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The Raif Badawi Case: With every lash, our humanity weeps

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Raif with his three young children (Source: Bloomberg News)

Raif Badawi is a Saudi-Arabian blogger who was arrested in 2012 by Saudi Arabian authorities. Stories regarding the reason(s) for his arrest vary as some say he was arrested for “insulting” Islam and others state that he wrote against some Islamic clergy. Infact, he was accused of apostasy. In the year 2013, Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a fine and 1000 lashes (which would occur over the course of 20 weeks).

It is impossible to make any assertions, since people do not know why exactly Badawi was arrested and sentenced to such conditions (we do know that in general, that he was accused of somehow being against Islam). So, I will take caution with the way I phrase the following words – If indeed Badawi insulted Islam which is a people’s belief, that was a very wrong course of action to take. We should respect people’s beliefs unless those beliefs are thoroughly proven to be structured to cause nothing else but harm. I am pretty sure that this is not the case with Islam.

However, there is no justification for the kind of punishments that have been assigned to Badawi. A simple letter or phone call to Badawi would have been a more humane response, not a 10 year sentence that will be accompanied by 1000 lashes. The first 50 lashes were served on Friday last week. The 31-year old blogger was meant to receive 50 more, yesterday but wounds from the first set are yet to close. The wounds are indications of the very barbaric nature of the sentence. When Badawi heals, he is expected to continue receiving the lashes. Let us hope that the Supreme Court to which Badawi’s case has now been transferred, can help stop this injustice.

In the meantime, you can help by signing this petition that Amnesty International created for Raif Badawi: http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1770&ea.campaign.id=32768 Thank you!

I do not see how one can claim to love God yet does not love the ones that God has sent for him/her to love. You cannot claim to love God yet you pronounce unjust rulings and cause harm, in the name of God. That is an ugly juxtaposition.

Free Raif,

Chiamaka

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