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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/16/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Religious authorities condemn Twitter, social networking.

Use Twitter and you will go to hell, according to Saudi religious authorities. The heads of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens that using the popular social network can result in eternal damnation.

As bad as pornography, social networking. Sometimes we are inclined to agree.

As bad as pornography, social networking. Sometimes we are inclined to agree.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/16/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Twitter, Facebook, social networking, Saudi Arabia, hell


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh has warned that anyone who uses a social networking site, especially Twitter, "has lost this world and his afterlife."

In other words, don't use social networking or you will go to hell.

Meanwhile Facebook users in the U.S. are concerned about the number of advertisements they're seeing.

The Saudi government is concerned that private citizens are using social networking to organize and push back against the ultra-conservative regime.

The Sheikh's comments come after the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca warned against Twitter in April, saying the social networking service was a threat to national unity. Previous to that, the kingdom's most senior Muslim cleric, the Grand Mufti, said the people who used the site were "fools."

Twitter and other social networking sites have been under scrutiny in the Arab world after they were blamed in part for the Arab Spring uprisings. Nations across the region that have feared similar uprisings, Saudi Arabia included, have make criticisms and warnings against using the sites.

Even in more supposedly liberal states, such as Egypt, and Tunisia, social media personalities have been condemned and even arrested for their activities on the sites.

Social media is widely used around the world as an alternative to official news and monitored communication. Although in many countries social media use is restricted, or at least monitored, people use the sites to share information and organize. They make movements more powerful.

Most recently in Saudi Arabia, users of Twitter have used the service to tweet images and news of court proceedings against people they feel are being punished on political grounds.

For this reason, social media has been regarded with great suspicion in many parts of the world. So far, world leaders have not figured out how to generate political or financial profits from social networking activity.

Of course, social networking executives in the free world are having trouble doing that too.

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