Raif Badawi, who started the ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ website to discuss the role of religion in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to a Saudi “court” to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for his engaging in free speech. It is the latest outrage from our closest Arab ally. Yet, we continue to treat Iran as part of the axis of evil while our allies deny basic rights and enforce draconian Medieval laws against dissidents and non-believers.
Badawi’s chief crime appears to be insulting the Royal family and of course conservative religious clerics. The judge also ordered the closing of his site.
By the way, this was treated as a light sentence. Badawi could have been executed after being accused of apostasy. That charge was dropped but that still left insulting Islam.
What was particularly notable is the country that cried foul the first. No it was not the United States. These are our own religious extremists so they are harmless. No, it was France, which called for the protection of “freedom of opinion and of expression.” That is a bit curious from the country that has criminalized the wearing of veils, forced Google to turn over people for prosecution for anti-Semitic commentary on the Internet, and tried to criminalize opposing views of history.
While the French do prosecute people for expressing their views on the Internet, they do not actually flog them. Vive la difference.
Source: Daily Mail