Sharia Law and the Press

A week after the Saudi Arabian government decided to move certain lawsuits out of religious courts and into specialized, secular courts run by related ministries (i.e., trying press and publication trials in information ministry courts), a group of Muslim clerics and religious scholars have released a statement condemning the move as a “‘deviation from the faith and infidelity to God,'” and arguing that Sharia laws are the only ones capable of correcting mankind. The statement continued to read that, “‘no one can be exempted from the rule of Sharia, including journalists, politicians and soldiers, because there is no separation between religion and the press or politics.'” The court change comes a month after Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz cancelled a Sharia ruling against a university professor accused of slander and sentenced to prison time, 200 lashes, and a ban from writing.