On Friday, Jan 09, 2015, French police raided two sites – killing suspected terrorists, black ice-covered some roads in Eastern North Carolina resulting in multiple traffic accidents and Raif Badawi, a blogger from Saudi Arabia was flogged.
Flog – to beat with a whip or cane
To be specific, Badawi was found guilty of insulting Islam (on his blog) and was sentenced to ten years in prison, a monetary fine and 1,000 lashes. Once a week, for twenty weeks, Badawi will receive 50 lashes. His first flogging was yesterday and lasted approximately fifteen minutes. He only has 19 more sessions to go.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on the political/religious workings of Saudi Arabia. BUT – I recognize wrong when I see it. The freedom to think and to express those thoughts are inalienable rights. Thoughts and ideas can lead to change only if they aren’t stifled and repressed. We don’t have to agree with another person’s views but we should afford them the same respect we would expect. Furthermore, no government and/or religious leader has the right to curtail honest, peaceful discussion.
I live half a world away from Raif Badawi. Since I can’t take to the streets of Jeddah to protest his punishment, I will use the next best option I have – my blog.
Raif Badawi – my prayers are with you. May you be strong in withstanding your persecution and may the hearts of your accusers be softened.