A Saudi family are claiming asylum in the UK – because they fear persecution for their atheist beliefs.
Haifa and Abdullah Alshamrani, who have two children and moved to the UK last year, say they’ve been threatened by Saudi officials and fear they won’t be safe if they return home.
Haifa had been preparing to complete a pre-medical course at the University of Glasgow when her scholarship from the Saudi government was withdrawn. The couple say it was cut off because Abdullah refused to help Saudi students build a mosque in Glasgow – a request that came with significant pressure from the Saudi Embassy.
Saudi officials denied the claim that the pair had been asked to help with the construction of a mosque.
The news has provoked strong reactions on Twitter, with many Saudis using threatening language against Haifa.
#مبتعثه_سعوديه_ترتد_عن_الاسلام— #نرجسية_شاعر (@Shaftpoet_) 2 May 2016
صحَّ من حديث ابن عباس رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلّى الله عليه وسلم
قال:( من بَدّل دينه فاقتلوه )
Repent or the sword. From the truthful hadeeth of Ibn Abas, may god be pleased with him and the prophet, peace be upon him: He said: "Kill whoever changes their religon"
@ahIamy345678 @alajmimunerh1 وهي حره ان تطيعه او تعصاه...فهي من سيحاسب— سيد القصر (@salmanjeddah4) 1 May 2016
She is free to obey or disobey God… For she is the one who will pay.
Others condemned Mrs. Shamrani for leaving Islam - or blamed her leaving Saudi for her loss of faith.
#مبتعثه_سعوديه_ترتد_عن_الاسلام— #سلطان_الطويرقي (@0555So123) 2 May 2016
الأسلام في غنىٰ عنها !!
Islam doesn't need her!
لاحد يقول انت تبالغ ..— كاريكاتير عمر (@karekat1982) 2 May 2016
Nobody says you’re exaggerating.
(Cartoon: Man gives another man scholarship papers for international study. He says: “Don’t return until you’ve become an infidel!”)
Other tweeters, however, were more accepting of the family's belieifs – and criticised those who condemned them.
#مبتعثه_سعوديه_ترتد_عن_الاسلام— قضايا خليجية (@fnkuwait) 2 May 2016
الهاشتاق مليء بالرغبة في قتلها وسحلها وشرب دمائها ورجمها وتقطيع أوصالها
هل هذا هو الإسلام؟إذن أنا لا ألومها
This hashtag is full of [people] wanting to kill her, drag her, drink her blood, stone her, and dismember her. Is this Islam? If so I don’t blame her.
يجب ان لايفرض الاعتقاد بالقوه الجبريه، الدعشنه مرفوضه #مبتعثه_سعوديه_ترتد_عن_الاسلام— د. هاديس العظيم (@charle1dar) 2 May 2016
Faith can't be forced on anyone, ISIS methodology is refused.
Glasgow MP Patrick Grady has said he will support the family in their request for asylum, Herald Scotland reported.
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