Popular Saudi preacher fined, banned from Twitter

AP photo
Updated 18 March 2017
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Popular Saudi preacher fined, banned from Twitter

RIYADH: A Saudi preacher with more than 2 million Twitter followers has been banned from tweeting by a court that convicted him of jeopardizing public order.
The cleric, previously accused of links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, was also fined SR100,000 ($27,000), Okaz newspaper reported Thursday.
It did not name the “famous preacher,” but Awad Al-Qarni confirmed the verdict on his @awadalqarni Twitter account late Thursday.
“I am prevented from writing” on the account, he tweeted, before issuing a Twitter message early Friday thanking his followers.
Okaz said Riyadh’s Specialized Criminal Court, which handles “terrorism” cases, on Thursday convicted the preacher of spreading content on Twitter that “could jeopardize public order and provoke public opinion.”
It said the content “could affect the relationship of the people with the leadership, and the relationship of Saudi Arabia with other countries.” Okaz said the preacher was tried without having been arrested.
Al-Qarni has often been criticized in the local press and on social media for his radical views about scholars who disagree with his interpretation of religion.
Okaz previously reported that he once claimed to be so influential that Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad placed a bounty on his head and plotted to kill him.
The unsubstantiated claim led to columnists and social media users harshly ridiculing him.
In 2010, Al-Qarni was charged in absentia by an Egyptian court with funding the Muslim Brotherhood.
— with input from AFP


DiplomaticQuarter: Mexicans in Riyadh celebrate 208 years of independence

Riyadh governor cutting cake with Mexican Ambassador Alfredo Miranda. (SPA)
Updated 19 September 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Mexicans in Riyadh celebrate 208 years of independence

  • Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar represented the Saudi government at the colorful celebration, marking the 208th anniversary of Mexico’s independence
  • The centerpiece of the festivities was a re-enactment of the “Cry of Dolores”

RIYADH: The Mexican community in Riyadh gathered at the official residence of Ambassador Alfredo Miranda on Sunday to celebrate their country’s National Day. They were joined at the event by VIP guests including members of the royal family, diplomats and business leaders.

Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar represented the Saudi government at the colorful celebration, marking the 208th anniversary of Mexico’s independence.

The centerpiece of the festivities was a re-enactment of the “Cry of Dolores,” a historic event in small town of Dolores on the morning of September 16, 1810, when Mexico’s founding father, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, issued a call to arms that signaled the start of the war of independence.

The rest of the National Day celebration was a Mexican-style fiesta, filled with color and music, with many of the guests dressed in traditional outfits. They enjoyed authentic Mexican food prepared by renowned chef Eduardo Perez, which offered a taste of the Mexican Gastronomic Festival at the city’s InterContinental Hotel from Sept. 17 to 22.

The entertainment also included the Kingdom’s first a live performance by a Mexican folkloric Mariachi band, a musical style recognized by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage lists.