Today in Blasphemy Barbarism


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.”

Comments

  1. matty1 says

    I have read that Bangladesh has a tradition of secular socialism and that a lot of this stuff is about the Islamists trying to gain the upper hand after being rejected for decades. That just makes it sadder somehow.

  2. raven says

    There is a struggle going on in some Moslem countries between fundie Moslems and moderate Moslems.

    If it seems familiar, it should. There is a struggle in the USA between fundie xians and moderate xians and secularists.

    Some of those countries are Bangladesh and Egypt. From what I read, the fundie Moslems sided with the Pakistanis during their revolutionary war and ended backing the wrong side while helping the Pakistanis commit atrocities.

    If anything should make them unpopular in Bangladesh, that would do it.

  3. iknklast says

    One has to wonder if he’ll live through 600 lashes long enough to do 7 years in jail. Lashes are a barbaric practice, used to humiliate as well as injure.

  4. thomasmorris says

    iknklast – I seem to recall reading that, in the cases of an extreme sentence such as this one, the lashes are delivered over the course of several different “sessions” – so he may have time to heal before they brutally beat him again.

    So he may not die – but it’ll still be absolutely horrific and barbaric.

  5. raven says

    One has to wonder if he’ll live through 600 lashes long enough…

    They’ve got that figured out.

    They administer the lashes in bunches spread over a long period of time.

    The idea is to torture him over and over, not to kill him quickly. See, they aren’t really barbarians!!!

    It is horrible but we aren’t in that great a position to criticize. Thanks to Bush and Darth Cheney, the USA is a state known to torture people as well.

  6. laurentweppe says

    How often must I repeat that: when something repulsive happens in Saudi Arabia, it is not barbarism, it is the hereditary parasitic aristocracy who owns the country protecting its assets.

  7. Childermass says

    raven @ 5: “They administer the lashes in bunches spread over a long period of time.

    That is what I guessed, if only because that is what the British navy did for a punishment called flogging around the fleet. Basically they would give someone a few dozen lashes, let them heal, the do it again on a different ship, and keep it up until the sentence was carried out. Needless to say that a person would be physically broken by the end of their ordeal.

  8. lordshipmayhem says

    I don’t need to subject those religious leaders to ridicule. They’re doing that by their own witless actions.

    I am subjecting them instead to my disgust.

  9. skinnercitycyclist says

    That is what I guessed, if only because that is what the British navy did for a punishment called flogging around the fleet. Basically they would give someone a few dozen lashes, let them heal, the do it again on a different ship, and keep it up until the sentence was carried out. Needless to say that a person would be physically broken by the end of their ordeal.

    I wondered about that. My knowledge of flogging comes from the works of Bernard Cornwell and CS Forester, which seem plausibly researched, and in the Hornblower novels “flogging ’round the fleet” did not seem to allow for healing. You were given (20? 50?) lashes at each ship before being rowed over to the next. Death was inevitable, depending on the “fleet,” I suppose. But my info is coming from fiction, and Childermass may well be right, also depending what time period we are talking about (I am thinking Napoleonic Wars).

  10. slc1 says

    Re Childermass @ #7

    They also used a cat of nine tails which is far more destructive then a regular whip. The object really wasn’t to punish the miscreant but to impress the onlookers with what they could expect for transgressions. Or as the French put it, pour encourager les autres.

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