That is what Hamza Kashgari, a 23 years old reporter and poet from Saudi Arabia, is realizing the hard way. He used twitter to write a poetic "dialogue" with prophet Muhammad, and this was enough to get him condemned to death by the salafi sheikhs. Hamza tried to escape, but was arrested in Malaysia. He now risks beheading for his words.
I am both disgusted by the fact that still, in the 21st century, somebody can decide on your life or death because of what you say and write, and relieved that I was born in a place where these things do not happen. And I am brought to smile at my own occasional troubles with the things I write in this blog - which is not read by salafits, but by colleagues who still may be unhappy about my self-given freedom of speech (I should add that in some cases they are right and I am wrong, but let's abandon the topic).
I guess the memo is that we should always cherish and hold dear our freedom of speech, because it is not god-given (as Kashgari's case shows). Should he have self-censored his tweets ? In retrospect, he would have certainly been well advised to do so. But that means one has already lost the fight.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Suggestion: The EM Drive Is Getting The Appropriate Level Of Attention From The Science Community
- It's Naive To Pretend Differences Between Women And Men Are Just Genetics
- Bang! Meet The Highest-Energy Hadron Collision Ever Imaged!
- Will Aspartame Critics Now Be Less Bitter?
- GMOs Have Formaldehyde? Bizarre Claim Challenged By Experts
- Bees: Activists Remain Silent While This Pollinator Killer Decimates Millions
- New Results From The LHC At 13 TeV!
- "Excellent article. Thank you for the objective analysis that so few journalists treat this subject..."
- "OK thats interesting, you got me thinking about light and momentum etc. It makes sense that..."
- "Hi RobertRelativistic momentum is P = E/c and E = hf for photons. So not *just* Planck's constant..."
- "Unfortunately the real reason is not forgetting to include a step in the methods section. It is..."
- "Your post is precisely why there is so much misinformation about this nonsense. Crooke's Radiometer..."
- Environmental activists are ignoring the real bee killer
- Corporate leader’s science creds under attack
- Rare bacteria cause outbreak in NYC
- John Stossel rips the EPA and NRDC too. Because they’re practically the same thing
- Fact checking pHony water
- Hopewell NJ votes gas pipeline off the island; why not shut down your entire energy supply to save Mother Earth?
- How bees naturally vaccinate their babies
- Mild hypothermia in deceased organ donors improves organ function in kidney transplant
- Trying to quit smoking? First strengthen self-control
- Paralyzed men move legs thanks to non-invasive spinal cord stimulation
- California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation