No, Zaid Hamid isn’t getting Saudi lashes. Not yet

Published: July 5, 2015
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You’ve been living under a rock if you don’t know who Zaid Hamid is. PHOTO: ZAID HAMID'S PICTORIAL BLOG

It is hard for most people to condone the lashings that Saudi Arabia gives out in the form of justice. But when it comes to Zaid Hamid, the first thing that comes to mind is not the barbarism of the image of a man getting 1,200 lashes. It is the irony of the exercise – a bit like falling into a ditch dug by oneself.

Since it is Zaid Hamid, nothing will be straightforward. To begin with, the red-cap loose cannon was arrested in early June, but the news came out only on June 25th. Consequently, various Pakistani media outlets reported on July 1st that he had been sentenced to eight years and ordered 1,200 lashes. However, all these reports cited “reports” or at best “local reports”. The Pakistani government said it had no information about this. It hasn’t yet been successful in getting consular access to Hamid, but claims to have made his wife meet him.

It turns out that the report of reports was cooked up by a website called Pakdestiny.com. A blog – which is appropriately named ‘Zaid Hamid Exposition: Exposing and Refuting the Cult of a False Prophet’ – dedicated to exposing Hamid – has done its homework and shown how speculation and rumour became news. Verbosity can only be countered with verbosity.

So Hamid is very much in a Saudi prison, but we don’t know if he’s been sentenced, what the charges against him are, or what the punishment is. Speculation is that he gave a speech against the Saudi government, while visiting the country. We don’t know what the speech was about, but rumour has it that he criticised Saudi Arabia’s military attack on Yemen. It is apt that these details are wrapped in mystery, the gaps filled with disinformation, because that is what Hamid did at a much larger scale.

Pakistan had refused to send troops to assist the Saudis in attacking Yemen, and the Saudis were quite upset about this. Hamid felt so strongly about the war on Yemen that Iran’s Press TV is describing him as an anti-war activist. Hamid feels that the Saudi attack is coming in the way of creating a global Muslim ummah.

You’ve been living under a rock if you don’t know who Zaid Hamid is. When I first discovered this man on the internet, I thought I had found a great source of amusement. He called himself a defence analyst, ran a “think-tank” called “BrassTacks” and had a TV show to himself, where he acted as if he was about to kick the anchor out of the studio and turn it into a monologue. He conjured up bizarre conspiracy theories and coined delicious terms such as “Hindu zionism”. Whatever went wrong with Pakistan, Hamid would blame it on a joint conspiracy of CIA, RAW and Mossad.

I stopped finding it funny, however, when I saw that his social media following in Pakistan ran into hundreds of thousands. Equally disturbing was how seriously the Indian social media right-wing took him; serious enough to make a parody Twitter account and post video replies to him on YouTube – such as this one using Sunny Deol:

In 2011, Anatol Lieven wrote that he was disturbed after meeting Hamid, not so much for the views he held, but because a man like him was recommended to him by an official of the Inter-Services Intelligence.

In 2013, the “Zaid Hamid Exposition Team” got a former aide of Zaid Hamid’s to reveal that Hamid had been on the payroll of the ISI.

If you were to waste your time watching that long video, you’d hear some hilarious claims such as Hamid saying that if a smart man like himself was with RAW or CIA, he’d be paid much more than what the ISI paid him.

The ‘Zaid Hamid Exposition Team’ smokes stuff similar to Hamid. Their problem with him is that he is allegedly the follower of a man named Yusuf Kazzab, who supposedly claimed to be a prophet. Except for those fighting against Kazzab, the Pakistani social media is united in defence of Hamid. The liberals don’t support lashes, and the rest don’t support a brotherly Muslim nation lashing a Muslim brother.

Yet, some have made their point.

This post originally appeared here.

