Saturday, 18 February 2012

Silent Thinking In Saudi Arabia


A recent event has caused some silent thinking and discussion in hushed tones in Saudi Arabia.
A young man expressed a thought, or three, out loud, or rather in writing, on Twitter.
Thoughts that, at their essence, show a young man who admires his prophet but at the same time is searching for the answers to questions.  The sort of questions that people ask about faith - who am I, why am I, what is the reason behind the things I am to believe.

The result of his thoughts, sent into cyber space in increments of 140 characters?  Bloodlust.

Not love, not compassion, not even an attempt to ask what may be happening in a young mans life that he feels the way he does.  Certainly no-one who responded to his tweets ventured to provide him with the answers he seeks.  No-one offering to guide him back to the correct path.  Not that he's fallen off the path, he's just stopped to say, "Why? I don't understand".



The response from the majority of The Knowledgeable and a large proportion of the masses for honestly, candidly (and in hindsight, perhaps foolishly) expressing his thoughts is that he should be punished with death.

As I sift through the information available, the voices of reason are hard to find. Why are they so quiet? Perhaps they are waiting for the initial uproar to die down before giving a considered response.  One hopes it is not because of fear of expressing an opinion, though quite obviously a warning precedent has been set.

Silently I ponder, 'Is this my concern?'  This is not my country, this is not my religion'.  But I live in this world.  A world that internet, telecommunications, satelite TV and air flight has made extremely small.  So cries of the indignant are coming not just from this Arabian peninsular, but from Muslims resident around the globe.


If The Powers That Be had taken this tweet and responded in reasonable manner, the most obvious being to send an Imam to talk with the young man in question offering something along the lines of pastoral care, the rest of the world would not now be looking, once again, at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islam in a negative light. 

And a young man would not now be facing a possible execution which, by all media accounts, is what most Saudi clerics prefer.  They want to make an example of Hamza ensuring he is tried to the fullest extent of Saudi Islamic law for apostasy.

If an example is required, then why not make a positive one.  Islam is love and forgiveness.  We are always being told this.  Google 'MuHammed and forgiveness' and you'll get about 3,110,000 results (0.11 seconds).   Google 'Allah and forgiveness' and over 5 million results are found in 0.25 seconds.

Here is a chance for the clerics responsible for guiding believers, and who themselves use and monitor social forums like Twitter and Facebook, to show their understanding of the concept of forgiveness.  And the idea that only Allah can, and will, judge a man on his judgement day.

But until a decision is made, we within Saudi Arabia, all wait, holding our breath, thinking in silent or hushed contemplation.


Ka Kite,
Kiwi

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