Though his is not a household name, most people in the world have, by now, heard of the plight of Raif Badawi: that Saudi Arabian blogger who is imprisoned for his words.
First, he was tried for having written things on the internet that the Saudi Government disapproved of – and he was sentenced to 600 lashes and 7 years in jail.
No man or woman ought to be penalized for stating their honestly held views.
Those who have visited my blog in the past know I am a bit of a free speech fundamentalist and would not place any limits on speech whatsoever, if it were my call. And, I do mean all speech!
If we do not hold those who listen even to incitement to violence accountable for their actual deeds, then we are guilty of infantalizing them. A responsible adult can hear all kinds of incitements to violence, and choose to ignore them. If one chooses to act upon incitement, then one is responsible for their actions!
It is one’s actions we must judge, not one’s words!
But, Raif Badawi situation gets worse!!!
Now, the Saudi court had recommended that he be also tried for apostasy. In Saudi Arabia, this “crime” carries the death sentence!!!
Words cannot describe the outrage I feel.
We, all of us honest people in the world, must stand up and demand that Raif Badawi (and all other ‘blasphemy prisoners’) be set free and that countries that have blasphemy laws on their books and that imprison or even execute people for apostasy be immediately kicked out of the UN and all other organizations of civilized people!
Write, call or email your local legislators and demand they put pressure on the government to officially condemn this uncivilized behaviour and pressure these countries directly through diplomatic channels to alter their laws as well as indirectly through the UN.
And, if the UN refuses to take the side of the civilized countries on this issue, then the civilized countries MUST leave the UN in protest!
Anything less will make us complicit in their martyrdoom!!!