The plight of a young Saudi journalist accused of blaspheming Islam’s prophet on the Internet is prompting growing concern around the world, although the Obama administration has been silent on the case so far.
Hamza Kashgari, 23, fled his native country last week after his postings on Twitter brought death threats and calls for his execution. En route to New Zealand he was arrested at Kuala Lumpur international airport in Malaysia, and sent back to Saudi Arabia in controversial circumstances.Now under arrest at home, Kashgari faces the possibility of a trial for apostasy, which carries the death penalty in the kingdom. Senior religious leaders are pressing for a quick trial, and Saudi media report that many clerics in Mecca raised the case in their Friday sermons on Feb. 10.“Some of the imams dedicated their entire Friday sermon to attacking the blogger and calling for his trial, while others strongly warned against insulting the Prophet in words or deeds,” the Arab News reported. “Some of the imams were not able to hold back their tears while defending the Prophet, recalling verses from the Qur’an warning against attacking Allah or His Prophet.”Human rights advocacy groups have been voicing concern about the case for several days, and the president of the European Parliament as well as a spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton both indicated an intention to do whatever was possible to ensure a positive resolution.On Tuesday, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent advisory body, expressed grave concern.
Obama Administration Silent on Saudi Journalist Accused of Online Blasphemy | CNSNews.com