Shoura Memeber to Sue Conservative Writer Over Critical Tweets

A member of the Saudi Shoura Council said today that he is going to sue a conservative writer for attacking him on Twitter. Shoura member Issa al-Ghaith said that “due to the escalation of offenses on Twitter and the necessity of legal action” he is going to sue Abdullah al-Dawood, a Saudi conservative writer based in Riyadh, for accusing him of “demanding secularism” after al-Ghaith spoke in positive terms about lifting the ban on women driving.

“Filing a lawsuit is not just for the private right but also to fight this reprehensible phenomenon on Twitter,” said al-Ghaith, a former judge who is know to support King Abdullah cautious reforms. What prompted al-Ghaith to seek legal action was a tweet posted by al-Dawood on Thursday, March 21, in which he said “Westernization has mounted al-Ghaith” in the same way that a man would mount an animal to ride it.

Al-Dawood was at the center of another controversy last month when he said during a television show that baby girls should be fully covered using the face veil to protect them from sexual molestation. Al-Ghaith has told AFP that he plans to sue al-Dawood as a citizen and not a member of the Shoura Council, an advisory body whose members are appointed by the King.

“Freedom on Twitter is guaranteed by Sharia and law,” al-Ghaith said. “I demand my private right. As for the public right, the state is responsible for it.”