Saudi Arabia To Flog Blogger For Blasphemy On Friday

badawiJust days after extremists killed 12 people in Paris for insulting Mohammad in cartoons, the Saudi government has decided to go forward with its plan to flog a blogger for blasphemy. As previously discussed the abusive treatment of Raif Badawi, who founded the “Free Saudi Liberals” website. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for blasphemy and his first 50 lashes will be carried out on Friday.

Badawi’s website criticized senior religious figures, including Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti. Rather than respond to the criticism, he 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.

He will be given the 1000 lashes over the course of 50 weeks by our closest ally in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia continues to impose Sharia law. The Kingdom not only denies free speech and the free exercise of religion but it supports the view that people can be executed for insulting religion.

Saudi Arabia fits the description of Justice Louis Brandeis in Olmstead v. United States :

The government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means — to declare that the government may commit crimes — would bring terrible retribution.

48 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia To Flog Blogger For Blasphemy On Friday”

  1. I hear that the Prophet Mohammed married a 12 year old girl. Is this true? Does that not make him a pedophile under Saudi law? Could he get flogged for this? After all, porking a child is far worse than saying things on a blog.

    1. BarkinDog – actually it is both worse and better than that for the Prophet. The girl was 6 when she came to him but probably 9 when the marriage was consummated (according to her). However, pedophile was not against the law at that time. And he did not seem to have a thing for young girls, just her.

      Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him), and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) would call them to join and play with me

  2. Is this the same Saudi Arabia that claims to be appalled by the Paris shootings? Why do we allow governments that we are supporting to get away with the same kind of behavior that we condemn in terrorists that those is Paris? Saudi Arabia is a theocracy that follows sharia law and allegedly follows the Koran. Its is time to have an,objective discussion of this ridiculous and dangerous contradiction.

  3. Here are just the last 3 days of December 2014:

    2014.12.31 Afghanistan Qush Tepa
    The Taliban ambush and kill five militants trying to give up their arms.
    2014.12.31 Afghanistan Oruzgan
    A Taliban in police uniform shoots eight local cops.
    2014.12.31 Philippines Mlang
    Muslim ‘rebels’ set off a bomb packed with nails at a market crowded with New Year’s revelers, killing two.
    2014.12.31 Yemen Ibb
    A suicide bomber dressed as a woman slaughters nearly fifty innocents at a Shiite celebration, including women and children.
    2014.12.31 Afghanistan Bati Kot
    Sunni hardliners fire bullets into a store, killing two people.
    2014.12.31 Nigeria Fika
    A pro-Sharia suicide car bomber kills six people.
    2014.12.31 Pakistan Swat
    Sunni fundamentalists attack and kill three members of a security patrol.
    2014.12.31 Iran Sarbaz
    A Shiite teacher is among two people killed in a suspected sectarian attack.
    2014.12.31 Nigeria Kantoma
    Three members of a church are cut down in a vicious assault by Muslim terrorists.
    2014.12.30 Pakistan Karachi
    Shia activist is lynched by devout Sunnis.
    2014.12.30 Libya Tobruk
    Eleven others are wounded when a suicide bomber detonates outside parliament.
    2014.12.30 Iraq Mosul
    Two physicians are executed by the Islamic State.
    2014.12.30 Syria Raqqa
    Thirteen prisoners are pulled out of a truck and executed by the Islamic State.
    2014.12.30 Iraq Mosul
    Three Kurds are captured at Sinjar and beheaded by ISIS.
    2014.12.30 Syria Aleppo
    Jabha Shamiyeh claim a bombing that leaves fifteen dead.
    2014.12.30 Somalia Mogadishu
    A young woman is among two people murdered by suspected al-Shabaab.
    2014.12.29 Yemen Marib
    al-Qaeda bombers kill a civilian.
    2014.12.29 Syria Deir al-Zor
    Seventy tribal victims of a mass Islamic State execution are discovered in a mass grave.
    2014.12.29 Afghanistan Helmand
    Four Afghans are murdered by militants seeking a theocratic state.
    2014.12.29 Yemen Hadramawt
    al-Qaeda take out two members of a security patrol.
    2014.12.29 Syria Homs
    Two suicide bombers target separate natural gas facilities, killing at least eight others.
    2014.12.29 Iraq Taji 17 35 A Shahid suicide bomber dismantles seventeen Shiite mourners at a funeral tent.
    2014.12.29 Nigeria Kautikari
    Fifteen people are machine-gunned in the street by Boko Haram.
    2014.12.29 Iraq Baqubah
    Terrorists riddle two civilians with bullets as they drive by.
    2014.12.29 Afghanistan Kandahar
    Terrorists shoot a man to death at a market.
    2014.12.29 Iraq al-Baghdadi
    A Fedayeen suicide bomber detonates inside a restaurant, killing four patrons.

