Raif Badawi

Raif Badawi

Raif Badawi

I hate to interrupt the obituaries of the Charlie Hebdo martyrs (and I use that term with all reverence). I had promised myself that we would publish nothing else until all 12 were done.

But this story demands that I interrupt. I am sure that all of the Charlie Hebdo 12 would approve.

Raif Badawi is a Saudi Blogger who called for an end to Saudi theocracy. For this “crime” he received a sentence of 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a fine of 1 million Saudi Arabian riyals (about US$266,600)

The official crime was “Insulting Islam” (source) The lashing began on Friday. (source) He is apparently going to get 50 lashes a week for 20 weeks.

For “insulting Islam.”

I reiterate what I said in my “Nous Sommes Charlie” post.

Is Islam so fragile, so meaningless, so utterly without merit, that it cannot stand in opposition to criticism? Never mind that this does not appear to be what Badawi was up to in the first place. It seems more that he is suffering this torture because he questioned the Saudi Royal family’s stranglehold on power in the Kingdom, for which they use religious oppression to maintain their grip.

If I were a Muslim, I would be more outraged than I am as an Atheist.

I had a conversation with a Mormon friend last week about mocking religion. He laughed, claiming that Mormons are likely the most mocked religion in the world. I don’t know if that is true, but his stance on it was “so what, we embrace it.” The LDS church buys ads in the programs for “The Book of Mormon.”

How do you say "yes massa!" in Arabic?

How do you say “yes massa!” in Arabic?

I repeat. If your supreme being is so weak that it requires you to commit acts of violence against other people because they mock him, then your supreme being is not worthy of any respect at all — let alone immunity from mockery. If your religion can not stand up to “insults,” then your religion is worthless. If your religion needs “respect” at the end of a whip, then it is truly not worthy of being followed.

If your God or your prophet or your religion can not take being mocked, then fuck your god. Fuck your prophet. Fuck your religion.

And… as the Right gets giddy about the idea of a third Bush oligarch… remember how deep they have their noses up the ass of the Saudi royal family.

5 Responses to Raif Badawi

  1. Turk says:

    Hey, that’s our ally you’re talking about.

  2. Incognito says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Note however that this is more about keeping the Saidi regime in power than it is about Islam. On which note, neither the U.S. nor the British (I’m British) governments appear to have said anything substantive to influence the Saudis on this – let alone boycotting, divesting or sanctioning them. I’m a British Army officer, and I have friends serving in Saudi Arabia on loan service, helping prop up this brutal regime. It makes me ashamed to be British.
    Which brings me to my final point, and the one my friend serving in Saudi Arabia highlighted to me: “we need their oil” he said. Is that true – do we (US/US) need their oil? And if so, is our support for a brutal regime merely then appalling realpolitik price we must pay?

    • If we could stop sucking Saudi cock for a few years, we could easily rid ourselves of dependence on their oil — and then we could tell them to go fuck themselves.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. Trying to influence backward countries to change their laws and punishment isn’t easy.Look at the USA with their capital punishment, killing over 1300 people the past 35 years. Some of them were innocent.The internet is also a bit funny at times, when you see people writing that he could be killed due to the lashings, which just isn’t close to the truth.Deaths due to flogging are very rare.It is actually more of a caning, which if you have seen the videos aren’t very hard. The man delivering the blows must keep a Koran under his armpit, so as not to raise back too far.When my Grandmother told me to go cut a switch, I knew I was in for a painful experience.But she never really hit hard enough to cause severe pain. This is all very symbolic, and could actually be over at about halfway, when I believe he will be released.As an atheist this type of behavior by any State boils my innards. But there is absolutely no way anyone is going to influence a change in Saudi Arabia. Not going to happen unless there is some sort of Arab Spring that overthrows the government.All of the weapons we have sent them the past 50 years will prevent this from happening. Even the Arab spring in Egypt didn’t rid the population of Sharia Law.

  4. Larry Sutter says:

    Ah, youth and idealism!
    The issue is power, not doctrine. They excommunicated Spinoza. They brought Galileo within an ace of a funeral pyre. Tolerance varies inversely as the power the ecclesiastical authorities exercise. And they’d fry your ass too, campare, if they could.

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