A solution to the Halting problem

[ This is not about this Halting problem. ]

The Halting problem

The problem is how to halt execution of Ali Hussain Sibat. I cite CNN as of 31 March 2010: "A Lebanese man charged with sorcery and sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is scheduled to be beheaded on Friday [PF: 2 April] the man's lawyer said Wednesday [PF: 31 March]." Amnesty International has reported about this case on 8 Dec 2009 [Article from the Amnesty International Website]. I became aware of the case by CNN's article on 19 Mar 2010. Update: CNN reported on Thursday, 1 April 2010 that Sibat "won't face beheading Friday [PF: 2 April], his lawyer said Thursday [PF: 1 April]".

The solution to the Halting problem

I am pretty sure that Sibat's lawyer, his family, Amnesty International, Lebanese government and many other individuals and organizations are working frantically to stop the beheading. Here is an online petition that I ask you to sign if you agree with me that sorcery does not qualify for the death penalty. It takes a lot of public outcry to solve this Halting problem. This is what I call a solution: a) beheading does not take place + b) the public outcry, also with the contribution of the informed and outspoken online society, made a difference.

Update: I have meanwhile (11pm CEST, 1 April 2010) contacted the Saudi Embassy in Germany, and brought the petition to their attention. I also asked them to pass on the information to the Saudi Ministry of Justice whose email address / fax address is not available on the web. I will sent an update once the petition reaches 1000 signatures and then again for 10.000 signatures.

Update: Join this Facebook group which fights for the same cause. This group is growing rapidly and it is great information centre on Sibat's case, when compared to my humble blog post. The group endorses the petition.


Please note that the petition and this post do not attempt to make any general statement about Saudi Arabia or Lebanon, their juridical systems or governments (Saudi Arabia's, in particular), about Sharia, Islam, or you name it. Instead the petition and this post is concerned with the specific case of Ali Hussain Sibat and with the charge and death penalty in this case in particular.

A personal note: I condemn with my whole authority the charge and the punishment in question on the grounds of information provided by Amnesty International and CNN reporters modulo personal judgement.

Privacy issues

You are only required to share your email address with PetitionsOnline. Their privacy rules are such that they do not share these email addresses with anyone for whatever reason. PetitionsOnline only uses the email addresses for some forms of validation. If you decide to share your email address with me (the petition's initiator), I will not share your email addresses with anyone for whatever reason. The primary purpose of the petition is to be online and allow us to refer the target of the petition to it.

Thanks to everyone who has signed already.

Thank you
Ralf Lämmel


Proprietary hardware jokes

Suppose you own a 2007 model of the then-cutting-edge, high-end laptop of a given brand A with say 4 GB of Ram, an 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Further suppose you want to purchase the current display offering of the same brand (available since Oct 2008), wouldn't you expect to be able connecting both expensive pieces of hardware without yet further investment, say without purchasing a converter that's not even available from brand A? Of course, I should get a 2010 model of an A-branded laptop, and everything works fine until I guess 2011, when they replace the Mini DisplayPort by say a new "Nano DVI port".

Suppose you are very happy with the display, the computing power, the browser speed of your lovely smartphone, again from the same brand A. Occasionally, you would like to write some longer emails or edit online documents, or ride on a wave, for which it would make terribly sense to have an external keyboard. Technically, it is trivial to enable this through bluetooth, unless brand A decides to cripple the bluetooth driver specifically, in which case you can always buy the new iPad-like device of brand A, for which a keyboard is available (unless you are living in Europe, where you can't purchase that device yet).