Someone Got Video of Raif Badawi Being Lashed by a Saudi Official

Earlier today, I posted about a crowd gathering to watch Saudi blogger Raif Badawi get the first 50 (of 1,000) lashes yesterday.

Turns out someone got video of the punishment being administered. It’s not necessarily graphic, but there are glimpses of what Badawi had to go through:



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Complaint Filed Against High School Teacher Who Offered Students Extra Credit for Copying Bible Verses

Maybe a high school teacher who promoted an after-school Bible Club that he sponsored wouldn’t be the subject of much controversy. He shouldn’t do it, but it’s nothing a quick email reprimand from an administrator couldn’t take care of.

But what’s happening in Stockton, California absolutely crosses the line:

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Irish University Lecturer Says He Will Take Legal Action Against Media Types Who Spread Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

There’s a commonly-uttered sentence in the English language that puts me in a state of apprehension in about 0.1 seconds:

“I’m a big believer in freedom of expression.”

Pop quiz: About eight out of ten times, what’s the word that follows?

It’s not “Period.

It’s “But.”

And so it is with Ali Selim, a Muslim lecturer in Ireland who has announced that he’ll go to court to punish or gag Irish journalists who dare spread Islam-mocking Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Selim is also a dignitary with the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland. On an Irish radio show that aired on Wednesday, while the bodies in Paris were still warm, he said:

“I am a great advocate of freedom of expression.”

And immediately, the vacillations and qualifications began.

But I encourage freedom of expression that does not give room for confrontation, that does not turn one person against another. I encourage people to live in harmony and peace and respect each other. If they want to have a good sense of humor, do have it within the boundaries of what people can understand.

Was that the problem with the Charlie Hebdo cartoons? They were just too hard to grasp? Interesting.

It’s not his style to merely appeal to journalists, editors, and bloggers who wish to republish the Charlie cartoons, Selim explained. He wants to sue them into compliance.

When asked by Niall Boylan on 4FM if he (Boylan) retweeted the cartoon would his life be in danger, Dr. Selim – who condemned the shootings – said: “Not your life would be in danger but definitely we will check the Irish law and if there is any legal channel against you, we will take it.”



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Missouri Republican Introduces Bill Allowing College Christian Groups to Ban LGBT Students Without Punishment

Last year, we saw a number of college Christian groups complain about having to follow the rules.

Their schools said registered student organizations — who had the benefits of free meeting space, access to funding, tables at activity fairs, and more — could not discriminate when it came to membership. Which meant they couldn’t exclude gay people from joining, and possibly becoming a leader of, their groups.

That was their complaint. They wanted the ability to kick openly gay people out of their groups because it ran afoul of their beliefs regarding homosexuality.

The schools said they were welcome to do that, but they wouldn’t be considered a registered group anymore and, therefore, wouldn’t have access to the perks that came with that.

Now, Missouri State Rep. Elijah Haahr (R-Obviously), above, is pushing a bill that would allow Christian groups to discriminate and receive the perks of being a registered student organization.

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Bill Maher on Islam: “When There’s This Many Bad Apples, There’s Something Wrong with the Orchard”

On last night’s episode of Real Time, Bill Maher and Salman Rushdie discussed the Charlie Hebdo attacks, leading Maher to reiterate his criticism of Islam: “When there’s this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.”



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