Smyth: Sharia’s Global Reach – A Liberal Muslim Extradited to Possible Beheading

Muhammad Najeeb Kashgari, better known as Hamza Kashgari, is a 23-year-old Saudi writer and the first victim of the global enforcement of radical Sharia by international legal authorities.

After writing several tweets that presented a liberal interpretation of Islam well within the normative boundaries of that religion, Kashgari was proclaimed a heretic by Saudi clerics. Fleeing to Malaysia he was captured with the reported help of an Interpol system and extradited back to Saudi Arabia to face a grim fate.  The charge? Apostasy.

For an analysis of his tweets, see Barry Rubin, “Manufacturing Heresy.” 

Almost immediately, he faced a social media backlash. In the 24 hours following his posts, around 30,000 responses were received by his Twitter account. By February 17, over 26,000 people joined a Facebook group titled “The Saudi people demand retribution from Hamza Kashgari.” Kashgari apologized online, and deleted his own tweets.

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