The website of the Saudi based newspaper al-Watan was hacked early Saturday by suspected supporters of a leading cleric who was recently sacked from the kingdom’s Council of Senior Clerics board.
After the newspaper’s website was compromised, the hackers placed a picture of Sheikh Saad bin Nasser al-Shithri on its front page along with a statement denouncing the defamation of Muslim scholars.
The hacking of Watan’s website appeared to be an act of retaliation against the newspaper, which was the first to report on Sheikh Shithri’s statements opposing gender mixing at the first co-ed university in the Kingdom.
“Frankly, we do not know the difference between the deviant sects of militants and the fifth column (...) of liberals; they both defame scholars and describe them with the most offensive statements," the hackers’ statement said.
Addressing Sheikh Shithri, the hackers wrote: “O Sheikh Shithri, we are on your side and faithful to you, but the voice of hypocrisy today is the one that resonates most in our press.”
Shithri was one of several clerics who objected to the mixed gender university, which is outside the purview of the conservative cleric-dominated education ministry.
The senior cleric said religious scholars should vet the curriculum to prevent alien ideologies such as "evolution" and set up a committee to ensure it does not violate Shariah, or Islamic law.
(Translated from Arabic by Mustapha Ajbaili)
Frankly, we do not know the difference between the deviant sects of militants and the fifth column (...) of liberals; they both defame scholars and describe them with the most offensive statements