I realise that this would probably eliminate me as someone who could visit Saudi Arabia, not only am I an atheist but I also do not believe that Saudi Arabia’s stance on Islam is healthy, progressive or safe. It’s a deal with the devil that has only harmed Muslims by entrenching fanatacism and legitimising fundies.
I wrote about a square in Riyadh, the infamous Chop-Chop square and my opposition to the brutality of executions especially a public event such as that. I wrote about the flaws in Saudi justice and how courts are determined by the reading of Korans rather than science.
Raif Badawi’s facing that. For violating the nation’s anti-cyber crime law. Raif Badawi’s crime was to found the Free Saudi Liberals website in 2008. He was detained and questioned and many branded him apostate. In 20133 he was found guilty of insulting Islam. He has been jailed since 2012, his wife was forcibly divorced from him (won’t someone think of the children! Contact with an apostate!) and was later sentenced to 600 lashes and a seven year sentence last July.
And this is pending a higher court judgement of apostasy, a crime which carries the death sentence.
Well there are reports that the court has declared him guilty. His wife has made the claim.
This means that Badawi will be executed.
Amnesty International are working on sending messages to the King of Saudi and there are petitions calling for his release but the problem is that if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave any fucks about our opinions they would not be executing people on faulty evidence for crimes they didn’t commit in a public square.
I fear little can or will be done by a petition and that Saudi Arabia’s anti-liberal stance is just that. A stance designed to quash any criticism of a social and cultural conservatism and maintain the Dark Age of Islam.