#Sinful: Saudi preacher tells Muslims to be nice to their fellow tweeps
Snide swipes have become almost par for the course on Twitter, with everyone from celebrities to ordinary netizens happy to have their put-downs re-tweeted.
To really get that bitchy comment trending, tweeps use hashtags to get their point across to as many users as possible.
However, while Arab users of the micro-blogging site might be on board with a catty tag, according to one senior Saudi cleric, a bitchy hashtag is officially “sinful” for Muslims.
Saad al-Khathlan, a Saudi cleric and member of the Council of Senior Ulema, has warned Islamic netizens across the globe that creating a hashtag that could be used to speak ill of someone is a sinful act.
In Saudi, a country that is well known for suppressing individual freedoms, Twitter has become a popular tool for discussion and dissent. With over four million active users, according to local technology news site Tech World, hashtags used to criticize people and institutions have been known to spread like wildfire through Saudi cyberspace.
But unlike the malls of Riyadh or the streets of Jeddah, Twitter is a space for comment that is not easily controlled by the Kingdom’s religious police.
In a tweet on Friday, al-Khathlan told his followers that the creator of such a hashtag would carry the sins of all those who had used it to talk negatively about someone. So even those Muslims thinking about a sly re-tweet had better think twice!
Are hashtags an important Twitter tool? Do you agree they can be sinful or is the Saudi scholar overreacting? Share your comments with us below!