Saudi scholar Emad Al-Moubayed has said he fled the kingdom because “all doors closed for the affirmation of truth and rejection of wrongdoing.”
“Posting a video on Twitter, Al-Moubayed said: “I wished I could speak on my pulpit, in my mosque, among the people, but if I had continued on this then I would have suffered the same fate as my fellow scholars, preachers and orators, I would have suffered imprisonment, abuse and unfair trials,” in reference to clerics including Salman Ouda who have languished in jail since 2017.
Al-Moubayed explained that migration is part of Islam and is an option for those who are “unable to apply the religion of Allah Almighty or spread Allah’s religion, or when one fears being subjected to harm and pain.” He went on to call on other scholars and preachers to leave Saudi Arabia. “Oh good people in my country, if you are not able to express the truth within the country, and I know that you are suffering due to evils that are happening, so if you are not able to clarify the truth, you do not have options other than migration following the example of prophets, companions and the righteous who preceded you.
“Al-Moubayed is thought to have arrived in London, UK, earlier this week after escaping Saudi Arabia. He had previously posted a video on Twitter warning against drastic social reforms in Saudi Arabia enacted over recent years. He went on to call on the authorities to “fear God” in implementing social changes which are “erasing the Islamic faith, and replacing the identity of Islam with other identities”.
The next day, however, Al-Moubayed posted a new video in which he clarified his comments, while reading from a piece of paper on the table in front of him, seemingly back-tracking on his criticism in a scene which some speculated he was forced to read in custody.