Another Kareem Amer:
Husayin faces a potential life prison sentence on heresy charges for “insulting the divine essence.” Many in this conservative Muslim town say he should be killed for renouncing Islam, and even family members say he should remain behind bars for life.”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.
Husayin used a fake name on his English and Arabic-language blogs and Facebook pages. After his mother discovered articles on atheism on his computer, she canceled his Internet connection in hopes that he would change his mind.
Instead, he began going to an Internet cafe – a move that turned out to be a costly mistake. The owner, Ahmed Abu-Asal, said the blogger aroused suspicion by spending up to seven hours a day in a corner booth. After several months, a cafe worker supplied captured snapshots of his Facebook pages to Palestinian intelligence officials.
Officials monitored him for several weeks and then arrested him on October 31 as he sat in the cafe, said Abu-Asal.
Husayin’s family has been devastated by the arrest. On a recent day, his father stood sadly in the family barber shop, cluttered with colorful towels and posters of men in outdated haircuts. He requested that a reporter not write about his son to avoid being publicly shamed.
Two cousins attributed the writings to depression, saying Husayin was desperate to find better work. Requesting anonymity because of the shame the incident, they said Husayin’s mother wants him to remain in prison for life – both to restore the family’s honor and to protect him from vigilantes.
He could face a life sentence if he’s found guilty, depending on how harshly the judge thinks he attacked Islam and how widely his views were broadcast, said Islamic scholar Tamimi.
Even so, a small minority has questioned whether the government went too far.
Zainab Rashid, a liberal Palestinian commentator, wrote in an online opinion piece that Husayin has made an important point: “that criticizing religious texts for their (intellectual) weakness can only be combatted by … oppression, prison and execution.”
This last guy, Mr. Rashid, is a really freedom lover. If you don’t agree with religious texts intellectually speaking, let’s harrass you and if you insist, we will imprison you and kill you.😯
Governments in the region are also making false FB pages to stalk dissidents and then arrest them.