Shivam Vij

Shivam Vij

A journalist in Delhi. He tweets as @DilliDurAst

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ilyas gondal

    The trend of interference in other countries should be stopped and discouraged. Hamid has no right to break law of KSA laws, while on that land, but the punishment is too much. Government should do something or if possible speak with KSA that Hamid as convict be transferred to Pakistani prison. Ilyas gondalRecommend

  • Kickass

    ET is this a despicable Bharati newspaper?Recommend

  • wb

    Imran Khan is still trying to discover 35 punctures with magnifying glasses. One journalist is busy exposing fake documents. Another is busy making fake allegations. Another one is manufacturing news. Another one thinks statements are evidences. Politicians are making threats and running out of the country. Religious scholars are busy confusing everyone else. Others are busy procuring fake degrees, fake doctorates. Army is busy planting news and forcing confessions. Others are fighting with each other over many things including CPEC.

    Amid all these, Zaid Hamid is getting no support from his government, despite having been wrongfully arrested.

    Poor man doesn’t deserve this.Recommend

  • Jayman

    Will it be telecast live?Recommend

  • Tight Patloon

    Saudi has punished Zaid Hamid because of Hindu conspiracy.Recommend

  • Nabeel

    Endian democracy with modi as its figure head in fact proves the two nation theory to be true and we thank Quaid e Azam for foreseeing this over half a century ago.

    It is no wonder that an endian journalist takes pleasure in what Mr Hamid is faced with in KSA,Recommend

  • dsgsgs

    haha I am actually surprised to see Marvi Sirmed’s tweet in his favour.Recommend

  • Jayman

    Shubh, shubh bolo. You have to think positive.
    I personally think he’ll get the 1200 lashes but in installments.Recommend

  • Umar Malik

    I think it is best not to discuss the monkey called Zaid Hamid. He is a mentally unstable moron, that is it. He should have been imprisoned in Pakistan. But for some strange reasons, we seem to like the mad comedians.Recommend

  • relax007

    Why an Indian has to write about Zaid Hamid and his opinion be given space on a Pakistani newspaper?Recommend

  • asim

    so now this express site would publish articles against Zaid Hamid written by Indians?Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Do not mind Shivam , but we Indian non-Hindutvadis must not complain about Zaid Hamid , he is No SUBSTANCE (just as many we have back home) who deserve any write-up & surely he is NO ISSUE too , for us (except that like Subbu , we love his comedy too).

    KINDLY Write on Pakistani Hindus of India & at least a blog or two ,expatiating individual stories , accounts etc. because it seems Pakistan’s elite Liberal bloggers have almost forgotten them , owing to Hindutva’ rise in India & of Islamophobia of the West. And also , since afterall more Indians write on ET than do Pakistan’s own non-Muslims. [ a point which I have made umpteen times & which for the time being has become the only point of my comments here as they are often ignored.]
    Maybe as an ELITE BLOGGER & a WELL-KNOWN LEFT-LIBERAL , you can convince them better to prioritise the issues of Pak non-Muslims over & above Muslims of India or the West , than any ordinary pseudonym commentator can. THANK YOU.Recommend

  • {PK} Uzair

    Even when i was reading the article i knew an indian wrote it
    ._.
    Recommend

  • Mohammad

    Forget what he says… You have an option to accept or reject it… What not to forget he is a Pakistani citizen and yet, like many thousands pakistani in Ksa.. The government of Pakistan is unable to reach him.Recommend

  • seismann

    Many people will miss the comedy.And to think Zaid Haamid thinks himself as an Arab.Lal Topi is going to have a Lal Bottom to go along with,if 1200 lashes are true.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    If he was not a crazy person, he would have never gone to Saudi Arabia. Our government should raise this point with Saudis and get him back.Recommend

  • Abdul

    1200 lashes should cure Zaid Hamid’s need for Gazwa e hind LOLRecommend

  • Tariq

    This all article is with pre coieved mind and not a nutral comments .We must see the problem ib the depth .Recommend

  • Ariba

    “red-cap loose cannon”

    An Indian bashing a Pakistani defense analyst. Its not this journalist’s fault. Its Pakistani media who is barely Pakistani in any context. Its Pakistani’s fault that they will go low to keep on bashing each other and our enemies will make fun of it. Recommend

  • Fighter Man

    Every Indian has disease of Zaid Phobia.Recommend

  • manofsan

    “how seriously the Indian right wing took him”

