Saudi Court Reportedly Recalls Jailed Blogger to Face Apostasy Charge and Possible Execution

badawiIn July, we discussed the horrific cases of Saudi blogger and activist, Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 600 lashes for “insulting Islam”. Badawi created a popular site called Free Saudi Liberals in 2008 to discuss the role of religion in Saudi Arabia. That was enough to declare him a criminal in the Saudi Kingdom, which denies freedom of religion and freedom of speech as well as the rights of women and political dissidents. Now, there are new concerns over a report that a Saudi judge has ordered Badawi to return to court to face a new charge of apostasy for which he could be executed.

Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar, told CNN that he is being called back for the new charge — a part of what is viewed as a national crackdown against dissents in the Kingdom. The Kingdom also jailed four members of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) and sentenced 24-year-old Omar al-Saed to four years in prison and 300 lashes for calling for political reform. Yet, Saudi Arabia continues to be our greatest Arab ally as our government denounced other countries for extremism and the denial of human rights.

Apostasy and blasphemy are the two primary crimes used by authoritarian religious regimes to deny basic freedom of religion and speech to their citizens. Yet, the Saudis routinely invoke freedom of religion to demand responses to any slight to Islam while denying even the construction of a church in their own country.

16 thoughts on “Saudi Court Reportedly Recalls Jailed Blogger to Face Apostasy Charge and Possible Execution”

  1. If Saudi would start ruling as a Muslim nation instead of just saying that anyone who doesn’t like their rules is an apostate, they’d be a lot less controversial. Going against a national rule that is not even based in the Quran can hardly be construed as apostate, except by a government that has lost all sense of proportion and reality.

    I don’t leave my real name because I fully intend, as a real Muslim, to do Haj one day. That does not mean that I have confidence in KSA to obey Islam. I am going in spite of the fact that I KNOW that KSA often ignores them while clinging to their paternalistic and sexist and just plain ugly laws that are NOT based in the Book.

  2. There is no other country on Earth I have more distain for than Saudi Arabia and the fact that these medieval imbeciles are our “best friends” in the ME is deeply disturbing. Wahhabism is pure poison but unfortunately the Saudi’s oil wealth makes it possible for them to spread that poison all over the place. They, along with Qatar, are the biggest sponsors of Muslim terror and Jihad, they finance mosque after mosque in the West, especially Western Europe where Islam is treated as a sacred cow, and their ideological filth has even infested the U.S. school curriculum via books! The human rights abuses against their own citizens and intolerance toward non-Muslims is beyond the pale. The day can’t come soon enough when the House of Saud falls and this wretched country no longer has any power anywhere in the world.

  3. Saudi Arabia is an international disgrace, below only North Korea, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sudan, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. If the international community blockcaded Saudi’s oil exports and froze the assets of the saudi royal family their control of Saudi Arabia I believe would fall within months.

  4. I hope if it is possible for him to run to a country that will give him asylum he does just that.

    Amy, the House of Saud is the problem in that it leaves religious (Sharia) law to the Mullas and that controls most cultural, civil and criminal interactions within the country. Wahhabism is essentially the state religion. They have bought off any criticism of their governance by generous funding and a hands-off approach to the religious authorities. They also fund and field Wahhabist missionaries throughout the world. The religious based unrest in much of the ring of fire, like indonesia, is a direct result of this missionary work. The House of Saud is the problem.

    “Saudi funding

    From the OPEC Oil Crisis to 2003, the Saudis had spent at least $87 billion propagating Wahhabism abroad at a rising rate.[26] The bulk of this funding goes towards the construction and operating expenses of mosques, madrasas, and other religious institutions that preach Wahhabism. It also supports imam training; mass media and publishing outlets; distribution of textbooks and other literature; and endowments to universities (in exchange for influence over the appointment of Islamic scholars). Some of the hundreds of thousands of non-Saudis who live in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf have been influenced by Wahhabism and preach Wahhabism in their home country upon their return. Agencies controlled by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance are responsible for outreach to non-Muslim residents and are converting hundreds of non-Muslims into Islam every year.”

  5. Fortunately there are a few thousand people working tirelessly fourteen hours a day to set things right. I am not one of them. All things take time. Lets hope there is enough of it.

  6. We are sadly bereft of a benevolent power such as the fictional Superman. Instead we have ‘superpowers’ like the United States that cannot be trusted at home or abroad. This & other powers get in the way of the majority that are decent & can smell injustices a mile away. Worse, the medias of the world have lost any soul they ever had, praising bad ideas & evil plans while spreading false rumors about anyone capable with a good heart. Oh yes, they will let a few get by the cracks like Jane Goodall, confidant that she will only improve the lot of a few animals & not the lot of man. I believe the John Turley site is also quite guilty of this rumor mongering by media. Yes, they will find some pretty dirty washing in areas like radical Muslims, such as this blog. But propose a powerful workable solution like the Way to Happiness booklet that gave Colombia back to the Colombians & they will start their own false rumor machine, even though it gets all its false data from the worst elements of that same superpower.

  7. Why do men kill other men, in any context? The context is less important than the innate acceptance of the idea of killing. Theoretically it is for survival, but most of the time when men kill, the relationship to survival is extremely remote and indirect. It is a remnant of historical circumstances that don’t exist today. Today there is enough food for everyone, enough prisons for all violent people, and enough good ways to manage people without threats of death.

  8. I agree with Jamie above. I will go further. As I usually do.
    When Christians in America start preaching the Sixth Commandment in states which kill humans for committing with they call Capital Crimes, I might respect a Christian. Until then I will term them heathens. These killings usually take place in or near the State Capitals. Y’all can. Go ahead. See what happens when your time comes to get into heaven or get sent to hell. Start worrying now. Hell hath no fury like an executed convict. Saint Peter will send you to hell for killing the convict because he killed.

  9. I still have that disturbing visual of George W. Bush holding hands with King Abdullah in 2005. Killing in god’s name is a most deplorable act. It’s a how would Jesus kill you kind of moment,

    While the Saudis and other religious killers find their justice in an interpretation of a 1500-year old book, American ‘justice’ for whistleblowers is not much better. Chelsea Manning, Thomas Drake, Edward Snowden and many others have had lives ruined for telling the truth. In Snowden’s and Manning’s case there have been calls for his execution by Clown Prince Trump and other less than desirables. Govt. hacks such as Sens. Cornyn and Feinstein want Snowden tried for treason, which can include execution if found guilty. The odd death of Adam Swartz is another example of people who know too much being harassed, in this case, to death. Let’s not forget the tragic injustices faced by these American heroes at the hands of American Christians.

  10. Anyone still think theocracy and moralizing via law is either a good thing or rational?


  11. Sell them another advanced weapons system. They only produced most of the 9/11 hijackers. What could possibly go wrong?

  12. ” Yet, Saudi Arabia continues to be our greatest Arab ally as our government denounced other countries for extremism and the denial of human rights.”

    Well, maybe, not so much. You may notice that without saying so, this White House has allowed distance to grow between us in a natural sort of way. This White House may be just a little sick of the House of Saud too.

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