1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think
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Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger, shared his thoughts on politics, religion, and liberalism online. He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, ten years in prison, and a fine of 1 million Saudi Riyal, over a quarter of a million U.S. dollars. This politically topical polemic gathers together Badawi’s pivotal texts. He expresses his opinions on life in an autocratic-Islamic state under the Sharia and his perception of freedom of expression, human and civil rights, tolerance and the necessary separation of state and religion.
honorable bases for a united nation is that it shouldn’t be built upon the specifics of one person, or one line of thought, or one organization, or one group, excluding everyone else. A homeland is for everyone, without marginalization: a nation for its entire people, with all of their 33 34 10 0 0 L a s h e s beliefs and intellectual characteristics. Only through the establishment of this theory of one nation can everyone have the right to celebrate belonging to this land, to this
. is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world.” Regardless of your views of religion and its place in the human condition, all those among us who are lucky enough to live in a society where we are free (albeit within the constraints of somewhat limited xi xii 10 0 0 L a s h e s access to media largely dictated by those with wealth and power) to ridicule and criticize need to show solidarity with those, like Raif, who, because
time. In Syria and Iraq, Islamists are trying to bomb the region back into the darkness of prehistory. In other parts of the Arab world, governments are trying to hold onto the status quo any way they can, hoping to pull off the balancing act between traditional Islamic society and the possibility of modern life. But Badawi’s writings are also of great importance for us in the West. Muslim communities in Europe are caught up in the cultural and religious tensions between their backgrounds and
response to their religious scholars. Without a doubt, this society has mastered the art of religious allegiance to the clergy. The scholars’ fatwas1 and their explanations of what a religion means, are considered the absolute truth; they are considered holy. If a freethinker dares to embark on a journey on the seas of the holy and forbidden, they are faced with hundreds of fatwas released by the clergy. Those scholars threaten the rationalists and renounce them; they consider them apostates. My
Recently, they went as far as to 4 Defaming the Intellectuals and the Inquisition Courts compete with and challenge others over who is more in favor with the prophet, peace be upon him. Yes, this is taking place right now, in the twentyfirst century. Many rejected Hamza’s2 messages on Twitter; they didn’t wait for the official sentencing before judging him. The tweets of those calling for his blood were written by thirsty vampires. Some of Hamza’s detractors reached new lows when they linked