    Ridiculous – nobody in India takes Zaid Hamid seriously. Certainly, there may be the usual bunch of teenage comedian who try to lampoon him, but they’re just doing this for fun and masti.Recommend

  • Jagmohan Trivedi

    Ya Shivam’s article throws a lot of light on Zaid Hamid’s activities and mental
    orientatation.Something new that he follows one Yusuf Kazzab,said to be a
    self proclaimed prophet.How far it is true? Needs more investigation.Zaid is
    said to be nearer to spy agency[s].If so how he can be said to be a man of
    a peaceful things.Further no body knows for sure what wrong things he
    uttered in the holy land of KSA,that led to his arrest and Court pronounced
    punishment.No access to Pakistan Councillor,if true shows little scope for
    Hamid’s release or any relaxation.One commentator said…let KSA keep
    Hamid there as there are many mad Hamids in Pakistan,showing that every
    one is not happy with his tantrums in Pakistan.His punishment is lesson to many.Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    Zaid Hamid is only symbol. Saudis are actually lashing and imprisoning the Sharif duo and Parliamentarians of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Marti

    Fassad-Fill-Arrz and big agent of ISI. In the entire destruction of South Asia the role of ISI is most dominant.And he having thousand agents like zaid-hamid. He is the one who destroyed millions of innocent lives and pushing them to make killing and occupying other properties and land. Such a man must be hang to eradicate radicalism and save innocent people from his occupation. He is the really terrorist and master mind behind the insecurity and instability in South East Asia.Recommend

  • pakistani

    how dare you post an article of an indian journalist making fun of a Pakistani citizen who gave Pakistan hope. Remove it immediatelyRecommend

  • Rana Eddy

    Do not mind Shivam , but we Indian non-Hindutvadis must not complain about Zaid Hamid , he is No SUBSTANCE (just as many we have back home) who deserve any write-up & surely he is NO ISSUE too , for us (except that like Subbu , we love his comedy too).

    KINDLY Write on Pakistani Hindus of India & at least a blog or two ,expatiating individual stories , accounts etc. because it seems Pakistan’s elite Liberal bloggers have almost forgotten them , owing to Hindutva’ rise in India & of Islamophobia of the West. And also , since afterall more Indians write on ET than do Pakistan’s own non-Muslims. [ a point which I have made umpteen times & which for the time being has become the only point of my comments here as they are often ignored.]
    Maybe as an ELITE BLOGGER & a WELL-KNOWN LEFT-LIBERAL , you can convince them better to prioritise the issues of Pak non-Muslims over & above Muslims of India or the West , than any ordinary pseudonym commentator can. THANK YOU.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    OH , Really !! Does not your media bash Modi or any of the hooligans in India or the West ??….This is what every sensible Liberal media (if at all Liberal) does , across the globe….They remain inward-looking ; not obsessed with the flaws of other Countries or Societies to develop a Right-wing Complacency. Had Shivam written a piece bashing Modi (which he does in Kafila etc.) , you ppl would be dancing….No doubt Rightists everywhere are same. Gloat , when the Opposite camp is criticised & Whine , when they are.

    Maybe it does not behoove an Indian Liberal criticising Pakistani Right-wingers ; but then this is Pakistani “Liberal” media & it too criticises Indian Rightists , quite often.
    Being a Pakistani Liberal media , it should be attacking the Muslim Nationalistic stance of almost all political parties here , just as Left-Liberals media in India always attacks the Hindu nationalist stance of BJP.Recommend

  • J Z

    Indians r our brother they had history of 200 years as our brothers.what is wrong I don’t know .Recommend

  • Umar

    “red-cap loose gun” will tighten up your senses soon.Recommend

  • Bharat Indian

    Jail mein rakho ya na rakho, but, please yeh lashes jaroor laga dena. It is a humble request to Saudi authorities.Recommend

  • Bharat Indian

    Saudis want to distance themselves from ISI/Zaid theories of Gazwa-e-hind and UMMAH… message is loud and clear for Indians, whatever this man was saying since last so many years, doesn’t have Saudi nod.Recommend

