Producing and distributing content that ridicules, mocks, provokes and disrupts public order, religious values and public morals through social media … will be considered a cybercrime punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of three million riyals ($800,000).”
Remember this one the next time you hear about how the Kingdom is “modernizing.” But the implications are larger than that. Right now, nearly everyone takes for granted that one must not ridicule or mock or otherwise provoke Islam. Can criminal penalties be far behind in the West? Ridiculous, right? Preposterous, no? Is it really, however, nowadays when having the wrong political opinions can get one deplatformed and denied services by the social media and online fundraising giants? If it is already an open-and-shut case, as far as the social media giants are concerned, that it is wrong to criticize Islam and violent jihad, then criminal penalties are just the next step. Watch this space — while you can.