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20 May 2024

Reprieve unlikely for Saudi writer after cleric backs death sentence

By Staff

A senior Saudi Muslim cleric indicated on Monday that a local young man who offended Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and fled the Gulf kingdom would be executed after his repatriation from Malaysia.

Sheikh Saleh bin Fowzan Al Fowzan, a member of the 7-man supreme committee of scholars in Saudi Arabia, said it has been established in Islam that any one who insults God or the Prophet should be killed.

“Repenting will not work…any man who insults God or our Prophet (PBUH) should be killed,” he said, quoted by Saudi newspapers.

“But we should first verify that this man (Hamza Kashgari) did insult Prophet Mohammed in his article on Twitter…if verified, then he must be killed……many scholars and people are now demanding his execution.”

Kashgari, 23, fled Saudi Arabia to Malaysia last week after King Abdullah ordered him arrested and punished for writing an article on Twitter deemed by Saudi Moslem scholars as abusive of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

He was later reported arrested by Malaysian authorities at Kuala Lumpur airport and western news reports said on Sunday he would be repatriated.

One Saudi daily said on Sunday Kashgari was heading for New Zealand to seek asylum before his arrest.