It was two years ago when Saudi Arabia passed new laws saying atheists were considered enemies of the state, equivalent to violent terrorists. It didn’t make sense then, and it still doesn’t today.
By Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist
So when Al Jazeera America’s Mehdi Hasan had a chance to interview Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi, he attempted to get an answer as to why atheism and other “thought-crimes” were such a problem.
A transcript of the exchange is below.
Spoiler: al-Mouallimi uses the word “subversive” six times. I guess he’s afraid the atheists might start making sense.
HASAN: When you look at the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, for example, some would say there are some bizarre rulings. Why is advocating atheism in Saudi Arabia now considered to be a terrorist offense? How do you explain that?
AL-MOUALLIMI: Well, because in Saudi Arabia, we are a unique country. We are the birthplace of Islam. We are the country that hosts the two holiest sites for Muslims in Mecca and Medina. We are the country that is based on Islamic principles and so forth. We are a country that is homogeneous in accepting Islam by the entire population. Any calls that challenge Islamic rule or Islamic ideology is considered subversive in Saudi Arabia and would be subversive and could lead to chaos.
HASAN: But terrorism?!