  • Generalraheel

    These lashes will serve him right.not ghazwa e hind, but gas from hind (rear ) will emanate.Recommend

  • Enkay

    Rana Eddy : Sir if Shivm Vij were to Write on Pakistani Hindus of India & at least a blog or two ,expatiating individual stories , accounts etc. because it seems Pakistan’s elite Liberal bloggers have almost forgotten them then the Powers that be will make Kebab Boti of Him. In addition Shivam Vij knows which side of his Bread is Buttered! I cannot understand your stating “Pakistani Hindus of India” Pakistani Hindus are HINDUS OF PAKISTAN and not “of India”! PeaceRecommend

  • Zarghoon

    Indians and Pakistani Marxists may be celebrating this like Eid, you can call him conspiracy ‘nut’ for his politically incorrect views or nervously ‘laugh’ at what you call ‘comedy’, but in reality Zaid Hamid is a son of the soil and he spoke for it and it’s interests, he feared no one, not even the so called Saudi “masters”.

    Zaid Hamid speaking about a “Ghazwa-e-Hind” is no different from crazy Indian hyper-nationalists who dream of creating an “Akand Bharat” aka Greater India Recommend

  • wb

    Why would anyone support the unlawful and unethical arrest of his fellow countryman? By supporting this illegal activity, how are you any better than Zaid Hamid, goggi-lahore?

    Zaid Hamid is an idiot and he probably should have been jailed in Pakistan for hate speeches. But then, every other person in Pakistan is a hatemonger. How many times haven’t we heard your generals and politicians and civil society members abusing Hindu Baniya. If any Hindu politician had abused Mullah Muslim in India, Muslims would start riots killing innocent Hindus.

    But I would still oppose his arrest by Saudi Arabia, apparently for no reason.

    First, I believed that he did something in Saudi. Now it’s getting clearer that he’s arrested for something that he did in Pakistan. That’s absurd, insane and criminal.

    If I were Pak government, I would have declared a war on Saudi Arabia. At least a diplomatic war.Recommend

  • wb

    Ghazwa e Hind and Akhand Bharat are not even comparable.

    Ghazwa e Hind is a religious idea. Ghazwa e Hind is a part of mythology.

    Akhand Bharat is a political idea. Akhand Bharat was real and it could still become real. But most Indians don’t support this. Because we don’t want failed Pakistanis in our fold again.Recommend

  • Rana Eddy

    ## Pakistani Hindus are HINDUS OF PAKISTAN and not “of India”! ##
    That speaks your ignorance about the presence of a large number of Pak Hindus (somewhat in 10s or 20 thousands) living in Rajasthan , Gujarat , Punjab & MP , many of them on ‘extended visas” , some other’s fighting for “India’s tedious bureaucracy” to get citizenship in vain . These are the Pakistani Hindus of India…They are not some 1947 partition refugees , but part of recent waves
    HINDUS OF PAKISTAN , they would have some visibility on this newspaper , as bloggers or commentators. Moreover ,if THEIR STORIES were really written , then Sir , you won’t be unaware of these Pak Hindus of India.Recommend

  • Ariba

    http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/07/06/419023/Yemen-Saudi-spy-drone-Saada-Ansarullah

    Even Yemen does not bow down in front of Saudia. Only Pakistanis do. And Indians laugh at us. Wake Up Pakistanis. Allah uss qoum ki kabhi halat nahi badalta jo apni khud na badlain.

    Stop bashing yourselves media has made Muslims in general & Pakistanis in particular apologetic to everything.

    Indians are your enemies and realize it before its too late.Recommend

  • Ranjeet Singh

    I would love to Put people like Zaid Hamid & Hindu Fundamentalist Like Praveen togadia in a boat & leave them in the middle of an ocean,apas mein larr k marr jayengey,good riddanceRecommend

  • Ranjeet Singh

    Without doubt Zaid is a big moron & a joker but so r people who glorify Akhand Bharat stuffRecommend

  • Ranjeet Singh

    What phobia?we love his comedy,we are gonna miss him & his comedy the mostRecommend

  • Rana Eddy

    HeHe…You probably do not object to Indians writing here on Indian subjects of esp. Hindu-Right wingers ; but suddenly a slight break in the trend & the nitpicking starts.Recommend

  • thekkanadu nayikan

    It is both side affair in India thereae hardcore hindutvawadis who dream of capturing pakistanRecommend

  • trishi72

    I am an Indian American and vehemently disagree with everything Mr. Hamid says. That said, Mr. Hamid should have been extradited and declared persona non grata but this punishment is inhuman.

