Malaysian Teen's Israel 'Like' on Facebook Prompts Death Threats, Sedition Charges
A Malaysian teen who "liked" a pro-Israel Facebook post is now being investigated for sedition and could face jail time for his "crime."
The 17-year-old from Penang reportedly liked someone's post on the social media site that declared "I love Israel" and featured an image of the Israeli flag, which prompted a harsh vilification from his school
teacher and set off a flurry of death threats against him, according to Haaretz.
"My student likes Israel? How shameful for me," wrote the teen's teacher on Facebook. She linked her comments to an image of her student's pro-Israel "like" post. Her post reportedly prompted a flood of threats against the teen, which caused him to turn to police for protection, fearing for his life, in addition to avoiding returning to school.
Her badgering was met with accord as other teachers and Malaysian nationals took on the educator's tone.
Buckling under pressure, the unidentified teen reportedly deactivated his account and told authorities that he accidentally hit the "like" button for the Israel post, Haaretz notes.
Following the student's cry for help to authorities, the director of the Penang Education Department, Osman Hussain, said the school had plans to relocate the teacher to another school – merely transferring the anti-Semitism to a different locale.
"We are living in Malaysia, so we must have mutual respect for each
other despite our differences, so the students also should be made aware
of this," Hussain said. "Let this also be a warning to all teachers in
Penang not to go to Facebook and post rants against their students
One Facebook user who denounced the "extremism" from the teacher and others who similarly followed her rant reportedly reasoned that "Using the same twisted logic, all Malaysians using Facebook are also committing sedition as Facebook is founded by a Jew," reminding the users that Mark Zuckerberg is Jewish.
Malaysia does not have any diplomatic relations with the State of Israel.
In fact, Haaretz points out that a series of Malaysian non-profit organizations (NGOs) have launched a series of peaceful boycotts against companies who "lend their support to Zionist Israel" such as Starbucks, McDonald's, and England's HSBC.