“Hundreds of writers around the world have joined human rights groups in urging Saudi Arabia to release a poet who faces the death sentence on charges of ‘apostasy’ for his poetry.” Yet in the West, numerous writers rebuked the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists even after they were murdered, and attacked our Muhammad cartoon contest — both for daring to insult Muslims by transgressing against Sharia blasphemy laws, the same laws by which Ashraf Fayadh has been sentenced to death.
“Outrage over Saudi death sentence for poet on blasphemy charges,” by Schams Elwazer, CNN, November 29, 2015:
(CNN) — Hundreds of writers around the world have joined human rights groups in urging Saudi Arabia to release a poet who faces the death sentence on charges of “apostasy” for his poetry.
Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh, 35, was sentenced to death by a court in the southwestern Saudi city of Abha earlier this month on a series of blasphemy charges, according to Human Rights Watch, which viewed the trial documents.
The charges included insulting the “Divine Self” and the Prophet Mohammed, mocking the Quran and spreading atheism.
Fayadh had originally been handed a lesser sentence of four years in prison and 800 lashes on the charge of having inappropriate relations with members of the opposite sex.
The court had dismissed a prosecution request for a death sentence on the apostasy charge, citing Fayadh’s declared “repentance” and testimony that indicated hostility between Fayadh and the complainant, HRW said.
But the prosecutor appealed the ruling, according to HRW. In mid-November a new judge dismissed the earlier decision, saying Fayadh’s repentance was not enough to avoid a death sentence for apostasy, citing verses from the defendant’s poetry.
Fayadh was initially arrested in 2013 after a personal disagreement with a man at a coffee shop in the town of Abha in relation to his poetry, according to HRW and writers’ association PEN International.
The man reportedly complained to the ultraconservative kingdom’s religious police, accusing Fayadh of insulting Islam in his book of poems and insulting the Saudi state….