Arab News reports:
The controversial case of Muhammad Al-Harbi, a Saudi high school teacher accused of mocking religion, came to a surprising end on Saturday. Al-Harbi was sentenced to three years in prison and 750 lashes — 50 lashes per week for 15 weeks. The lashes are to be given in the public market in the town of Al-Bikeriya in Al-Qassim.
A number of 12th Grade students, along with some teachers from the same school, filed a lawsuit a year-and-a-half ago against Al-Harbi. He was accused of mocking Islam, favoring Jews and Christians, preventing students from performing ablutions. He was also charged with studying witchcraft. At the time, he was a chemistry teacher at Al-Fowailiq High School in the town of Ein Al-Juwa in Al-Qassim.
“This is a very cruel sentence,” Al-Harbi told Arab News. He explained over the phone that the students who filed the lawsuit had failed the monthly chemistry test. “They asked me to give them the exam again and when I refused, they went to the principal to complain but he upheld my decision,” he explained.
According to Al-Harbi, the students’ actions were triggered by some Islamic studies teachers who used the students’ anger at Al-Harbi and convinced them to file the lawsuit.
Our friends, the Saudis.