Monday, November 21, 2005

Update of the case of the Saudi teacher sentenced to three years in prison and public lashings

Last week I blogged about the sad situation of Saudi high school teacher Muhammad Al-Harbi, who was sentenced to three years in prison as well as a weekly dose of public lashings.

From the November 14 Arab News:

The controversial case of Muhammad Al-Harbi, a Saudi high school teacher accused of mocking religion, came to a surprising end on Saturday. Al-Harbi was sentenced to three years in prison and 750 lashes--50 lashes per week for 15 weeks. The lashes are to be given in the public market in the town of Al-Bikeriya in Al-Qassim.

A number of 12th Grade students, along with some teachers from the same school, filed a lawsuit a year-and-a-half ago against Al-Harbi. He was accused of mocking Islam, favoring Jews and Christians, preventing students from performing ablutions. He was also charged with studying witchcraft. At the time, he was a chemistry teacher at Al-Fowailiq High School in the town of Ein Al-Juwa in Al-Qassim.

Today's Arab News has an update, and there is a bit of good news: There are some people in Saudi Arabia who possess common sense.

Here's an excerpt from that article:

The case of Mohammad Al-Harbi, the high school teacher charged with mocking religion and sentenced to three years in prison and 750 lashes, has not attracted attention only in the local press. Both Saudi columnists and the Saudi street in general strongly attacked what is widely seen as a harsh and unjust sentence.

The case has been a prime topic on Saudi Internet forums with Saudis of both sexes from all over the country joining in the discussions. The majority showed deep concern, not simply for Al-Harbi but also for other important factors that have been raised as a result of the case's publicity.

Many Saudis asked about the efficiency and fairness of the Saudi legal system; others severely criticized the absence of the Ministry of Education's participation in a case that not only affects a teacher's career but also affects the future of Saudi students who are apparently being taught by some teachers who sympathize with terrorists.

Well, in a cruel manner, the Saudi legal system seems pretty efficient.

Oh, in yesterday's Arab News, this article appeared: Terrorism Will Be Put to an End Within Two Years: Crown Prince.

Since there appears to be at least some Saudi teachers who "sympathize with terrorists," I don't expect the Saudi crown prince's prophecy to be fulfilled. In that article, there is nothing mentioned about Saudi Arabia reining in those Islamic "charities" that have funded so much terrorism the last twenty years.

Technorati tags:

No comments: