Boasting millions of followers across the world, a generation of Saudi clerics and Islamic scholars are reaching beyond government-controlled mosques and satellite television stations to criticize Riyadh and its autocratic Arab allies, using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to stoke dissent.
Now amid growing online criticism of Riyadh’s war in Yemen and poor government services at home, Saudi authorities are censoring the clerics, triggering a showdown that has been brewing since the early days of the Arab Spring.
If you've lost the clerics, can Democracy be far behind?
But the crackdown does not begin or end with Yemen. Wary of clerics’ growing social media followings, Riyadh has warned imams against criticizing the government’s policies at home or its allies abroad.
Unfortunately, if it is you might end up like Egypt.
Morsi and more than 100 others were sentenced to death last month over a mass prison break in 2011 that occurred during protests against ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
I'm pretty sure the grand mufti is not going to listen to me, but let's try not executing Morsi.
“These highly politicized trials that contravene all standards of justice, the judiciary is doing its part to cement a new political reality in Egypt, one that seeks to silence all dissent and restore the full strength of the authoritarian system that was in place for decades,” he said.
Yeah, that's at least part of the reason.