. IMO, Islam needs a major reformation.

Anonymous said...

Very good discussion Mashallah

Jazakallah for the aricle

Anonymous said...

Salamulakim, Salman Hameed, well written article. I enjoy reading your blog.


Jazakallah

Anonymous said...

@AnotherAnonymous:
Actually there isn't any verse that ordains killing for the said reason. And even the clergy's twisted logic is based on interpretation of stories based on mere oral accounts through generations.
And I thought I suggested penalising him for misusing asylum law. It is hard for me to grasp that he didn't know the consequences of doing this in such a country. It all seemed staged...just didn't work as expected.
And just for your information, many times more people have been sued and punished for defaming other people and organizations that insulting the prophet. So any suggestions to end any such laws altogether in your mind.
Islam has always been 'reformed' in all eras to fit in the contemporary traditions and customs. So if you think that it is the original Islam that is being followed in countries like Saudi Arabia, Afganista, Iran, or Pakistan to say a few, then you are mistaken. Now as you seem interested in commenting about Islam, I think you will also be interested in reading Quran to find how much your knowledge is based on pre-supposed ideas about this religion and the truth is so much different.
Didn't I update your knowledge that there is no sugestion for a capital punishment for blasphemy in Quran? Now go back and find if there is any suggestion for compulsion to wear burqa or keeping beard, or no schooling for females in Quran. You will be astonishingly surprised.

Anonymous said...

Correction

Please read

'And just for your information, many times more people have been sued and punished for defaming other people and organizations THAN insulting the prophet.'

Anonymous said...

May justice be done through Allah only. No one is a better judge than Him.