Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Since last week I have been much more up on current events. This is something that I have come to enjoy from this class because I typically do not watch the news on TV because of the amount of unhappy news. I have many more online resources lately that allow me to filter the news to things I think are more important.
One news story that I found particularly interesting was that Malaysian authorities have deported a Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a tweet. We have recently spoken of what has been going on in this area of the world and the influence that social media has been playing in it. I felt that this is one of the more intersting stories I have heard about the government taking action due to Twitter. Police confirmed to the BBC that Hamza Kashgari was sent back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday despite protests from human rights groups. Mr Kashgari's controversial tweet last week sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. Insulting the prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam and is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. I think it would be outrageous for the government to kill a man simply based on a 140 character comment on a social media site.
Mr Kashgari apologised and deleted the tweet, but when he continued to receive threats, he left for Malaysia. The two countries do not have a formal extradition treaty but Malaysia has good relations with Saudi Arabia as a fellow Muslim country, says the BBC's Jennifer Pak, in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Kashgari's lawyer obtained an injunction on Sunday to allow him to stay in Malaysia until his case was heard, but it was too late, our correspondent says. "The nature of the charges against the individual in this case are a matter for the Saudi Arabian authorities," Malaysia's home ministry said in a statement. Amnesty International has warned that Mr Kashgari could be executed in Saudi Arabia if he is found guilty of apostasy. "If the Malaysian authorities hand over Hamza Kashgari to Saudi Arabia, they could end up complicit in any violations he suffers," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty's Middle East division.

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