Saudi Arabia Warns Twitter Users of Impending #Damnation

Straight to hell in 140 characters or less

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“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” warns the famed 12th century proverb. A modern-day addendum to that truism might read, “in 140 characters or less” — at least in Saudi Arabia. That’s because the head of the kingdom’s religious police has condemned anyone who uses social media, especially Twitter, of having “lost this world and his afterlife.”

According to a BBC report, the Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Asheik, said that Twitter was the “platform for those who did not have any platform,” a view that reflects Riyadh’s concerns that dissidents are using online networking to plot antiestablishment activities. The official’s comments echo the sentiments of the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, who used an April sermon to urge followers to turn their back on Twitter. The Grand Mufti has also verbally attacked Twitter users for being “fools” and “clowns” on several occasions, reports the International Digital Times. Not known for his liberal views, the exulted spiritual leader claimed last month that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” according to ArabianBusiness.com.

(MORE: The Remarkable Story Behind the First Movie Shot Entirely in Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia has the world’s fastest growth in Twitter users, according to the BBC. Tweets have provided grassroots coverage of recent protests in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province, as well as images of human-rights activists on trial. In response, security officials have suggested quelling dissent by linking Twitter accounts with users’ national ID numbers. A number of Web activists have been detained in recent months, including at least one for apostasy (formally abandoning one’s faith), an offense that could result in execution.

Observers view the conservative kingdom’s opposition to Twitter as a reminder of the messaging service’s worth. “The more that repressive government seek to ban Twitter, the more they remind us of the value of this resource as a force for freedom around the world,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley wrote in a blog post on his personal site.

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4 comments
Wpaul
Wpaul

People have to know that there are agendas at work to try to destabilize this peaceful land. I'm an American Muslim living in Saudi Arabia, and I closed my titter account, Why? because the real enemy is the Marxist Leninist Zionist threat which attempts to pit people against Governments which create a worst outcome. Our Prophet warned from turning away from the people of Knowledge. and revolting against your leaders even if they are oppressors. this plot which the enemies of Islam are rejoicing over. and I will never give them that. Islam is the truth and it forbids confusion and turmoil, and plots using methods of protest and demonstrations. all one needs to do is look at Iraq, Egypt, and Libya to know that fact. I wont support Twitter anymore, even if a Saudi prince has dropped a bundle to support the site. I'm moving my social network. I'm sticking to the scholars Not the politicians.

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MusulmanoApostata
MusulmanoApostata like.author.displayName 1 Like

You've been BRAINWASHED by religious scholars, who in no way can be regarded as 'educated' (in the broad sense) nor regarded as being 'enlightened'.   Their religious dogma keeps people such as yourself, and billions of others, under the dark Islamic veil of ignorance. 

Nano
Nano like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Your information is misleading, you did not search enough to know that this 'fatwa' did not come from the Grand Mufti, it came from the head of the religious police - who everyone in the kingdom knows is just a tool used by the government. This fatwa has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics; it is a final attempt to shut people up.  A lousy one, if I may say so myself. 

Biff_Starbuck
Biff_Starbuck like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

This fatwa against twitter stems from a specific incident that caused outrage amongst the public. Two weeks ago a young woman was at a mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia shopping with her parents and younger sibling. A prince stopped the daughter and tried to force her to take his phone number, while his friend and bodyguards kept her family away. Apparently fearing society's response against even the appearance of dating, she refused...and was killed for it.

When leaving the mall, from in front of her family and witnesses the girl was grabbed and pulled into a vehicle apparently belonging to the prince's friend. Police reportedly chased the vehicle and a recording of the apparent transmissions including the license plate number was posted online.

The body of the girl was recovered the next day, and the news report claimed it was a random 28-year old who had been missing for a month. The news said a prince had denied in online statements any involvment, but listed a prince with a different name who had never been accused in the first place. The family of course recognized their own daughter who had been kidnapped the day before.

Many Saudis seem to think it is yet another case of members of the royal family being untouchable and above the law. Already other reported family members are discussing having been pressured to be quiet in order to receive the young woman's body.

Now supporters of the royal family (and perhaps government employees) are trying to dilute the hashtag http://bit.ly/14k9arW about the young woman known as "Tahliya Girl" by putting in extraneous tweets showing Taliban members and other nonsense. Tahliya is the name of the street from which she was kidnapped. The reported photo of the girl's body is posted online as well. 

What was yesterday's solution at the public outcry? A "fatwa" from a government cleric declaring it un-Islamic or sinful to use Twitter. Nevermind the kidnapping and murder, shame on the king's subjects for using Twitter to expose what one of the country's 5,000 princes did.

Girls are afraid of being arrested by the religious police or shamed by society for letting a boy give them a phone number, but when one does what society demands, she is killed because of it.