The Case Of The Misguided Youth

Last week, during Maulud-ur-Rasul, a retweet in my Twitter timeline alerted me to the blasphemous tweet written by a young Saudi columnist by name of Hamzah Kashgari.

When I searched further, all I found out was thousands of condemnation for the 23 year old, mostly coming from the Middle East. Not satisfied, I then Googled him and probed further, wanting to know what he actually tweeted that angered so many Muslims on Twitter.

Hamza Kashgari: The Misguided Youth

When I finally read his by then deleted tweets, two things came to my mind; first, this boy is in a lot of shit, and secondly, albeit I find them to be blasphemous, his could surely compose a prose.

As a Muslim, and on the day with the Islamic world is celebrating the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday, I must say, despite the poetic way in which he composed it, it was wrong for him to say such things about Prophet Mohammad.

And knowing how the Saudis treat someone who is perceived to have blasphemed Islam, I immediately the boy is in deep shit. I mean, the dude is a Saudi himself; he should know better how the people and the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are vis a vis any perceived insults to the Islam.

Anyways, while FaceTiming with My Small Baby, I told her about the case. I even told her that the boy could write, and even promised her that I will send her the link of the site where his tweets could still be seen.

A few days ago, I read somewhere that he fled Saudi, enroute to a country in South East Asia. The first thing that crossed my mind was that I hoped he didn’t come to Malaysia. A few hours later, I read that he was arrested at KLIA!

The 23 year old's Twitter page

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia has no extradition treaty, but that doesn’t mean either country could not repatriate. And given that both are Muslim countries, who have a good relations to boot, I knew, deep in me, that the government will send him back.

When the Saudi King himself issues out a directive for the boy’s arrest, no Muslim country could ever not heed to the request, y’know? I don’t know how to explain it to most people; you have to be a Muslim to understand the magnanimity of such a personal request from the man who is known in the Islamic world as ‘The Custodian of The two Holy Mosques.”

I knew the Malaysian government didn’t have much of a choice but deport Kashgari back to the Kingdom and be tried for whatever crimes he’s perceived to be have committed according to the laws of Saudi Arabia.

When I arrived in KL yesterday, the whole of Malaysia was saddened and shocked, and rightfully and justifiably so, by the untimely demise of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest voices that ever lived. Towards the afternoon, when I checked the online portals on what’s the latest in the country, I found out that the young Saudi had been sent back.

Well, I was not surprised at all. I kinda knew that he would be. But what surprised me though was the kind of response that the few articles written about his deportation got from the Malaysian public. Overwhelmingly, the majority were of the opinion that the government sent the poor boy to his death.

I’m like, “wow.” Really? 

I understand that due process wasn’t followed but what does one expect from the government? Like seriously, is due process always followed in this country?

Before I digress, this is not about how unjust our government or judiciary is; this is about the fate of the 23 year old who was stupid enough to write something about a subject that he knew too well wouldn’t go down with his own government and people.

Placing things in proper perspective, the majority of the Malaysians who commented were condemning the government for sending him back, fully knowing that the chances are, he’s good as dead. As always in cases where death penalty is concerned, the human rights agencies and organizations come to the defense of the accused.

But here’s the bottom line, in my honest opinion; what do they expect the government to do? Or rather, what can the government do?

Those who are regulars to my blog, or those of you who know me enough, know that I’m pro-opposition. But this has nothing to do with my political beliefs. Nor does it have anything to do with my religious beliefs.

The tweets that got him into trouble

Did the government do the right thing by deporting him? Personally, I think so. 

As a Muslim country, I think they did the only thing that was available to them. This is not a question of human rights issues at all; this was a question of a Muslim country asking another Muslim country to send back someone who has blasphemed the Islam religion.

It’s really all about that.

It’s not Malaysia who is going to try him for the crimes he allegedly committed; it is the country where he came from, and whose government and her people he insulted.  A lot of people commented that the kid deleted his tweets, and apologized. But the same people did not know, or didn’t care, that he only did so because of the attention his tweets got. The boy was not repentant at all. He even said in an interview, after he has crossed the borders out of Saudi Arabia, that he didn’t understand the brouhaha over his tweets.


Seriously, do you call that repentance?

And what I found completely abhorrent amongst the comments were non-Muslims questioning Islam and its standing as a peaceful religion. Now, where did that come from? 

Whether we admit it or not, Malaysians are not only racists in one way or the other, we are also a bunch of bigots in disguise! As a Muslim, and even if I know a lot of the teachings of other religion, I have never ever told people of other faiths what to do in so far as their respective religions are concerned.

I am all for an open discourse or dialogue on just about any topic, including those that are deemed sensitive in this country - religion and race.  But while I will defend what I believe in, and will even defend others in defending what they believe in, I will not, in any way, shape or form, tell them how to react to something that religions have clearly spoken about.

As in this case, the non-Muslims in Malaysia are using human rights issues as well as Islam itself - when they don’t have any clue to what the Qur’an says about the given topic – to tell the Muslims what to do. Now what do you make of that?

I hope he gets a fair trial in Saudi Arabia

There’s been so much whining, bitching, groaning, and what not, about whether one is a Malaysian first, or *insert race* first. Have we forgotten that we are but temporary in this world? Have we forgotten that we will one day face death?

I don’t know about y’all, but as much as I’m hoping for a regime change after GE13, I can’t say that I blame the current government for doing what they did, given the circumstances. 

Is it tragic? Definitely.

Is it wrong? I personally don’t think so. 

If you think it is, then by all means, believe in it. 

But whichever side of the divide you are on in this saga, please don’t tell Muslims what to do in such circumstances, as much as Muslim shouldn’t tell you what to do with something that concerns your religious beliefs.

‘Nah Mean?    


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