Saudi Arabia has passed a new terrorism law that equates non believers in Islam to enemies of the state.
According to the new law, if you are a non believer; you will be categorized as a terrorist and the authorities can criminalize nearly any thought or association they deem critical of the government and Islam.
"Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism," says Joe Stork, the deputy director for Human Rights Watch in Middle East and North Africa.
In a Kingdom where beheadings are a norm, atheism or any form of blasphemy has never been tolerated. But that does not mean atheism doesn’t exist there.
The law, “calls for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based;
Anyone who disregards their loyalty to the country's rulers;
Anyone who aids [terrorist] organizations, groups, currents [of thought], associations, or parties, or demonstrates affiliation with them, or sympathy with them, or promotes them, or holds meetings under their umbrella, either inside or outside the kingdom;
Those who seek to shake the social fabric or national cohesion, or anyone who harms the unity or stability of the kingdom by any means.
Attends conferences, seminars, or meetings inside or outside [the kingdom] targeting the security of society, or sowing discord in society;
Incites or make countries, committees, or international organizations antagonistic to the kingdom.”
Simply put, expressing any sympathy or support for freethinkers or anyone the authorities deem opposing and criticizing or questioning the status quo is now a crime in the kingdom.
Coming from the most repressive of Islamic societies in the world, this should not come as a surprise; but it still does.