  4. ” When someone claims to be of one of these religions yet goes to the extreme as was represented recently

    Why do you call the killings ‘extreme,’ when the Koran specifically demands such killing?
    How could it be ‘extreme’ when Muslim terrorism happens frequently all over the world?

  5. Karen

    If you had read my comment with less vitriol you would have understood that I paralleled the thug who calls himself a Muslim with the idiot who calls himself a Christian. This has nothing to do with free speech. This has all to do with the credibility these vermin acquire by our calling them by the names by which they present themselves.

    Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are religions. All three are rife with contradiction, perversity, and vitriol in their writings. All three religions demand, in their writings, that the non believers be slaughtered, that only they can deal with god, etc. The world community, which champions free speech among other freedoms, has tempered these religions so that they can cohabit. When someone claims to be of one of these religions yet goes to the extreme as was represented recently, I believe we as members of the world community first, the champions of the freedoms that Americans have laid claim to but in no way first realized, should address these thugs as what they are, thugs and what they do as thuggery.

    I respect all religions insomuch as they tolerate others and accept others as equal. I have no patience for the holier than thou, chosen ones, or whatever else is believed that puts one person above another simply by joining or being born into a specific club.

    To put it another way, in the words of ‘The Firesign Theatre’, “I think we’re all Bozos on this bus.”

  6. John G, You failed to pick up on ChipS subtle, ironic wit. He’s pretty sharp for a Harvard educated BoSox fan.

  7. Since this happens in Saudi Arabia the US does not mind one bit. Now if some nation or group we wanted to go to war with did this kind of thing, it would be awful. It would also be necessary for the US to attack that nation or group to save blogger’s rights.

    Blasphemy laws protect very weak believers. If you have to punish a person who doesn’t believe in your deity or doesn’t believe in your deity the way you think they should, then your “faith” means nothing. You should be able to hear anything said about your deity without it bothering you one bit.

    What I find truly disturbing is the cruelty that religious people will engage in to protect themselves from hearing a different way of thinking about the world. If that’s who your god is and that’s what your god is telling you to do, instead of obeying any dictate to be cruel, I would say, find another god. A god of justice, kindness, humor, intellect and mercy would be a fine choice.

  8. The government of Saudi Arabia is a criminal regime–and Sharia is not law but tyranny and terrorism in its worst form.

  9. If the Saudis water board the inmate would it be OK? Well, Cheney might say, “He might have something to say.” And, the Saudis, since 911, have to be wary of people getting on planes with box cutters. They are aware. So, I think that the folks in favor of water boarding our inmates at Gitmo should send a gift card to the Saudi government and voice approval.

  10. The inimitable Silvio Burlesconi put it so eloquently, our conflict is between two cultures. Unfortunately, one is 1400 years behind the other.
    “We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and – in contrast with Islamic countries – respect for religious and political rights, a system that has as its value understanding of diversity and tolerance.”, he said just two weeks after the attacks of 9/11.
    Has anything transpired since that has not reinforced the misguided goals of religiosity and radical fundamentalism whether ISlamic or Christian? Our western society is currently at risk of sliding back into the dark ages of fundamentalism if the Conservative agenda succeeds in ‘Christianizing’ our government.

