You Got the Wrong Guy

The news of detaining Fouad Al Farhan was not shocking to me because I knew that he has been interrogated and harassed before, but it was certainly disturbing. Although we have seen bloggers in Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt arrested and jailed, I thought this won’t happen here because a) Saudi Arabia don’t usually jail journalists (they ban them, but they don’t throw them in jail) and b) I thought those arresting citizens who exercise their right of free speech should be wise enough to choose their battles.

Bloggers, journalists, free speech advocates and human rights activists do not carry guns and explosives trying to undermine the government. They are merely exercising their God given right to express themselves freely in the hope of reforming this country and making it a better place. It is a very sad reality when you have people like Fouad who deliver their message of peace and justice detained this way, while extremists in websites like Al Sahat and others are free to poison the minds of youth with a dangerous message that is full of hate and violence.

I have no doubt that King Abdullah is pushing for a reformist agenda. However, it is very unfortunate that some elements in the government are not happy with this agenda because it could curb their powers and change their status. That’s why these elements are so threatened by freedom of expression and therefore try to stifle this freedom even if that means violating basic human rights, national law and international accords.

Let’s pray for Fouad to return to his family and friends, and let’s hope, again, that justice and common sense will prevail soon.

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15 thoughts on “You Got the Wrong Guy

  1. Achmed, I’m very sorry to learn that you have such a bad and enduring headache.
    I’ve signed the petition and sent the link to all my friends, I hope many will sign also.

  2. So yeah, it’s supposedly muharraf, but this verse from the Bible sounds right on:

    21 إِنِّي أَمْقُتُ أَعْيَادَكُمْ وَأَحْتَقِرُهَا، وَلاَ أُسَرُّ بِاحْتِفَالاتِكُمْ.

    22 وَمَعَ أَنَّكُمْ تُقَرِّبُونَ لِي ذَبَائِحَ مُحْرَقَاتِكُمْ وَتَقْدِمَاتِكُمْ مِنَ الدَّقِيقِ، فَإِنِّي لاَ أَقْبَلُهَا وَلاَ أَلْتَفِتُ إِلَى ذَبَائِحِ السَّلامِ مِنْ مُسَمَّنَاتِ مَوَاشِيكُمْ.

    23 أَبْعِدُوا عَنِّي جَلَبَةَ أَغَانِيكُمْ لأَنِّي لَنْ أُصْغِيَ إِلَى نَغَمَاتِ رَبَابَاتِكُمْ.

    24 إِنَّمَا لِيَجْرِ الْحَقُّ مُتَدَفِّقاً كَالْمِيَاهِ وَالْعَدْلُ كَنَهْرٍ سَيَّالٍ.

  3. I may be in Sydney, Australia, but I spent time with Fouad in Saudi in 2007. He’s a generous, curious, intelligent and gutsy person. From the other side of the world, this case deserves international support, something I will try to provide.

  4. It’s just amazing that this kind of thing still happens. Of course, in my country people are being held without charges or trial. At least in SA they charged him with something.

  5. Bloggers, journalists, free speech advocates and human rights activists do not carry guns and explosives trying to undermine the government. They are merely exercising their God given right to express themselves freely in the hope of reforming this country and making it a better place.
    …,
    It’s true. Freedom is a right that is given to us by Allah.
    (( و هديناه النجدين ))
    We really wish that our country would be a better place.
    …,
    However, it is very unfortunate that some elements in the government are not happy with this agenda because it could curb their powers and change their status.
    …,
    Unfortunetlly, not only those who are not happy with that agenda, but a lot of people who live in KSA are close minded. They believe that Freedom is against Shryea’ and morals.

    Thank u .

  6. Hello,

    Here is another CNN article, this one about the U.S. government raising the issue with Saudi officials.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/01/03/saudi.blogger/index.html

    There is a link on that page to this blog that was incorrect, it was using a relative like to saudijeans.org instead of an absolute link. I contacted CNN to fix the link on this article but I did not see the article from yesterday linked to above, the error is in that article as well.

  7. I may only be one person but you have my support from the United States of America. As a writer myself, I believe in the absolute freedom to express oneself in any manner one sees fit. I have signed the petition as well as sent the link to friends around the United States. My hopes are with you duing this troubling time.

  8. a) Saudi Arabia don’t usually jail journalists (they ban them, but they don’t throw them in jail) and b) I thought those arresting citizens who exercise their right of free speech should be wise enough to choose their battles.

    That statement you wrote is what surprises me. Do we come from the same country?!
    Saudi Arabia is governed by dictators who do not allow anything against them. You can be a journalist as long as you say good things about them with no criticism. People died under torture because they had an opinion. Someone was executed years ago because he was curious and wanted to explore other religions and read the bible. Before you were born, a man collected books and built a library, he was arrested (accused of being a communist) died under torture. Families are arrested if the accused man not found by the police. What else? The list is so long. I suggest you read the history of your country. Ask your father about 1969. Ask about early 80s. What about the forgotten prisoners from Qatif, don’t they deserve a banner in your blog…?

    Sorry if I am harsh, it’s just painful to find people who underestimate the problem of human rights in Saudi Arabia.

  9. As salaamu alaykum,

    Al-hamdulillaah, I’m an American revert to Islaam. You people have no clue the kind of evils you’re inviting to your land with this western thinking. Muslims from America are trying to leave that lifestyle, yet you people are rushing to it.

    The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu alayhi wa salam) said, “you will follow the ways of those who preceded you, so much so that if they went into the hole of a lizard, you would follow them. ”
    One of the Companions asked “are you referring to the jews and the christians?” and he said, “who else?” He also said he who imitates a people is of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fear Allaah and return to your Religion before Allaah punishes you.

  10. Re: hindbintalmlk “They are merely exercising their God given right to express themselves freely in the hope of reforming this country and making it a better place.”

    Where is it in the Qur’an or authentic Sunnah that you have the right to say anything you want, under the guise of “free speech”. This is a very deceptive, and evil call.

    Which one of you “reformers” is going to stand before Allaah and say to Him, “O Allaah, you did not leave guidance for us in the 21st century, so we had to reform your Deen, and add our own opinions to it”; or say to Allaah, “O Allaah, your Deen was not sufficient for us in the 21st century, so we had to change it.” Which one of you is going to stand before Allaah and take this weight!!??!!

    The asl of this call is to open the doors to imitating the wests sinful ways, and it comes from the irreligious Muslims who were educated in the west. I’ve seen you on college campuses in America. You abandon the salaat, dress like the kuffar, start “partying” with them, drink and use drugs with them, and fornicate with them!!! Then you return home, and claim you want to lead to “reforms” in the land of Tawheed. Subhanallaah!!! You people have become a huge fitnah for the Muslims because you speak about Allaah, His Messenger (salallaahu alayhi wa salam) and His Deen without knowledge.

    Believe that Allaah will punish individuals and societies for open sin and transgression!!!!!!!!!

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