Imam of Mecca Slams Twitter; What He Said And Why He Said It
On April 6, a high profile Saudi Imam has decided to take on twitter. Imam of Mecca, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, slammed Twitter as being a great danger for the national unity of Saudi because according to him twitter promotes courageous and bold actions that lead to confusion destroying the national unity.
The following is a brief summary of what he said. You can find a youtube video of his speech here.
He started off by saying that twitter is a tool introduced by people who are trying to destroy Muslims’ belief and unity and make them stupid. He added that only strong believers would survive and would not be affected by the “charms” of the lies that twitter promotes and will keep their unity. He said that others who fall into the trap of “twitter” are destroying the unity of the country and of the Muslim nation (Ummah) as whole by believing the false accusations against Saudi Arabia, accusations that are aimed to undermine the truth and justice. Then he went on to describe the defense mechanisms by which “twitter” can be defeated. He said that a smart person don’t fall into this trap and protects his mind from those poisonous and deceptive ideas and initiate his sense of national belonging and Islamic principles that are promoted by the Quran and the prophet and the prophet’s companions. He said that the people who use twitter to compromise the national unity and the religious principles are doing so in the name of free speech and civil rights, while all they are doing is following their desires, arguing about nonsense and making noise for no reason. He then asked when these tools are going to be implemented for the benefits of the religion, society and the nation. He then added that people who fell into the trap have sold their religion and their conscience and took the path of betrayal and spying to serve the agenda of the enemies of the Muslim nation (Ummah). At the end he warned twitter users of the consequences of their actions and reminded them to learn from the mistakes of others, who went down the same road, and invited them to come back to their senses and appreciate their nation and their country.
As an Arabic native speaker, I have to say that his speech was poetic and he clearly spent a lot of time working on it and writing it. He also used a couple of poetry lines in order to emphasize his points. But a couple of observations are due:
His speech contained the word “nation” at least 10 times. The speech’s topic clearly has been introduced to him by the Saudi government officials, who are thinking about limiting twitter access only to users who submit ID for registration.
Mecca’s Friday player’s speech is watched by millions of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and across the world in addition to people that attend it in Mecca. This audience consists mainly of fathers, mothers and uncles of the young Muslims who are using twitter and supposedly negatively affected by it. So those parents, who might not be familiar with twitter, are going to be swayed by the arguments Imam Al-Sudais made which would make them support a government action against twitter. Devoting 6 minutes of Friday prayer’s speech to highlight the threats twitter poses on Saudi nation shows how seriously Saudi government is hurting because of twitter and how determined they are about tackling the “twitter” problem.
As a frequent twitter user I can say that their concerns are valid. The Saudi hashtag (#Saudi) on twitter has people from around the world constantly sharing articles and tweets about Saudi laws, executions, court rulings, etc. One story that has recently emerged from Saud Arabia is the court ruling to paralyze, Ali Al Khawari, a Saudi man who stabbed his friend in the back causing him to be paralyzed for life. This sentence is part of the eye-for-an-eye justice as part of the Saudi law. Al Khawari was 14 when he stabbed the victim making him an adult under Saudi law. The ruling will take affect unless Al-kawahari pays $260,000 to the victim in return for the victim’s forgiveness.
So Saudi government is launching a campaign against twitter not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the whole Muslim world. This campaign is based mainly on religious reasoning and the fact that twitter is an ungodly tool that has been introduced by the enemies of Islam who want to manipulate the young Muslims and recruit them as spies in return for their conscience and souls.
Btw…. I have no Tweeter.
I used to have but… I like cats more!