Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents

Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents

How does this fit with the following statistic from 2012? Hope all courageous non believers in Saudi will be OK!

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In the early 1980s the company I worked for gave me the opportunity (actually, they fairly insisted) of moving to Saudi Arabia to help manage a start-up.  It would have more than doubled my salary, and seemed like something of an adventure.  Then I started looking into the foundations of the society and its laws and said, "No thanks!"  I'm not one to hold my tongue, and I really doubt that I'd have made it out there alive.  But then I've managed to survive for a long time in the US Southeast where the KKK burned a cross on my lawn, so maybe I underestimate my resilience.


They would have killed me too.

They don't seem to have any qualms about selling oil to "terrorists."

The article presents a shocking scenario. Thought crime ?

Saudi Atheists living abroad should consider seeking Asylum and take professional advice on their options if they believe their wellbeing would be under threat if they return to Saudi Arabia.

Atheists in Saudi Arabia, take care. I hope that protest against such law is made by influential people and conscientious national governments. I am happy to help.

The new law is much worse than "just" criminalizing positive portrayals of atheism: it labels just about any expression or association critical of the government as terrorism, including conversations, email, and social media. From Human Rights Watch:

"These “terrorism” provisions include the following:

  • Article 1: “Calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”
  • Article 2: “Anyone who throws away their loyalty to the country’s rulers, or who swears allegiance to any party, organization, current [of thought], group, or individual inside or outside [the kingdom].”
  • Article 4: “Anyone who aids [“terrorist”] organizations, groups, currents [of thought], associations, or parties, or demonstrates affiliation with them, or sympathy with them, or promotes them, or holds meetings under their umbrella, either inside or outside the kingdom; this includes participation in audio, written, or visual media; social media in its audio, written, or visual forms; internet websites; or circulating their contents in any form, or using slogans of these groups and currents [of thought], or any symbols which point to support or sympathy with them.”
  • Article 6: “Contact or correspondence with any groups, currents [of thought], or individuals hostile to the kingdom.”
  • Article 8: “Seeking to shake the social fabric or national cohesion, or calling, participating, promoting, or inciting sit-ins, protests, meetings, or group statements in any form, or anyone who harms the unity or stability of the kingdom by any means.”
  • Article 9: “Attending conferences, seminars, or meetings inside or outside [the kingdom] targeting the security of society, or sowing discord in society.”
  • Article 11: “Inciting or making countries, committees, or international organizations antagonistic to the kingdom.”

These broad provisions contain language that prosecutors and judges are already using to prosecute and convict independent activists and peaceful dissidents...." (read more details of some citizens' convictions and sentences)

So ... the Saudi government is legislating intolerance for any form of dissent or religious nonconformity and appears to be interested in making loyalty to their government MANDATORY for all citizens.  Any freethinking Saudi looking at this bill should be horrified to their core.

Just imagine if the next POTUS was an atheist, that would be interesting to watch how it would be handled. I'm game if you are.

Well, we could declare all Arabs terrorists. At least, that is much closer to the truth.

There is terrorism of any ethnicity and national origin.  I don't accept this statement.

Daniel, like it or not, THIS is State Terrorism ... when the state exercises terror over its citizens, for no other reason than its own self-perpetuation.

I'm sorry, but I can't see it any other way.

We can distinguish between a regime inflicting terror on its peacefully dissenting citizens, and a country that promotes its citizens practicing terrorism.

Hathal, thank you for posting.  I don't recall seeing your name here - a belated welcome to Nexus.  

What bad news that is.   It sounds so Orwellian, but with a Saudi twist.  Atheists are about as opposite of terrorist as one can be.  I know there has been terrorism within Saudi Arabia, but I doubt it is from atheists.



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