CIP Opposes Reported Arrest of Journalist/Blogger in Saudi Arabia for Apostasy
The Center for Islamic Pluralism expresses its opposition to the reported arrest of Saudi journalist and blogger Rebah Algwaie, in the northern city of Hail on April 2, on charges of apostasy from Islam.
Algwaie was employed by the newspapers Okaz and Shamas.
The Saudi Information Agency (SIA), a human rights monitor in Washington of which CIP is a supporter, states that "on November 14, 2005, Algwaie received death threats from unknown individuals who destroyed his car and left a message warning him to return to Islam or face direct harm."
CIP supports complete freedom of the press in the Saudi kingdom and vigorously defends the rights of journalists in all countries.
SIA also reports the arrest or dismissal of five liberal-minded teachers in the kingdom.
CIP takes this occasion to point out that apostasy charges and proceedings in countries where radical Islamists are established or particularly active, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, are frequently pretexts for political repression, in which religion plays no genuine role.
This is not a new problem in Islamic history and should be studied and debated as an issue of political development as well as theology and religious pluralism .
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz