Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari, jailed and facing possible execution.
These are Tweets that can get you arrested in Saudi Arabia, and possibly killed:
On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you. On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more. On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.
These were posted in 140 character increments by Hamza Kashgari. To me its shocking that this would land a young man in jail. This is actually a statement of faith, of honest seeking, of the yearning and creation of a relationship with God. From what little I have felt of the Prophet (pbuh), he would not condemn this young man to death, nor detain him for a moment.
This post from altmuslim sums up a lot of what I would say:
The Prophet’s life is full of stories of how he forgave his worst enemies. Time and again, he refrained from taking personal revenge against anyone who slighted him, attacked him or even tried to kill him. His own uncle, Abu Lahab, would follow the Prophet wherever he went and tell people, “Don’t listen to him! He is a madman.” The Prophet did not even try to stop him. And when he marched triumphantly in Makkah, where I am sure many of Hamza Kashgari’s detractors now live, he told the Quraish tribe — his most bitter and brutal of enemies — “Go now and be free, I forgive you.”
Where has that spirit of forgiveness and compassion gone? Where has that kindness and generosity gone in the land of the Prophet (pbuh)? Why this rush for blood and death? This is reminiscent of the reaction to the silly Danish cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If one really loves the Prophet, then he will react in the way the Prophet would react: with kindness and generosity. Listen to the word of God:
“But [since] good and evil cannot be equal, repel thou [evil] with something that is better and lo!, he between whom and thyself was enmity [may then become] as though he had [always] been close [unto thee], a true friend! (41:34)”
The Saudi government is not a just custodian of the Islamic faith, they just occupy the land that holds the holy cities. Anyone who has truly felt or tried to feel God in their lives knows the feelings that Hamza has expressed. A relationship with God is not the perfect social artifact we try to portray to the world. It is a relationship. Abraham, Moses, Mohammed, Jesus, they all struggled with their relationship with God, fighting and rejecting Him at times. To condemn a young man for wrestling with his own faith is, IMHO, a sin.