Saudi Arabia Sentences Blogger To 10 Years In Prison and 1000 Lashes

badawiSaudi Arabia has given the world a new example of Sharia abuse. Sharia law continues to be used to target homosexuals, religious dissidents, women, and reporters. The latest sentence was handed down against Raif Badawi, who started the “Free Saudi Liberals” website. He has now been sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes.

Badawi’s website included criticism of senior religious figures such as Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and was accused of insulting Islam and religious authorities. Originally, the Kingdom wanted him charged with apostasy and subject to the death penalty. However, he was convicted of insulting Islam and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. The conviction led to worldwide condemnation and then an appellate court overturned the sentence. He was given a retrial and hit with an even harsher sentence.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia is condemning Norway for not taking action to deter criticism of the prophet Mohammad. The Kingdom has been pushing for an international blasphemy standard. Saudi Arabia is one of our allies that has worked with the Obama Administration to create a new international blasphemy standard. The continued crackdown of anti-religious speech is part of its long-standing blasphemy abuses. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.

Many continue to try to dress up Sharia law by citing procedural or appellate rules while ignoring that it exists to impose an orthodox religious code on a population and routinely is used against social and political dissidents as well as bloggers and journalists. Notably, Badawi will not be represented by human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair, since the lawyer has also been jailed and is currently awaiting trial on criminal charges for “breaking allegiance with the king,” and “making international organisations hostile to the kingdom”.

43 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Sentences Blogger To 10 Years In Prison and 1000 Lashes

  1. Please let us become energy independent and stop being the protector for this depraved kingdom. If we stop being their guard dogs they will perish in a couple years. And, it will be ugly, which they deserve.

  2. This is another outrageous abuse–Disgusting, deplorable and offensive to anyone who values human life or freedom. What is even more disgusting is that our tax dollars support the despots in that country.

  3. If getting off oil is so important why are we letting right wingers increase taxes on solar, make it more difficult for individuals to add energy to the grid, and decrease incentives for power companies to switch to renewables?.

  4. It is time for another boycott. Brunei and its hotels and Saudi Arabia and its everything. No more interactions with these guys. They are all such “princes”!
    We can then move on the the UAE. There is a long list. It reads like a travel list for most of our universities and museums looking to get more money to pay their presidents and deans millions. It is time to take a stand.

    While we are at it lets boycott states in our own country that are starting to look awfully theocratic and antifree speech lately.

  5. As Aaron Swartz was hounded by US government to the point of suicide, as Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are forced to live in exile. As banksters are rewarded for economic crimes and whistleblowers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. While Saudi Arabia should be condemned for its brutality the US and other ‘free’ nations – while less physically brutal -are nonetheless trying to silence the truth.

    US trade policy, US foreign policy and US corporate interests are tightly tied to Saudi Arabia. So until the ambivalent US consumer, bought politician and soulless corporation say no to oil from dictatorial regimes, punishing speech and the truth will continue unimpeded in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. After all, what’s more important, a less expensive tank of gas in that SUV or promoting free speech abroad? I think that question has been answered resoundingly.

  6. Islam is the origin of the abuse. There simply is no such thing as moderate Islam. Many Muslims may not practice Islam as the Quran commands, but the Quran is said to be the word of god — infallible and unchangeable. This is a failsafe against the reform of Islam that happened in Christianity. I just finished reading an excellent book called “The Mohammed Code,” by Howard Bloom, that is illuminating in laying out the history of Islam and why it is so “sticky” centuries later. For anyone who wants an understanding of it — rather than the assumptions I used to make that Islam is just another flavor of Christianity or Judaism, I recommend that book.

  7. If I could….. I would sentence Mecca, to evaporate under a cloud of Nuclear Fallout!

  8. Saudi Arabia is an insult to Islam. I am going to get an electric car. I don’t want to support Exxon and the Saudi idjits any longer.

  9. Al – Saudi Arabia is Islam writ large. It is not going to change. What I find particularly horrifying is the Obama administration working on a world wide definition of blasphemy. Are they going to have the time defending appointees in court and before committees over the next several years?

    Some where I read that CAIR has advisors to the Obama administration and DeBlasio has stopped monitoring the NYC mosques, good liberal that he is.

