Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Man who ripped up Quran in online video sentenced to death

A man was sentenced to death for renouncing his Muslim faith by posting an online video ripping up a copy of Islam's holy book, Quran, and hitting it with a shoe, the Saudi Gazette reported.

The man, who is in his 20s, was said to have denounced Islam and was issued a death sentence after his apostasy was proven.

Saudi Arabia, the United States' top Arab ally and birthplace of Islam, follows the strict Wahhabi Sunni Muslim school and gives the clergy control over its justice system.

Under the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia Islamic law, apostasy demands the death penalty, as do some other religious offences like sorcery, while blasphemy and criticism of senior Muslim clerics have incurred jail terms and corporal punishment.

Executions in the Islamic country is usually carried out by public beheading.

A court in Jeddah last year sentenced Saudi liberal Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for publishing criticism of the kingdom's ruling religious and political elite and calling for reforms in Islam.

The first of 50 of those lashes were carried out in January, but subsequent rounds of flogging have not occurred. Officials have not publicly commented on the case, but insiders say the lashing appears to have been quietly dropped.

[with report from Reuters; photo: Wikispaces]

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