Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In Palestine, impersonating God could be bad for your health

Eric Berry on Allfacebook.com reports that Walid Husayin of Qalqilya in Palestine is facing possible life in prison for claiming to be God in several Facebook groups he created. He also criticized the Islamic faith and created mock Quran verses that encouraged people to smoke marijuana.

It's somewhat risky to criticize Islam over the internet while in an Islamic country. It's a little riskier to claim to be God in an Islamic country. To do both from an internet cafe in a small conservative town in an Islamic country is asking for trouble.

Walid Husayin spent 7 hours a day on one computer of the local internet cafe. The owner became suspicious and had employee take screenshots while Walid was on the computer. He turned them over to the police, who arrested Walid while he was at the cafe blogging. The maximum sentence by law is life in prison, but people in Qalqilya - people he has known his entire life - want him executed by burning.

I guess we should count our blessings. In the U.S. we can say what we want about our government or any religion without fear of arrest. But as our government continues to monitor as many of the countries phone calls as it can and law enforcement seeks the power to decrypt any and all private encrypted communication, can we be sure that will always be the case?

Not if we don't make sure it is.