Two Saudi Blasphemy Cases

The International Business Times reports (see also Gulf News and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty):

Novelist Turki al-Hamad, 58, one of Saudi Arabia’s more unapologetic and outspoken liberal voices, is now in custody for a series of posts he published on his Twitter last weekend comparing fundamentalist Islamist ideology and its strict social controls to Nazism and suggesting that political Islamists like those allied with Saudi Arabia’s royal family have taken their adulation of Prophet Muhammad too far….

The Twitter post that most riled the kingdom’s formidable conservative religious establishment and Ministry of Information was this one, written in Arabic: “Our Prophet had come to rectify the faith of Abraham, and now is a time when we need someone to rectify the faith of Muhammad.”

That is a shocking statement to those who believe the Prophet received Allah’s perfect and final revelation.

By suggesting the Saudi religious authorities are guilty of the very thing they believe they are defending against, and that this needs to be “rectified,” Hamad’s criticism was viewed as an assault on Islam itself and a direct challenge to state defenders of the faith….

The International Business Times article also reports that “Raif Badawi, a 30-year-old website editor from the port city of Jeddah, [is also] facing apostasy charges for insulting Islam through a website he ran called ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ that allowed users to openly discuss the difference between ‘popular’ and ‘politicized’ Islam.”