Saudi authorities pursue preacher for hate speech against late Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussain Abdelredha

Preacher Ali Al-Rabieei. (Photo courtesy: Social media)
Updated 14 August 2017
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Saudi authorities pursue preacher for hate speech against late Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussain Abdelredha

JEDDAH: Saudi authorities have opened an investigation into a preacher who has been referred to the public prosecution for a tweet about the late Kuwaiti comedy actor, Abdulhussain Abdulredha. The actor died on Friday evening in London and the preacher said the actor should not be prayed for because he was an “Iranian Shiite.”
Sheikh Ali Al-Rabieei’s tweet sparked a wave of anger on social media in Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states. The tweet said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to pray for Abdulhussain Abdulredha as he is an Iranian Shiite who died misguided. God forbade Muslims to wish mercy and forgiveness for polytheists.”
Hani Al-Ghufaili, the official spokesman at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information, immediately reacted, saying: “The Ministry of Culture and Information has referred Al-Rabieei to the Copyright Infractions Committee for violating the press and publications law.”


Earlier, Public Prosecutor Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab affirmed that any post that includes harmful content to society, regardless of its material, pretexts and means of publication (media publications, social media, lectures, speeches and books), was the direct responsibility of the public prosecution in accordance with legitimate and systemic requirements.
Al-Mua’jab said action was also being taken against other tweeps who made similar offensive comments. The Public Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday issued an order summoning a group of tweeps. They have been charged with criminal offenses for comments deemed offensive against the late actor.
Al-Mua’jab, the public prosecutor, asserted that those who have been summoned will face the full force of law.
Al-Rabieei, the preacher, deleted the controversial tweet after a flood of angry reactions that demanded punishment and accountability for his inflammatory comment.
Local media reported that the Ministry of Culture and Information had blocked Al-Rabieei’s official website.
In response, Al-Rabieei said: “I declare my commitment to the press and publications law if it doesn’t contradict the Qur’an and Sunnah (Prophet Muhammad’s teachings) and what was decreed by our senior scholars.”


Al-Rabieei, who some Saudis claim is a Yemeni expat, resides in the Kingdom and addresses religious topics related to Sunnis and Shiites on his Twitter account. He has a history of posting previous fatwas issued by leading Saudi scholars.
The preacher later apologized in a series of tweets, saying: “I apologize to my fellow Kuwaiti brothers for the misunderstanding because of the previous tweet and may God grant him mercy.”


He also said that he intends to sue journalists and individuals who accused him of engaging in hate speech, asking all those concerned to contact him, “particularly lawyers and judges.”


Al-Rabieei has 289,000 followers on his verified Twitter account.
Abdulredha was admired for his acting skills and his ability to enact social and political commentary with a satirical twist.
He gained fans across the Arab world and was known as the “artist of Arabs.” He managed to unite his fans despite cultural and religious differences.
In a similar incident, Saudi cleric Saeed bin Farwah was convicted in a defamation case and sentenced to 45 days in prison for verbally assaulting Saudi actor Nasser Al-Qassabi in Ramadan of 2016, after Al-Qassabi sued the cleric for accusing him of being an “infidel.”

 

 


Saudi citizen rewarded after new car turned out to be used

Updated 40 min 39 sec ago
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Saudi citizen rewarded after new car turned out to be used

RIYADH: A citizen from Buraidah has been rewarded by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI) for complaining about a commercial fraud. He exposed an auto agency who sold him a “new car” which turned out to be second-hand with a chequered history.
The MCI granted a reward of SR25,000 to Hamad Faleh Al-Qahtani, who reported the fraud.
He bought a new car from the auto agency and made the full payment, but soon realized he had been given a second-hand car.
Not only was it used but it had also been in a crash and been repaired and repainted, which was contrary to what had been agreed upon and in violation of the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law. The ministry followed up the matter with investigations to find the truth and take legal action.
The matter was referred to the public prosecution and then to the Administrative Court in Buraidah, which issued the final verdict that the agency was guilty of violating the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law.
The agency was fined SR100,000 ($26,687). Article 11 of the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law states that anyone reporting a case of commercial fraud which is found to be true upon investigation shall be granted 25 percent of the value of the fine.
The MCI honors 100 informers by granting them financial rewards and gifts on World Consumer Rights Day, which is observed on March 15 every year to foster global awareness about consumer rights and needs. The day was inspired by US president John F. Kennedy, the first world leader to formally address the issue of consumer rights.
The consumer movement first marked that date in 1983 and uses it every year to mobilize action on important issues.
The MCI has urged consumers to report commercial frauds through the Consumer Call Center (1900), through the application of a commercial violation report and through the ministry’s website.