A defence of Charlie Hebdo must also turn into defence of other blasphemers and apostates

FRENCH: Toute défense de Charlie Hebdo doit également devenir celle d’autres blasphémateurs et apostats

SPANISH – BELOW

Those of us who have openly criticised Islam and Islamism have faced many a threat and intimidation from the far-Right Islamist movement.

I have had phone calls saying I will be decapitated to recorded messages from the Islamic regime of Iran saying my time is near (yes, they have so many threats to make, they need to use recordings!). I’ve been called every derogatory and threatening term you can imagine from kafir, murtad, munafiq to fitnah and janazie (corpse)…

I don’t think there are many atheist, ex-Muslim or secular activists (including Muslims) like myself who have spoken up publicly and not faced some form of threat or intimidation.

So for us, Charlie Hebdo’s refusal to back down when so many have has meant a great deal over these years. Also, though, in addition to the rage one feels at any such tragedy, the massacre is personal for us.

It could really have been any of us. We are truly all Charlie Hebdo.

With the focus now on Charlie Hebdo and the crucial need and right to criticise Islam and religion, though, let us not forget the many across the globe who face execution or imprisonment for “insulting the prophet” and criticising Islam. Below you will find some examples which include Muslims, believers and atheists; the charges aim not to protect “Muslim sensibilities” as we so often hear in the west but to protect the status quo and the political power of Islamists.

A defence of Charlie Hebdo must also be turned into a defence of the many who refuse and resist.

Most urgent is the case of Raif Badawi who tomorrow on 9 January 2015 faces his flogging sentence. Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam” in Saudi Arabia. he is to receive the first 50 torturous lashes tomorrow after Friday prayers.

Columnist Fatma Naoot, accused of insulting Islam, will stand trial on Jan. 28 in Egypt on allegations she criticised Islamic animal sacrifices. [Read more…]

Insult to humanity

I have written about Raif Badawi, the wonderful Saudi blogger and website editor calling for religious liberalisation who was recently sentenced to 7 years in prison and given 600 lashes (600!) for “insulting Islam”.

His wife and three children have been forced to flee the country. Here’s what she says:

What’s important now is that his family be immediately resettled in a safe third country in order to ensure their safety. The Saudi government has threatened to effectively kidnap the children and take them back to Saudi Arabia via various means so time is of the essence.

Of course it goes without saying that Raif’s imprisonment and flogging sentence is an “insult” to humanity. The despicable Saudi regime should feel our outrage whilst Raif’s family should feel our support and solidarity…

On Raif Badawi: When is it going to end?

raif badawi-cbsnews-comI reported on Raif Badawi before here.

The founder of a website calling for religious liberalisation has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. How does someone survive 600 lashes? Since they couldn’t execute him for apostasy as was initially planned, they hope to kill him with 600 lashes (150 at a time).

His lawyer said that Raif, a father of three, had confirmed that he was a Muslim but told the judge “everyone has a choice to believe or not believe.”

Indeed they do, but not yet under Sharia and Islamism in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq…

When is it going to end? It has to soon.

It’ll be a good day when innocents like Raif walk free and the rulers of Saudi, Iran and elsewhere are in jail where they belong.

Raif must be freed. No ifs and buts.

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As an aside Muslims for Progressive Values has issued a statement in his defence here. (Thanks to Chris Roche for the link.) There shouldn’t be one person – Muslim or not – who doesn’t denounce this sentence and demand that Raid be released.