Friday, 9 January 2015

What about the Saudi extremists?

If our prez and other westerners are concerned about religious extremism, they have an excellent opportunity to make their voices heard in a way that would be much more effective than more condemnations of the Islamic State (run by men who cheer them).

Obama, Hollande et al. could publicly denounce Saudi Arabia for its plans to publicly flog Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience Raif Badawi for the crime of “apostasy.”

Badawi is imprisoned and facing official torture by our Saudi allies because he started a blog called “Saudi Arabian Liberals.” Fox News probably thinks he deserves 1,000 lashes (his actual sentence, plus ten years) just for the choice of names. But allegedly we here in the occidental capital of “Freedom” don’t believe in thoughtcrime.

Our Saudi allies plan to mete out 50 lashes tomorrow, January 10, followed by another 950 over the subsequent 20 weeks. If Badawi is still alive after all that, he can then begin his 10-year prison term. All for expressing opinions far milder than anything printed in Charlie Hebdo.

Badawi’s lawyer already got a 15-year prison term for his work defending human rights. Luckily, Badawi’s family managed to escape to Canada. I think now’s an excellent time for both Canada and the U.S. to come out publicly in defense of freedom of expression and against religious obscurantism and the systematic torture of dissenters.

Or will this gross hypocrisy escape notice once again?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said.