Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has written a heartfelt open letter to the Saudi Arabian government urging it not to allow their citizens to sing or dance in upcoming concerts by US pop star Justin Bieber.
She shared her thoughts on Facebook, voicing a number of fear that human rights violations could be instilled due to the concert. She said this was a mistake after they reportedly reportedly “ordered a committee of religious scholars” to determine whether one of the pop star’s songs could violate Islamic morality.
Cengiz’s open letter appeared on at least two Saudi Facebook pages.
“I received a call from Jamal at the beginning of the month and he told me that their team had called a committee of religious scholars to determine if one of his songs has negative things,” she wrote. “I told Jamal that we cannot hide from this and we need to talk to people who had a real understanding of this. Since he was returning to Saudi Arabia, I reached out to the management and the show was cancelled.”
Cengiz says she does not want fans to be scared into silence.
“I do not care about these future performance plans by Biebers, but I do not want people to be afraid to participate in this campaign. I’m not afraid. I’m ready to face any repercussions as they might be,” she said.
According to CNN, there are at least 200 restrictions on non-Muslims living in Saudi Arabia.
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Prior to Cengiz’s open letter, the Saudi government posted a list of the 128 foreigners visiting the country on a promotional visit for the World Expo in the city of Jeddah, according to al-Jazeera. The public sector-sponsored delegation of people includes people from Australia, China, Spain, Iran, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
While these people are allowed to tour the country, there is a list of 129 banned activities.
In September, Miss India Universe 2017, Sushmita Sen, also wrote an open letter to Khashoggi’s alleged murderers, urging them to return her crown since she did not want to “be associated with any perpetrators.”
Since MBS became a global superstar of the Middle East with his reforming platform, however, he has targeted activists with cold blood.
Last month, an activist and writer in the kingdom was beaten up by goons, released in critical condition and reportedly forced to sign a statement apologising for the kingdom’s crimes.
“When I saw the tweet my friends posted, I had such a surprise for the government,” Cengiz said, referring to the statement. “We respect your freedom but we do not accept any religious extremism in your culture. We urge you to stop this ban on dance and to not harm anything in your country because Saudi Arabia is a rich and heritage where people have been blessed with incredible art and spirituality.”
The Saudi government has said in a statement that the language used by Khashoggi’s fiancée contradicts her honour. “The language is slanderous and highly charged and dangerous,” it says. “In fact it insults and indicts and seriously distances and undermines our scholars.”