After tweeting about the Prophet Muhammad, 23-year old Saudi
writer Hamza Kashgari could face the death penalty for blasphemy.
His tweets ignited a firestorm of controversy in Saudi Arabia,
leading to over
30,000 tweets in less than 24 hours. In response, Kashgari lost
his job as a columnist for the Jeddah-based al-Bilad, while the
Saudi Information Minister has
censored reprinting and carrying Kashgari's writings.
Meanwhile, Saudi Sheikh Nasser al Omar pulled a Ed Muskie as he
Saudi King Abdullah to execute Kashgari for his "apostasy."
Al-Jazeera has translated a few of Kashgari's
On your birthday I find you in front of me wherever I go, I
love many things about you and hate others, and there are many
things about you I don't understand.
On your birthday I won't bow in front of you, I won't kiss your
hand. Instead, I will shake it as an equal, I will smile at
you and you will smile back and I will talk to you as a friend, no
All the great gods that we worship, all the great fears that we
dread, all the desires that we wait for impatiently are but
figments of our imagination.
No Saudi women will go to hell, because it's impossible to go
Kashgari has since deleted the tweets and has
I deleted my previous tweets because after I consulted with a
few brothers, I realized that they may have been offensive to the
Prophet (PBUH) and I don't want anyone to misunderstand.
I swear to God, I wrote what I wrote because I love the Prophet,
but I made a mistake and I hope that God forgives me and all those
who were insulted forgive me as well.
After receiving death threats and finding his home address
leaked to the public, Kashgari fled the country and
sought asylum. However, he was just arrested in
Malaysia. His extradition is currently being coordinated with the
Saudi government. If he returns to Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Fatwa
Committee is calling for Kashgari to be punished in accordance with
Sharia law, which could be