- Global Voices - http://globalvoicesonline.org -
Saudi King Outlaws Religious Groups
Written by Osama Khalid On 4 February 2014 @ 8:03 am | 1 Comment
In Arabic, International Relations, Law, Middle East & North Africa, Politics, Religion, Saudi Arabia, War & Conflict, Weblog
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree which imposes prison sentences on Saudis who fight outside the country and on those who are “members of religious and extremist groups.” The decree incited different reactions on social media networks.
Thousands of Saudis have joined the civil war in Syria, including young fighters , and the Saudi media has been debating who to blame. The decree also comes after Egypt has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group .
The official Saudi News Agency reported :
Whoever participates or is involved in hostilities outside the Kingdom or joins radical religious and intellectual groups or currents, will be sentenced by no less than three years and not more than twenty years in prison. However, the punishment will be increased to no less than five years and no more than thirty years in prison for armed forces servicemen, a royal order stated here today.
The Arabic decree , however, did not mention “radical religious group,” but rather “religious and extreme,” which induced criticism for the vague language that it uses. Some Twitter users even started a hashtag: “King Abdullah outlaws the Muslim Brotherhood group .”
Political science academic Khalid al-Dekhayel stated that the decree does actually outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood:
تحديد الأمر "للتيارات أو الجماعات … الدينية … أوالمصنفة كمنظمات إرهابية داخلياً أو إقليمياً أو دولياً" يشمل الإخوان بعد تصنيف مصر لهم.
— Khalid al-Dekhayel (@kdriyadh) February 3, 2014 
The specification of “religious groups or those that are declared terrorist nationally, regionally or internationally” includes the Muslim Brotherhood after it was declared so by Egypt.
Saudi Twitter user Sultan al-Fifi noted the paradox in citing Sharia law to outlaw religious groups:
انطلاقًا من “مقاصد الشريعة الإسلامية”، سنجرم كل من ينتمي إلى جماعة الإخوان المسلمين التي تتاجر بالدين لأهداف سياسية.
— سلطان الفيفي (@SultanAlfifi) February 3, 2014 
Based on the purposes of the Islamic Sharia, we will criminalize those who join the Muslim Brotherhood which trades religion for political gain.
Twitter user Abdullah al-Awlah posted a newspaper headline from the 1960s when Saudi Arabia supported the Muslim Brotherhood against the nationalist regime in Egypt of Gamal Abdel Nasser. The headline reads: “Prince Faisal: The Muslim Brotherhood struggled for the sake of Allah by their souls and their money.”
— عبدالله يوسف العُولة (@Alawlah) February 3, 2014 
It means that anyone who says this will be punished:
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/04/saudi-king-outlaws-religious-groups/
URLs in this post:
 including young fighters: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/10/01/the-16-year-old-saudi-who-is-fighting-in-syria/
 Egypt has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/25/egypt-declares-muslim-brotherhood-terrorist-group
 reported: http://www.spa.gov.sa/English/readsinglenews.php?id=1194805&content_id=&scroll=1
 Arabic decree: http://www.alriyadh.com/net/article/906896
 King Abdullah outlaws the Muslim Brotherhood group: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%84%D9%83_%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87_%D9%8A%D8%AD%D8%B8%D8%B1_%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86_%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%86&src=hash
 February 3, 2014: https://twitter.com/kdriyadh/statuses/430373638303264768
 February 3, 2014: https://twitter.com/SultanAlfifi/statuses/430378174044962816
 #أمر_ملكي_بعقوبات_أصحاب_التيارات_والأحزاب_والفتنة: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23%D8%A3%D9%85%D8%B1_%D9%85%D9%84%D9%83%D9%8A_%D8%A8%D8%B9%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D8%A3%D8%B5%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%A8_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AD%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%A8_%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%A9&src=hash
 pic.twitter.com/o9ZveBVKnZ: http://t.co/o9ZveBVKnZ
 February 3, 2014: https://twitter.com/Alawlah/statuses/430369284217655296
This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Please read our attribution policy: http://globalvoicesonline.org/about/global-voices-attribution-policy