The Arab League chief, Nabil al-Araby, has said comments made by a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson in Egypt against the United Arab Emirates were “hostile,” in a statement issued by his office on Monday.And, yes, insulting the government can land you in jail, even in "moderate" Arab states:
The Brotherhood spokesman, Mahmoud Ghozlan, had threatened action against the UAE if the Gulf country would attempt to capture and prosecute prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The Sheikh had sparked a heated row between the UAE and his Brotherhood supporters when he criticized the Gulf state for reportedly revoking the visas of Syrians who protested against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad outside of the Syrian consulate in Dubai.
Qaradawi’s comments provoked a heated response from the Dubai police chief, Dhahi Khalfan, who threatened to arrest the Sheikh.
“We are going to issue an arrest warrant against Sheikh Qaradawi” Khalfan wrote on his Twitter account earlier this week.
“If he insults the UAE will we leave him? ...Whoever insults the state or the government of the UAE, I will pursue him,” the police chief added.
In response to the Muslim Brotherhood’s retaliated threat of action against the UAE, Egyptian media cited Araby as saying on Monday: “I call on all political forces to resort to wisdom and prudence and to avoid hostile attitudes and irresponsible statements that can be detrimental to relations between Arab countries, and that cause dissension and division.”
The Arab League chief added: “We are about to prepare for the coming Arab summit in Baghdad, which we hope would restore the spirit of Arab solidarity and unify Arab positions on the challenges and major variables facing the region.”
Jordanian military prosecutors have charged six activists with insulting King Abdullah II during a demonstration in the southern city of Tafileh last week, a judicial official said on Tuesday.You see, that's why we need the Arab Spring. Instead of getting thrown in jail for three years for insulting the king, you can face the death penalty for insulting Mohammed. It's so much less barbaric.
"Twenty-one have been arrested following the demonstration. State security court prosecutors have charged all of them with rioting and six of insulting the king," the official told AFP.
If convicted, the six suspects face three years in prison each.
Speaking of, it looks like the Saudi who tweeted messages meant to treat Mohammed like a human being - and who was charged with apostasy as a result - may get a light sentence, due to pressure from human rights activists and an abject, groveling apology he made in court:
An apostate Saudi journalist who is believed to be facing execution for insulting Prophet Mohammed PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him) has repented at court and this means reduced sentence.Just so you know the rule: make sure you never, ever insult Islam, orArab leaders, or any sheikhs, or Mohammed, or any other prophets, or the Quran, or Allah. Judaism and Christianity and "non-divine religions" and Western leaders are fair game, though.
According to the Arabic language daily Sharq, Hamza Kashgari declared his repentance before the judge at the court in Riyadh.
“Kashgari declared his repentance and expressed regret for offending the Prophet (PBUH)….this means he will face a light sentence,” the paper said, citing Kashgari relatives.
The 23-year-old man, who works for Albilad Arabic language daily, fled to Malaysia last month after King Abdullah ordered his arrest on charges of apostasy in an article he wrote on Twitter. A few days later, he was deported to the Kingdom and arrested on arrival.
Speculation mounted after his arrest that Kashgari could be executed following statements by a senior Saudi Muslim cleric that the writer would be sentenced to death for apostasy.
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. “But we should first verify that this man (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.”
In an official statement, Kashghari announced that he had repented and asked for forgiveness. "I admit that my ideas and words were deviant. Some doubts had affected my thinking and drove me away from the correct path," he said.
He said he had completely abandoned all his wrong ideas and the tweets he wrote, saying he was depressed at the time.
Kashghari thanked family, relatives, friends and scholars who supported him and tried to guide him to the correct religious path.