A brave Saudi housewife has reached the final of the Arabic version of the X Factor after lashing out at hardline Muslim clerics on live TV.
Wearing a black burkha, mother-of-four Hissa Hilal delivered a blistering poem against Muslim preachers 'who sit in the position of power' but are 'frightening' people with their fatwas, or religious edicts, and 'preying like a wolf' on those seeking peace.
Her poem got loud cheers from the audience last week and won her a place in the competition's final on April 7.
It also brought her death threats, posted on several Islamic militant websites.
The programme, 'The Million's Poet', is a chance for poets to show off their original work and is broadcast live every week on satellite television across the Arab world from Abu Dhabi.
Contestants are graded on voice and style of recitation, but also on their subject matter, said Sultan al-Amimi, one of the three judges on the show and a manager of Abu Dhabi's Poetry Academy.
Over the past episodes, poets sitting on an elaborate stage before a live audience have recited odes to the beauty of Bedouin life and the glories of their rulers or mourning the gap between rich and poor.
Hilal is the first to launch a political attack - a brave move by a Saudi woman...No kidding. I'd hire a retinue of bodyguards--or leave the country--if I were her.