    Then we can take comfort in meeting our cultural foes on the same fanatic level, whether we are lashing our criminals or injecting them with a whole host of pharmecueticals, whether we are restricitng the rights of women to drive or removing their ability to manage their reproductive systems, whether we cultivate a subclass of immigrant workers or systematically remove the rights to vote for our poorest citizens; I am not so sure we are in a position to criticize the Saudi culture.

  11. And, yes, we should vote with our dollars.

    We strive to hold on to our fair weather allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia, because they are basically the only ones who would talk to us in the ME, and allow us access, bases, etc. We want the strategic benefit, but that makes us turn a blind eye.

  12. What’s your point Mr. Woych? It should be evident to you by now the Saudis are in tight with the folks at the top level of the government. Think that is going to change? Who is going to give Hillary her allowance? With another crop of Bush-Clintons up for Prez, the Saud family will probably have cabinet positions.

    Groty, we make a lot of oil here. It costs more to produce it here. Would people rather pay more for gas and not support Saudi Arabia? I don’t think so. The low oil prices are war with oil sand production.

  13. Chip S. A quick check with a search engine will tell you that non-Muslim countries don’t engage in stoning and whippings as a general rule. At least I couldn’t locate any. I’m sure there may be that exception to the rule that I missed.

  14. Isaac:

    “This is no different than calling that idiot in Florida who threatened to burn a copy of the Koran and caused the deaths of half a dozen or so aid workers in Afghanistan and Iraq Christian extremist.”

    And this is what I’m talking about when apologists blame those who exercise free speech for the violence done by extremists. Do you realize what they do to Bibles when they find them in the ME? You are encouraging the limit of free speech, and encouraging us all to follow the tenet of Islam, that forbids criticizing the religion or depicting the Prophet. No artist can lovingly recreate any historical scene that depicts Mohammed. No cartoonist can lampoon this religion as they can every single other one on the face of the Earth.

    You have criticized Christianity many times on this blog, enjoying your freedom of speech. The criticism of pedophile priests is justly earned. How would you feel if you were threatened with death for saying those things? Would you think it was your fault if you harshly criticized Christianity, and then someone was killed in retaliation?

  15. This is exactly what I’m talking about when I remark that virtually every government in the Middle East takes an extremist Muslim view, and that Sharia Law abuses human rights. The Saudis keep their Mullah’s somewhat in check, and yet the laws in their country are extremist. Ask any woman who tries to drive, any apostate, or any gay person, if you can fine one still alive.

    I do not think 1,000 lashes is survivable. He would have open bone, even if they drag out his sentence by allowing him to “rest” and partially heal between scourging. This is what torturing someone to death looks like. I wonder how many weeks he will survive.

    I very much differentiate between moderate, modern Islam, as practiced by those living peacefully in the US and elsewhere, with the strict extremist Islam practiced in the Middle East, where boys are killed for having Western haircuts.

  16. source: U.S. authorities must stop protecting those who funded the 9-11 terrorists. Justice Integrity Project
    Written by Andrew Kreig
    Published on January 8, 2015

    “U.S. authorities must stop protecting those who funded the 9-11 terrorists. That was the theme of speakers at a Capitol Hill press briefing Jan. 7 who made compelling arguments against continued secrecy.

    Former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) and Congressmen Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) were joined by representatives of 9/11 families. They urged passage by the new Congress of a resolution declassifying the 28 pages of the 2002 congressional joint inquiry on 9/11 that identified funders of the 19 accused hijackers.”

    “Graham and others who have read the report face arrest if they describe what is in the top-secret section.”

    “At the Jan. 7 press briefing, officials have cited non-secret investigations to say evidence points to the Saudi Arabian government and its controlled entities as heavy funders of the pre-attack expenses of at least some of the 19 accused hijackers, most of them Saudi natives.”

    “Al Qaeda was a creature of Saudi Arabia,” Graham said. “And now, ISIS is a creature of Saudi Arabia.”

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