A Palestinian man was arrested and suspected of “insulting the divine essence” after creating several Facebook groups declaring himself “God” and criticizing the Islamic faith.
Walid Husayin, 26, of Qalqilya, was known locally as a quiet man who worked evenings in his father’s barbershop and spent every Friday praying with his family.
But now, the conservative town of Qalqilya is calling out for the execution of their fellow resident according to the AP:
“He should be burned to death,” said Abdul-Latif Dahoud, a 35-year-old Qalqilya resident. The execution should take place in public “to be an example to others,” he added.
Life in prison is the maximum sentence allowed depending on how strict the judge is and the reach of Husayin’s message. The accused man’s Arabic blog had over 70,000 visitors at its height, asserting atheistic view and describing Islam as a “blind faith that grows and takes over people’s minds where there is irrationality and ignorance.” Husayin sparked further outrage in the Muslim community after creating several Facebook groups declaring himself “God” where he used mock verses from the Quran to suggest readers smoke marijuana.
Authorities were first alerted to Husayin’s activity by Ahmed Abu-Asal, a local internet cafe owner who became suspicious after noticing Husayin spending up to seven hours a day always working at the cafe’s corner computer. Abu-Asal had an employee take screengrabs of the activity, and then proceeded to notify local authorities, who arrested Husayin October 31 as he sat blogging in the cafe.
News of Husayin’s arrest is coming at time when a number of Islamic issues have been intertwined with the Facebook community. Yesterday we reported about the removal of the massively growing anti-Muslim Facebook page, and just today we reported about Saudi Arabia’s temporary blocking of Facebook after “moral concerns”.
Both instances of disrupting one’s Facebook service involve blocking free speech, albeit from arguably different standpoints.
What are your thoughts? Would you ever support blocking/removing a Facebook feature or service?