What He Said and Why He Said It

Mohamed Hemish on the Friday sermon by Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the Saudi Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, where he warned against Twitter:

His speech contained the word “nation” at least 10 times. The speech’s topic clearly has been introduced to him by the Saudi government officials, who are thinking about limiting twitter access only to users who submit ID for registration.  

Mecca’s Friday player’s speech is watched by millions of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and across the world in addition to people that attend it in Mecca. This audience consists mainly of fathers, mothers and uncles of the young Muslims who are using twitter and supposedly negatively affected by it. So those parents, who might not be familiar with twitter, are going to be swayed by the arguments Imam Al-Sudais made which would make them support a government action against twitter. Devoting 6 minutes of Friday prayer’s speech to highlight the threats twitter poses on Saudi nation shows how seriously Saudi government is hurting because of twitter and how determined they are about tackling the “twitter” problem.

Many Saudis on Twitter complained that the Saudi Imam should not use the Grand Mosque pulpit, a platform watched by Muslims around the world, to promote the government line on internal issues.