Canada-Based Pro-Al-Qaeda Cleric Calls For The Killing Of Liberal Saudi Journalist For Insulting Prophet Muhammad

November 15, 2021

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

On November 14, 2021, Canada-based pro-Al-Qaeda cleric Tariq Abdelhaleem published a post on Telegram, calling on Muslims to put an end to the life of Saudi journalist Turki Al-Hamad, whom he accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammad.

Abdelhaleem's post included a screenshot highlighting a December 22, 2012 tweet from the Saudi journalist, in which he suggested that the doctrine of the Prophet must be corrected.

"Our honorable Prophet [Muhammad] came to correct the creed of the Prophet Ibrahim[1], and [now] comes a time where we need someone to correct [Prophet] Muhammad Bin 'Abdallah's creed[2]," read the tweet.

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Al-Hamad's tweet, December 22, 2012.

Angered by the tweet, Abdelhaleem called on Muslims to avenge the Prophet's reputation, demanding that Muslims kill Al-Hamad and those who share his views:

"Who will [target] this mangy dog and relieve the world of his breath [i.e., existence]? By Allah, this [killing] is what he or those like him deserve, and that is what Prophet Muhammad ordered us to do to them."[3]

Abdelhaleem's Telegram post

Al-Hamad is known as a liberal political analyst, journalist, and novelist. His anti-radical Islam writings and interviews have made him an "apostate" in the eyes of al-Qaeda. Several radical clerics have issued fatwas calling for his killing.[4]

He was arrested by Saudi authorities after publishing a tweet on December 24, 2012 in which he protested what he described as a misuse of Islam by radical clerics. He was released in June 2013.

It is worth noting that Al-Hamad is still a vocal critic of radical Islamist ideologies, and of terrorist groups and ideologues. His Twitter account is still active as of this date.

[1] Pre-Islamic Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula believed that their different religious rituals, viewed as pagan and polytheist practices by Muslims later, were direct successions of Abraham's teachings. 

[2] Muslims, based on many Quranic verses and sayings by the Prophet Muhammad, consider Islam the last and only correct updated version of the Abrahamic religions.

[3] Telegram, November 14, 2021.

[4] Gulf News,, June, 5, 2013.

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