20/05/2013 07:10 BST | Updated 20/07/2013 06:12 BST

Twitter Will Damn Your Soul, Warns Saudi Religious Police Boss

A Saudi who uses social media sites – specifically Twitter - 'has lost this world and his afterlife' (file picture)

The head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has condemned Twitter and all those who use it.

Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said a Saudi who uses social media sites – specifically Twitter - “has lost this world and his afterlife”, the BBC reports.

He added Twitter was “the platform for those who did not have any platform”.

It comes as the country ranks second among the world’s fastest growing countries on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia boasted a 42 per cent increase in the number of account holders after Indonesia, which rose to 44 per cent, according to figures released by GlobalWebIndex’s Stream Social: Quarterly Social Platforms Update.

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Social business strategist Bilal Hallab told Arab News: “Twitter appeals to the Saudi user. He just wants to say what is on his mind, float an idea, debate and discuss it and jump onto a new subject.”

In April Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti described Twitter users as “fools” and “clowns”, the Riyadh Bureau reports.

It also claims the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca dedicated a recent sermon to warn against the “riffraff” who use the social media platform in the name of reform and free speech.

In an address broadcast live on TV, Sheikh Abdulrham al-Sudais said: “What is known as ‘tweeting’ has become a threat to national security.”

According to Al Jazeera, the Saudi government is looking for ways to end anonymity on Twitter and human rights activists who use the site as a platform have been arrested.