Saudi Arabia's Top Muslim Cleric: Twitter Is Source of All Evil

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Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheik Abdul Aziz Al Sheik in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 9, 2010. Credit: AP

The top Muslim cleric of Twitter-happy Saudi Arabia blasted the microblogging site as "the source of all evil and devastation," AFP reported.

The Sunni kingdom has the highest number of Twitter users in the Arab world. The Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al Sheikh accused them of using the website for "trivial matters," instead of for real benefit.

The Muslim cleric said on his "Fatwah" TV show that users of the social media platform wrongly believe it to be a credible source of information, but that it's actually a source of "lies and falsehood."

Some Saudis defiantly turned to Twitter to express their vexation with the religious leader's stance.

"Respected sheikh, how can you judge something without using it?" one Twitter user asked, according to NDTV.

"This is why I will repent, and close my account to distance myself from this great evil," one Twitter user posted sarcastically, NDTV said.

One Twitter user, apparently unaware of the irony of voicing support for the cleric's statements over the very medium in contention, tweeted: "I swear the mufti has spoken the truth; the evils of Twitter are many."

The popularity of Twitter in Saudi Arabia has created an arena for the discussion of subjects such as politics and religion, where such public talk is often deemed illegal.

According to Al Akhbar, Twitter and Facebook posts critical of the regime have led to the arrests of scores of Saudis over the years.

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