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Fri 19 Mar 2010 04:25 PM

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Saudi blasphemy case filed against writer – paper

Jeddah Summary Court sends copy of lawsuit filed against writer to justice minister.

Saudi blasphemy case filed against writer – paper
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Jeddah’s Summary Court is expected to look into complaints raised by a number of people against a Saudi writer for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), according to a report. Saudi daily Arab News said that the Saudi writer had allegedly described a Hadith of the Prophet as barbaric, during a program on Al Hurra Channel, which is presented by Nadeen Al Badr.

The newspaper’s sources said that the court had sent a copy of the lawsuit filed against the man to Justice Minister Muhammad Al Eissa in order to seek his opinion on the issue.

According to Arab News, the plaintiffs have presented audio and visual evidence to prove their argument.

They believe that the writer’s action would not be accepted by any Muslim who is proud of his religion and hence want the court to give the writer a strong punishment in accordance with the Shariah law.

The plaintiffs have presented a copy of the writer’s interview with the television channel to the court along with their complaint in which they accused the writer of attacking the prophet’s personality, Arab News reported.

Last year, a case had been filed in Saudi Arabia against TV news station Al Arabiya for allegedly making fun of Islam.

The blasphemy allegations had been lodged with the summary court in Jeddah, according to Muhammad Mirdad, a judge at the court but Al Arabiya said it had not received official notification of the case.

In comments published by Arab News, Mirdad said Abdullah Al-Othaim, the chief judge at the court, had received the case, which has been lodged by a group of citizens.

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mohammed 10 years ago

When you are planning to start positive journalism about Saudi Arabia ...

John Harte 10 years ago

It's reports like this that gives Islam a bad name in the world. When a religion cannot face criticism then it is just another form of tyranny.

traveller 10 years ago

@John When people cant face criticism, they go for defamation cases. Defamation and libel cases are well known and heard of. Yet, when someones defames the Prophet, why do you find it hard to swallow that Islam has guidelines to deal with such cases.

an 10 years ago

First please note that the report does not state that "Islam" filed the complaint in the court. These are people who feel that no one should be allowed to make fun or degrade Islam or the prophet of Islam. Let me ask a question, if someone make fun of or ridicule a person I love, don't I have the right to defend it and take him to court and hold him accountable for his action. Any civilized person would agree that this is my right. So if it happens to my loved one I have a right to take him to court and when a person loves his prophet and want to hold the person accountable in the court of law we argue that it is tyranny? The fact is that u should appreciate that he took the rightful way and took him to court instead of taking the law in his own hands. And surely if someone takes the law in his own hand the he is to be condemned.

John Harte 10 years ago

The trouble is that any criticism of Islam is viewed as blasphemy and therefore punishable according to your rules. Islam is form of government, or way of living, and your Prophet is its advocate. Cannot a person criticise a boss or ruler or system of government? Why is criticism automatically viewed as defamation? I think that these are issues which would be interesting to be debated in the Muslim world. But I accept that we come from different cultures, and in my country nothing, not even religion or royals, are above criticism or ridicule. I suppose all we can do is agree to disagree!

Mujeeb 10 years ago

ISLAM CAN NEVER BE HAVE BAD NAME , NOR ANY FEAR TO GET BAD.  THE SO CALLED  FREEDOM OF SPEECH HAS TWO STANDARD WHICH IS ONLY LIMITED TO THE LIMITED PERSONALS.  THE WHOLE WORLD KNEW THAT THE MUSLIMS LOVE THEIR PROPHET MORE THAN THEIR LOVE ONES, FURTHER IN MUSLIMS COUNTRIES SPECIALLY SAUDI ARABIA , THE RULES AND LAWS ARE VERY CLEARLY DEFINED.  AND ANY STUPID COMMENTS ARE BANNED ON  OUR PROPHET MUHAMMED , BUT ALL PROPHETS ( INCLUDING   PROHPET  EISA  WHO IS ALSO THE AS RESPESTED JESSUS OF CHRISTIANS) AND PROPHET MOOSA WHO IS AS RESPECTED TO JEWS. FURTHER ISLAM NEVER ALLOWS TO INSULT ANY RELIGION.QURAN DESCRIBES THAT IF YOU WANT TO OBEY ALLAH SUBHANA, YOU FOLLOW PROPHET MUHAMMED.  THAN HOW CAN SOME COMMENTS ON THEM.BEFORE CREATING ANY COMMENTS OR CRITISM , WE MUST HAVE ATLEAST COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT IT.IF SOME ONE IS NOT MUSLIM, HE MUST READ QURAN AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH AND DIFFERENT LANGUAGES TO GET THE REALITY AND YOUR ANSWERS.  NO NEED TO ASK ANY ONE FOR YOUR QUESTIONS.WHILE ENTERING INTO ANY COUNTRY , WE HAVE TO FIRST GET THE RULES ,VISA REQUIREMENTS  AND ESSENTIALS DETAILS TO FOLLOW THEM WITH RESPECT IN ORDER TO NOT TO GET ITNO ANY TROUBLE OR  VOILATIONS THAT MIGHT HURT THE COUNTRY RULES, TRADITIONS AND RELIGION. 

traveller 10 years ago

@John I wonder why AB refused to publish my earlier comment, though they did not have a problem publishing John's comments. I had a very good reply to John (and it was not at all profane) though AB though otherwise.... anyways my point is there is a difference between healthy criticism and one sided ridiculing. I do not want to any any further coz I want AB to publish this comment. @AB. publish this comment at least, I dont think there was anything wrong in the previous comment though..

John Harte 10 years ago

@traveller, The AB article referred to the writer calling on of the hadiths barbaric, I don't think this is ridicule but rather criticism. @Taha, freedom of speech includes the right to criticize any religion. It would be better for people to argue and debate the point of criticism than to run to the argument that all criticism is wrong. This simply stops debate and closes minds, which equals stagnation and no progress.