The unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was
discovered in the middle of an online conversation with a man, the
al-Arabiya website reported.
The case was reported on a Saudi Arabian news site as an example of
the "strife" the social networking site is causing in the Islamic nation.
Saudi preacher Ali al-Maliki has emerged as the leading critic of
Facebook, claiming the network is corrupting the youth of the nation.
"Facebook is a door to lust and young women and men are spending more
on their mobile phones and the Internet than they are spending on food," he
The woman was murdered in August but her death was highlighted
following Maliki's comments.
Social customs and religious rules oblige women in Saudi Arabia to
cover their head and figure with a veil so that men are not distracted by
the female form.
Critics also allege that Facebook is an avenue for the promotion of
homosexual relations in Saudi Arabia. More than 6,500 people have signed the
online petition in a bid to stop the conservative Muslim kingdom following
Syria in banning access to the network from local internet servers.
There are estimated to be more than 30,000 Facebook users in the
oil-rich kingdom. Many Saudi women use nicknames and post comic images or
drawings on their pages instead of photographs. Some Saudi bloggers have
dubbed the network "Faceless".
Women users' contact details and email addresses are often
pseudonymous. The popularity of sites for singles has broken taboos on
people making contact outside family and class connections.
One of the most popular Facebook groups among Saudi Arabian youth is
Single and Looking in Saudi Arabia, which has 1,823 members and hosts many
sexually explicit images.