What lies behind this sentence appears to be the nagging fear in the clerics that, beneath the solid foundations of Islam, there still exists in the region widespread superstitions which pre-date their faith.
In Europe, Christianity superimposed various beliefs on top of existing cultural norms and Europeans still engage in practices which are against the teaching of the Church. They did so even when the Church had a much tighter grip on society. It is no co-incidence that Christmas is celebrated in the deep midwinter and Easter in the spring. After all those months of cold and darkness the Europeans needed a reason to celebrate and the Christians were smart enough to keep the party, but give it a different name. The dates for the major Christian festivals are more to do with pagan beliefs than historical accuracy about the birth and death of Jesus. In a similar manner millions of Muslims cling on to pre Islamic beliefs including fortune telling and horsoscopes.
Thus Mr Sibat, perhaps unwittingly, offered a challenge to the very basis of Saudi Arabia and therefore it appears he must be killed.
Amnesty International (of which this writer is a member) has urged the Lebanese government to intervene, arguing that Mr Sibat ‘appears to have been convicted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression,”
That is true if you are in the 21st century, but false if you still believe in witchcraft and believe it offers a threat to a power structure which places you at the top. The court decision is both obvious and astonishing. Obvious for the reasons stated, astonishing in that a Lebanese man can be killed by the Saudi state for hosting a Lebanese TV show.
The clerics would like to kill satellite television, they are settling, this time, for killing someone for appearing on