Jesus ‘n’ Mo and ‘n’ those atheist terrorists

I haven’t written much about the new Saudi law designating all atheists as “terrorists,” for others have covered it amply and, mainly, I’m overworked and find it hard to write about everything. Still, you probably know about that law. As Yale Global explains:

A series of royal decrees and laws in Saudi Arabia are defining terrorists – and atheists, peaceful protesters, members of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as those who leave to fight wars in other country, particularly Syria, all qualify, suggests a Human Rights Watch report. The crimes can be published with prison sentences up to 20 years. “Article one of the new provisions defines terrorism as ‘calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based,’” reports Adam Withnall for the Independent. A Human Rights Watch spokesperson suggests that the new rules transform independent thought and critical expression into crimes, and “The organisation said the new ‘terrorism provisions contain language that prosecutors and judges are already using to prosecute and convict independent activists and peaceful dissidents.”

This is truly Orwellian thoughtcrime instantiated in our age, except that it’s nothing new in Muslim countries.

At any rate, that decree by King Abdullah is the subject of today’s Jesus and Mo:


h/t: Linda Grilli (down to three black cats)




  1. uglicoyote
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Road.

  2. eric
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    According to Jerry’s link, it also criminalizes such activities “outsde the kingdom.”

    Now, I expect the purpose of that was to be able to prosecute Saudi citizens who operate websites hosted on servers in foreign countries. They don’t want people sitting in SA, publishing anti-regime articles, and claiming the articles are legal because the server is in Norway or whatever. However, the language is so overbroad it seems to indicate that we are all terrorists and could be condemned the moment we ever visit or step foot in the Kingdom. Tourists beware.

    Or maybe the broadness is the real purpose, and the new law is intended to keep infidel tourists and workers out of the kingdom out of fear of sudden arrest.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Why would any sane person want to be a tourist there?

  3. Dominic
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I did not know! I know some Saudi students – I will tell them I am a terrorist now!

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Tell them you have some terrorists for friends, too!

  4. Robert Seidel
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    > The crimes can be published with prison sentences up to 20 years.

    What an interesting Freudian slip – I guess the author thought something like “publishing is often a crime in Saudi Arabia”.

  5. TJR
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Ah well never mind, at least it means we’ll all get invited to dinner with the Queen.

  6. jay
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Of course US citizens can also be prosecuted for getting involved in external conflicts if those conflicts aren’t blessed by Uncle Sam.

  7. Kiwi Dave
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    No need to worry. Saudi Arabia is on the UN Human Rights Council, so this decree must be OK.

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Which makes one wonder what the criteria are for membership.

      (Too lazy to look it up now.)

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