A short tweet posted by a famous Saudi writer has ignited online conversations and backlash after he suggested removing the sword featured under a well-known Islamic phrase considered the first pillar in Islam.
اقترح إزالة السيف من علمنا السعودي لعدم مناسبته (أولا) لعصرنا الحالي، ولعدم تؤائمه (ثانيا) مع قوله تعالى: لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِينِ— فهد عامر الأحمدي (@fahadalahmdi) January 27, 2021
و (ثالثا) لنفي ادعاءات العنف والقتل عن ديننا الحنيف.
علما أن العلم السعودي تغير ست مرات لم يكن في مرتين منها يحمل سيفا كما يتضح من الصور: pic.twitter.com/2SfRnttlEC
Translation: "I suggest removing the sword from our Saudi flag. First, it doesn't go well in this day and age. Second, it goes against "There is no compulsion in religion." Third, removing it will actively show our condemnation of violence and killing claims against our religion. By the way, the Saudi flag was changed 6 different times, two of which didn't include a sword as you can see in the photos."
In his tweet, Fahd Al-Ahmadi posted photos of earlier Saudi flags, including two in which the sword was eliminated, saying that the symbol is no longer in line with the Kingdom's policies.
He also pointed at the need to emphasize core values of Islam such as the "There is no compulsion in religion" rule mentioned in the Quran, saying that a sword and the Islamic phrase meant to state full belief in God "don't go well together."
يا استاذ فهد الاحمدي ..— عقار محايل عسير ( ابو مازن )? (@aqarmoh) January 27, 2021
السيف هو دلالة ورمزية على القوة والعدل .هذه البلاد وحدها الملك عبد العزيز طيب الله ثراه بالسيف حتى دانت له رقاب الجبابرة واستتب الامن في هذه البلاد بعد سنوات من الشتات والفوضى.
فهو سيف ذو دلالة على إقامة العدل وحفظ الحقوق وليس للاعتداء على احد دون وجه حق
Translation: Mr. Fahd Al-Ahmadi, the sword is a symbol of strength and justice. King Abdulaziz has united this country using the sword until everyone was united, stabilizing the country after years of chaos. It's not a symbol of unlawfully attacking one at all, it represents justice and protecting peoples' rights."
هذا السيف العربي الاصيل ونحن نفتخر فيه— mi mi mo ma mi mo ma mi mi mi mi ma mo ma mi mi mo (@mmmyyss) January 27, 2021
Translation: "The sword is a genuine symbol for Arabs and we are proud of it."
Moreover, Al-Ahmadi urged considering his suggestion saying that such a move stresses Muslims' argument that "their religion has nothing to do with violence and killings carried out by extremists."
However, the tweet sparked a strong backlash by people who called on him to think of the sword as "a symbol of strength and sovereignty instead of violence."
Al-Ahmadi is a prominent Saudi writer and media personality with more than 300k followers on Twitter.
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