    Remember that free speech is not the right to talk sense, it is the right to talk nonsense without fear of punishment, only of ridicule.Recommend

  • water rafting
  • water rafting

    koi btai ga k Zaid Hamid akhir kia bla hy k army waly is say puch k kam karty hainRecommend

  • {PK} Uzair

    SA just trying to impress India.Even the indians know itRecommend

  • Nero

    “Zaid Hamid is a son of the soil and he spoke for it”. Sure. A son of the soil who believes he came to the plains of Punjab on horseback along with Bin Qasim.Recommend

  • rustam

    every media house in india is behaving like zaid hamid.. please have a look on indian tv views about pakistanRecommend

  • rustam

    Zaid Hamid claim was too true about conspiracy by RAW and Mossad. Now MQM is linked with RAW agency by BBC. Altaf Hussain himself ask RAW to act against pakistan. Just see Ajit Doval indian RAW agent staying 7 years in pakistan and creating divisions among baloach, sindhis and punjabis. Supporting TTP. Just watch his videos in youtube. Indians are treating him as hero.
    But in pakistan zaid hamid is treated as villian despite knowing his history that his father was in army and he himself fought for 8 years in aghanistan against soviet russia.
    India spent billions of dollars on Afghanistan a muslim country why?
    Just check the status of indian muslim in india according to sacchar comitte report. Riots is happening against muslim in Gujarat, UP, Bihar and many other places on regular basis. Just check on youtube. You will see the video recording.Recommend

  • Miyagi Jr.

    Zaid Hamid is good if you wanna learn about the history of modern monetary system and harmful effects of interest based economy. And he is ultra-nationalist. but nothing wrong with that. But his other ideas are far fetched, unrealistic and adventurous. And his Pakistan’s ideology is exactly that same as the country’s clergy’s, which is totally mutilated. But so is Saudi Arabia’s about Islam.Recommend

  • p r sharma

    If you are not aware/ sure about the reasons of his arrest how can you oppose his arrest by Saudi Arabia. You are simply assuming something and are judgmental based on that .Recommend

  • p r sharma

    Sorry, Nobody in India is longing to capture Pakistan. Rather we want them to be at distance. Do not try to spread your wrong personal notion / mind as generalized one .Recommend

  • vinsin

    Then why Indian Muslims have not moved to Pakistan according to you or youtube?

    Why India cannot spent billions of dollars on Afghanistan a muslim country?Recommend

  • Tarun Prasad

    //I stopped finding it funny, however, when I saw that his social media
    following in Pakistan ran into hundreds of thousands. Equally disturbing
    was how seriously the Indian social media right-wing took him; serious
    enough to make a parody Twitter account and post video replies to him on YouTube – such as this one using Sunny Deol://
    This paragraph has so many contradictions. Indian social media “right-wing” took him seriously because, like you, they also found Mr. Hamid to have “social media
    following in Pakistan ran into hundreds of thousands.” In any case, you have to take someone seriously who regularly appears on Pakistani national channels and brew conspiracy theories like RAW is behind 26/11 attacks, or how an Islamic army would be invading India (of course, it sounds funny, but one can’t ignore the intention of doing great harm to India by some other means). If anything was disturbing here, it were Zaid Hamid’s sayings and his followings. You just can’t dismiss him as a fruitcake. Many such people have been able to cause significant damage in the past.

    India social “right-wing” actually took him funny (actually seriously funny) enough to make three parody account on him (the one you have mentioned is the latest, the oldest one was created in Nov 2011 and has 25000 followers). Satire is the best way to discredit such nutcases and their benighted followers.Recommend