Here are a couple of disturbing news items from around the world involving the barbaric and unjust enforcement of blasphemy laws. In Saudi Arabia, a man was sentenced to 7 years and 600 lashes for starting a website where people could discuss Islam.
Free Saudi Liberals website founder Raif Badawi was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes earlier today [July 29]. Badawi was arrested on 17 June, 2012 in Jeddah and was charged with “setting up a website that undermines general security” and ridiculing Islamic religious figures.
The Free Saudi Liberals website was an online forum for public discussions. It was shut following Badawi’s arrest, and it had been blocked within the country for years. In today’s sentence, the judge also ordered the permanent shutdown of the website.
And if that isn’t enough Orwellian totalitarianism for you, we also have Bangladesh, where one of the four bloggers arrested was denied an extension of his bail while he awaits trial and is going back to jail.
A Dhaka court on Monday afternoon sent blogger Asif Mohiuddin to jail, rejecting his plea for permanent bail.
Asif appeared before the court earlier in the day and sought permanent bail as his one-month bail period ended on July 27.
He and three others were arrested for making “derogatory contents about Islam and Prophet Muhammad.”