At last – all the mystique and danger of being an international terrorist, without having to get my hands dirty mucking about with bombs or mass murder. I need to update my business cards.
From The Independent:
Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.
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”.
Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said: “Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism.
As usual, this abhorrent attitude comes with nebulous language claiming that it’s for the preservation of all-important societal norms.
From Human Rights Watch:
Article 8: “Seeking to shake the social fabric or national cohesion, or calling, participating, promoting, or inciting sit-ins, protests, meetings, or group statements in any form, or anyone who harms the unity or stability of the kingdom by any means.”
Inevitably, any hate-based legislation or justification seems to include something to the effect of ‘traditional values’ or the ‘fabric of society’ which are supposedly under threat (e.g. Russia’s recent LGBT propaganda law which included the phrase “distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships”).
When your ‘values’ require threats and hate to keep them going, it’s a good bet that they need retiring.