Saudi Arabia is to beheaded man for ripping up a Koran
A man who posted a video online of himself ripping up a Koran and beating the shredded holy book with a shoe is to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for renouncing his Muslim faith.
The unnamed prisoner, in his 20s, was given the death sentence by the country’s Sharia courts for the offence of apostasy – abandoning Islam – the English speaking Saudi Gazette reports.
The court in the city of Hafr Al-Batin sentenced the man to death for denouncing his Muslim faith and 'various other acts of blasphemy.'
"In the video he cursed God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his daughter Fatimah and ripped a copy of the Holy Qur'an and hit it with a shoe," the court said.
"The death sentence was issued after his apostasy was proven."
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arrested the man last year and his case was forwarded to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution.
Deviation from the nation’s enforced Sunni faith is harshly punished, as is anything that is deemed an insult to the faith.
Public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam is also banned.
The country’s interpretation of Wahhabism demands capital punishment for a wide range of crimes, including murder, rape, armed robbery and drugs smuggling.
Death can also be the sentence for internationally condemned religious “crimes”, including apostasy, sorcery, blasphemy and idolatry.
Last year, 87 people were executed, up from 78 in 2013, and seven people were killed in the first two weeks of 2015.