SAUDI CLERIC WANTS DEATH SENTENCE FOR WRITERS
March 14, 2008: Saudi Arabia's most revered cleric said in a rare fatwa that two writers should be tried for apostasy and put to death if they do not repent.
Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Al Barrak was responding to recent articles in Al Riyadh newspaper that questioned the mainstream Sunni Muslim view that adherents of other faiths should be considered unbelievers.
âAnyone who claims this has refuted Islam and should be tried in order to take it back. If not, he should be killed as an apostate from the religion of Islam," said the fatwa.
"It is disgraceful that articles containing this kind of apostasy should be published in some papers of Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy shrines," he said.
The two writers, Abdullah bin Bejad Al Otaibi and Yousef Aba Al Khail, were not immediately available for comment. Saudi Arabia regularly executes drug traffickers, rapists and murderers, but calls for people to be put to death for opinions expressed in public are rare. (Sources: The Peninsula, 16/03/2008)