  10. This is disturbing. But don’t forget the United States Goverment finds ways to put our citizens in prison for writing things certain officials do not like. The examples are innumerable, the problem is we tend to forget them. In Parker County Texas we had an appointed magistrate who abused his contempt power to find a way to put persons in jail that had blogged and written letters to the newspaper against his election. When his chance to be elected District Judge arrived, the citizens of Parker County told Trey Loftin to, “Hit the road Trey, and don’t you come back, no more!” I support election of judges in Texas so you can unelect them when needed.

  11. A sane world would be more interested in putting heavy sanctions on Saudi Arabia than Russia right now. With Snowden still getting de facto assylum in Russia, we, the USA, are lower on the freedom scale; we just happen to have a bigger and more effective lobby for homosexuals.

  12. After listening to the facts in this video, I’d rather to hang out with a fool on fire, instead of a smart double degreed PhD.

  13. Sharia Law is the very good reason we have separation of church/state. Us Christians are all very happy with our religion in politics. However, lets fast forward and think about how unhappy we would be if the powers that be subjected us to the laws of Islam. Think about it.

  14. mostlyright, I like your blog. This blog is finally getting some diversity. Stick around and it might help yours.

  15. In September 2008, newspapers in the United Kingdom stated the government had “quietly sanctioned” the recognition of sharia courts. This refers to situations where both sides in a legal dispute freely choose a sharia court as a binding arbitrator rather than taking a matter before the official courts. The decision did not break new ground: the decisions of similar Jewish beth din court arbitrations have been recognized in England for over 100 years.

    Sharia law is officially recognised by the justice system in Israel in matters of personal status of Muslims if they choose a sharia court (e.g. marriage, divorce, guardianship).”

    Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter said Sept. 14 the greatest problem facing America today is ignorance of civics — basic knowledge of the Constitution and an understanding of the structure of government.

    “We know, with reliable evidence, that two-thirds of the people of the United States don’t know we have three separate branches of government,” Souter told an audience of more than 1,300 at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, N.H.

  16. Dredd: We had Four Branches, the 4th Estate being the News Media. The newer “Fifth Estate” is the Internet. Protect the Fifth Estate at all costs. The News Media has been taken over by the Rupert Murdochs and Kochaine Brothers.
    “Fifth Estate”. Folks, you heard of the coinage of the phrase here on this infamous blog. Tell your momma, tell your pa. Blog your granma down in Arkansas.

  17. Al – since only 7% of reporters identify as Republicans it is hard for them to take over anything. Obama and his Twitterati have flamed the Internet. I get at least two emails a week from the White House telling me either what a great job Obama is doing or what Satanists the Republicans are. My understanding is that they have WH staffer whose job it is to monitor Twitter and reply to anything that might be detrimental to Obama.

  18. Paul,

    Please provide a link for the basis if your understanding that the WH has a person or persons responsible for monitoring the internet? ie twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

    I will await your reply.

  19. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West.

    The Dark Ages redux.

  20. There was a photo on the blog the other day of some guy in a pink hat who called himself a Cardinal but sported no wings and was not a bird on a bat and had something to do with promoting pedophilia with some religious twist to it. No pun intended. Cards lost 17-5 to the Cubs last night by the way. So we have these Islamics who rape little girls and Xtians who rape little boys. There can be no consent from a child, even if you say a prayer prior to the rape.

  21. Al – I think you are mixing metaphors here to your own detriment. A little pipe cleaning might be in order, if you get my drift?

  22. I am told that 1000 lashes alone will kill him. The judges are cowards, they do not want to sentence him to death in front of the world, so they go the back way to kill him. He is one brave person, I hope someone reasonable over there has enough influence to stop this – I recall an imam who raped and tortured his 4 yr old daughter pretty much getting off scott free until there was outrage – don’t they have a consistent sense of morality? They come across as chaotic and cruel.
    Having said that, we can e manipulated too, I recall some people trying to talk sense into us to dissuade us from the Iraq war, with reason and facts, and they were vilified, lost their jobs — after our generals have now agreed it was a wrong and disastrous war – did any of these people get an apology for libelling them as traitors, get their jobs back?

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