‘Tweetcrime’ Could Result In Death Penalty Under Sharia In Saudi Arabia

By • on February 14, 2012

Those who claim that sharia law is just a moral code and something used to settle family disputes may be surprised that it could result in the death of a man who is accused of ‘insulting the Prophet Muhammad’ in tweets.  Even though he apologised for his tweets people are still demanding that he be executed in view of the seriousness of this most heinous of ‘crimes’.  It looks like the actual charge will be for apostasy as THIS article at SouthEastAsiaRealtime reports. Further information on this heartbreaking case can be found at National Post.

Malaysia, of course, is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), the very same organisation that is lobbying against freedom of expression and demanding a global blasphemy law.  The instrument for this is the innocuous sounding United Nations Resolution 16/18 which refers to:

“Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.”

We can see clearly from this case, if people are willing to spend a few short minutes reading the articles that we have linked to,  that the accused young man has been stigmatised, discriminated against, been the victim of incitement to violence, and may ultimately be the victim of state sanctioned violence on the basis of beliefs stated in a casual communication via Twitter.  It that the sort of fearful world that people want to live in?  If United Nations Resolution 16/18 becomes the basis of a global legal norm then that is the direction that the world is likely to take.

It seems from these kinds of cases that sharia law can be used as an instrument of terror to punish thought crime.  It is a very sad testament to the state of Western democracy when sharia compliance is put forward as something that is reasonable and ethical and something to be embraced on human rights grounds.  Western Governments are currently encouraging the OIC’s anti free speech efforts by supporting the Istanbul Process.  Do they really think that it is a good idea for legislation to be created that can potentially be abused in this way to effectively punish people as heretics? Perhaps the powers that be want a docile compliant population who are afraid to give voice even the most basic of thoughts.

Laws that place unreasonable restrictions on freedom of expression, such as those based on sharia compliance, only serve to destabilise society by creating an atmosphere for mob rule and witch hunts.  They do not create happy societies or just societies and they are designed to only to protect established interests and entrenched dogma.  The vicious and spiteful way in which this young man has been hounded and put into a state of terror is a perfect illustration of why freedom of expression and universal human rights are essential.  Sharia compliance provides for neither and serves to undermine them both.  Increasingly people are persecuted in Western countries when they disagree with and campaign against sharia.  Western societies are becoming darker and more fearful places as a result of the gradual slide towards sharia ‘justice’.

By making excuses for sharia and encouraging the creation of sharia norms in Western societies national leaders are demonstrating that they are moving their societies away from the values of the Enlightenment.  They are making people think that their rulers actually support the terror that sharia can inflict as a means of increasing and consolidating their own political power.