600 lashes

There’s the liberal Saudi blogger sentenced to 7 years in prison and 600 lashes for “insulting Islam” and being liberal and disobeying his daddy and god knows what other horseshit. The usual Saudi horseshit.

The Criminal Court found Raif Badawi, the founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website, guilty of insulting Islam through his website and in comments he made on television, and added three months to his term for “parental disobedience.”

The charges against Badawi were based solely on his peaceful exercise of his right to free expression, Human Rights Watch said. Badawi established his online platform in 2008, to encourage debate on religious and political matters in Saudi Arabia.

Well, Saudi Arabia’s attitude to that is that it merits 7 years in prison and being lashed to death. (Do they do the 600 lashes at the end of the sentence, so that they get both thrills?)

[Badawi’s lawyer Waleed] Abu al-Khair said that the judge sentenced Badawi to five years in prison for insulting Islam and violating provisions of Saudi Arabia’s 2007 anti-cybercrime law through his liberal website, affirming that liberalism is akin to unbelief. The judge ordered the closure of the website and added two years to Badawi’s sentence for insulting both Islam and Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, in comments during television interviews.

Insulting Islam, liberalism, unbelief, insulting Islam again, insulting the religious police – all things he should be given a reward for doing.

On March 18, 2012, the well-known cleric Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Barrak issued a religious ruling declaring Badawi an “unbeliever… and apostate who must be tried and sentenced according to what his words require.” Al-Barrak claimed that Badawi had said “that Muslims, Jews, Christians, and atheists are all equal,” and that even if these were not Badawi’s own opinions but “an account of the words of others, this is not allowed unless accompanied by a repudiation” of such words.

Because any fule kno that Muslims are better than all those other listed people (as well as Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, agnostics, pagans, Wiccans, Scientologists, and people who read Harry Potter books). And that refusal to say so is a terrible crime.

Reporters Without Borders has condemned this dog’s breakfast of a prosecution and sentence.




  1. AsqJames says

    Do they do the 600 lashes at the end of the sentence, so that they get both thrills?

    I can’t remember where I read it (may even have been somewhere on FTB?), but I think I recall that the Saudi’s spread the lashes out so that they don’t kill their victims in one go get their jollies over and over again. They do a few dozen at a time, then wait for the wounds to heal, then repeat until the total is reached.

    Was going to add something sarcastic about mercy or something, but my stomach wouldn’t let me.

  2. Omar Puhleez says

    Think Giordano Bruno being burned at the stake in Rome, in 1600, for heresy.
    Saudi Arabia is a mediaeval theme park. Its oil trade is pretty much the only connection it has to the modern world, making it not only mediaeval, but rich. Without the oil, it would be more like modern Somalia: mediaeval and poor.

  3. smhll says

    This is so awful that I can’t put my feelings in words. I feel powerless to stop this, but it is so wrong, and it needs to stop.

  4. Nogbert says

    I sent a rude email to the Saudi Ambassador at the court of St. James complaining about the treatment of Raif Badawi. Fat lot of good it will do.
    Five years ago there was a dreadful murder of a young woman (Rand Abdel Qader) in Iraq because she had a teenage crush on a British serviceman. Couple of weeks or so later her mother was murdered. The killer was praised by the police and released. He’d broken no law. Something to do with honour.
    Nasty story, people up in arms about it online, forgotten now of course. Same applies to this story except not so many people seem to give a damn even while the news is fresh.
    This is what the powerful rely on. They can get away with almost anything because no matter how upset you might be right now by this news, something else will come along to outrage us.
    Foresight and Memory. A tool for the powerful and a curse for the rest of us.

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