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Al-Arabiya: “Preacher demands blocking of Facebook due to Saudi women access…”

Mideast Wire

On March 26, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya.net news website carried the following report by Naser al-Qahtani: “A Saudi Islamic preacher demanded that Facebook be blocked in his country and considered it to be a door to lust. He warned against “the accession of women to it” after young Saudi women have started to join the famous website and post “revealing pictures and bad behavior” on it. On the other hand, a Saudi female journalist considered that the blocking of the website would be pointless since other similar ones will continue to emerge on a regular basis. Renowned Islamic preacher in the Kingdom, Sheikh Ali al-Maliki, said to Al-Arabiya.net that Facebook was a western means to corrupt the youth of the nation...

“He added: “Facebook is a door to lust and young women and men are spending more on their mobile phones and the Internet, than they are spending on food.” He then reiterated the necessity to block the website in Saudi Arabia to prevent strife. For her part, journalist Hidaya Darwich said to Al-Arabiya.net that Facebook had become a media phenomenon on the net, but that the decision to ban it did not mean that “our young women have been spared from the threat since we will soon start to read about websites which are similar to Facebook”. She assured that everyone in the Kingdom was proud of his religion, and added: “However, this does not mean that young women who are using the Internet should be perceived as lesser than others. Not all women are alike and not all of them are perverted.”

“On the other hand, young Saudi women assured Al-Arabiya.net that Facebook was another way for them to express their feelings and build friendships with young women from all around the world. They continued that it granted them the opportunity to learn about different customs and traditions... Others stated that Saudi women suffered as a result to their presence on such websites, since they sometimes found mocking or insulting comments mostly written by extremists who browsed these websites and pages. Others recognized they had become addicted to the website and formed new relations and friendships through it...

“A number of engineers following this issue, said to Al-Arabiya.net that some Saudi young women posted on their profile pages revealing pictures of them or pictures that they chose, and behaved badly after their relations through these pages evolved into web-cam calls or communication through instant messenging or mobile phones. They added there were also pages for homosexual relations and especially lesbian relations. Last August, the capital Riyadh had witnessed the murder of a young woman by her father, after he came into her room and saw she was chatting with a young man she met on Facebook. Security sources assured Al-Arabiya.net that the father beat up his daughter then shot her.” - Al-Arabiya.net, Middle East

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