By Nidal Chebbak
By Nidal Chebbak
Morocco World News
Fez, February 9, 2012
“Be careful of what you tweet!” this is what the Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari should have thought of before he tweeted a status that sparked a huge controversy in Saudi Arabia that dragged many procedures and threats.
Hamza Kashgari is a 23-year old Saudi writer and journalist. On the day Muslims celebrated the memory of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Hamza tweeted what could be regarded as the most irritating and of all his tweets that shook the Saudi societies as a whole.
“On the day of your birth, I will not bow to you; I will not kiss your hand. I will give you a hand shake and smile as you smile back to me; I’ll talk to you as a friend no more.”
Saudi people have different reactions on social media about what Hamza said on his Twitter. Most of them accused him of offending the Prophet and religion, and labeled him as an apostate.
In a page that was created against Hamza Kashgar entitled “Campaign to Call for the Prosecution of Hamza Kachgari”.
“This is the most cursed Tweet ever! May Allah curse him and anyone who dares to defend him,” said Jaafar, on his facebook page.
“Whoever degrades the holy position of our Prophet (PBUH) or any other prophet must be prosecuted,” said Ali, another young Saudi.
Very few people tried to explain that it was just a misunderstanding of the tweet and tried to give him excuses.
According to Wael: “Yes, it is inappropriate to talk about the Prophet (PBUH) this way, but I did not find in what Hamza twitted what could give to rise such overreaction. Prophet Mohammed did not order any one to bow to him, he always stressed that bowing should only be to Allah. According to our Prophet, anyone who bows to or worships any prophet will be considered as a polytheist.”
After his case was taken to court and Hamza started receiving death threats, he released a statement on his Twitter account in which he apologized for his “unintended mistake and for hurting the feelings of anyone.
I hope that Allah will forgive me. It does not represent the reality of my faith in the prophet.”
“I declare my repentance and breakaway from all the stray thoughts that have affected me, as a result of some expressions about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) which I completely withdraw and disavow. I declare my repentance and my adherence to al-Chahada and there is no God but Allah” he stated.
Despite this declaration, the Saudi society was still outraged at the “offensive” tweet that prominent religious scientists declared it as insolent attack on religion and demanded that Kashgar be prosecuted.
Some news reports revealed that Kashgari has managed to flee the country to Jordan, then to the UAE and then to an undefined country in South East Asia.
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