Our partners in peace in Saudi Arabia (where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from) has now made it a crime to not believe in God. In fact, not just a crime, an act of terrorism.
The kingdom has issued a public order that labels all atheists as terrorists. According to the new order terrorism is now defined as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.” But by all means let’s keep selling this country weapons.
The royal order comes in response to forces unleashed by the Arab Spring and resulting civil unrest. Some Saudis are beginning to question why, in the year 2014, they have a kleptocratic royal family ruling over them instead of a representative government.
A growing number of Saudis have reportedly been traveling to other parts of the Middle East, like Syria, to participate in demonstrations. According to The Independent, they’re coming back to their home country with new ideas about dethroning the monarchy—a prospect that is unsettling to the 89-year-old Abdullah, who is considered one of the world’s richest royals.
The king’s Royal Decree 44 criminalizes “participating in hostilities outside the kingdom” with a jail term that could last anywhere between three and 20 years, Human Rights Watch reports.
Any protest, including one on social media, can be constituted as an attack on the regime and violation of the order. In March a Saudi man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a retweet that was seen as antagonistic to the royal family.
All this is happening as Saudi Arabia continues to fund Al Qaeda groups in Syria and elsewhere as they did prior to 9/11 when Saudi national Osama Bin Laden was launching attacks against the United States. I guess that doesn’t count as “participating in hostilities.”
Why are we allies again?