Free Raif: Saudi Supreme Court Upholds 10 years, 1,000 Lashes For Blogging

Free Raif: Saudi Supreme Court Upholds 10 years, 1,000 Lashes For Blogging June 8, 2015

Moral Monsters for Allah: Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has rejected appeals on behalf of blogger Raif Badawi, and upheld his sentence of 10 years and a 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam.

Badawi’s only offence was to start a website, the Saudi Free Liberals forum, where he argued for secularism and free speech.

In their brutality, their inhumanity, and their fear of the free exchange of ideas, Saudi Arabia clearly demonstrates the moral poverty of Islam, and any theocratic system of government.

Indeed, the Gulf State has one of the world’s worst human rights record. A backward, ugly, mean, and repressive regime, the brutal kingdom gives out the death penalty for homosexuality, denies women the most basic human rights, and commits many other despicable human rights abuses.

In Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens, treated more like children than adults. Women are required to dress in black from head to toe, and require permission from a male guardian to work and/or marry.

In fact, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

In addition to the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals, Saudi Arabia is a place where migrant workers are routinely tortured and sexually abused, while young children are frequently imprisoned without trial and executed—often without even knowing what their crime was.

In Saudi Arabia there is no political freedom, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech. It is, in fact, one of the most repressive regimes in recent history, and an affront to human rights and human dignity.

In a bitter yet ironic twist, Saudi Arabia is presently hosting an international conference on human rights seeking to eliminate violence based on religious beliefs.

About the conference, Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group, said:

It’s bad enough that the oppressive and fundamentalist Saudi monarchy was elected to sit on the UN Human Rights Council. But for top UN human rights officials to now visit Jeddah and smile while human rights activist Raif Badawi languishes in prison for the crime of religious dissent, still under threat of further flogging, is to pour salt in the wounds. It’s astonishing.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the very few countries in the world not to accept the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a powerful editorial, The Guardian denounces the ugly and repressive Islamic nightmare that is Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia ought to be treated as a global pariah. It is a source of a particular strain of jihadist poison, of fanatical preachers, and of young men, like the 9/11 hijackers, who threaten both the west and the whole Middle East by their readiness to fight, often in the cause of Wahhabist Islam.

As for Raif Badawi, his words are at once both elegant and prophetic:

States which are based on religion confine their people in the circle of faith and fear.

For more of Badawi’s writings go here. For more on how to help Badawi, see Amnesty International.

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