Freethought is More Harshly Punished than Child Rape in Saudi Arabia #FreeRaif

A Saudi Arabian man starts a website for freethought and political debate. He’s arrested, threatened with the death penalty, tried for apostasy, and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes. An international effort to secure his release has so far been unsuccessful.

A Saudi Arabian man suspects his five year old daughter of losing her virginity. He forces her to get an examination, then brings her home, where he repeatedly rapes her, and beats her to death with a cane and cables. He crushed her skull, broke her back, ribs and left arm, and burned her in several places. The Saudi royal family prevents him from being released after only a few months in jail and a fine, and a court eventually sentences him to 8 years in prison and 800 lashes. However, he pays her mother blood money ($270,000 – a boy would have been worth double that price), and is released after only a couple of years.One of these things is not like the other. Not even remotely. One of these things is a bit of mild criticism of a repressive society, the other is the horrific violation and murder of a child. I know who should be in prison facing the lash. It isn’t Raif.

There’s something deeply broken about a society that tries to murder its freethinkers, but lets fathers who rape and murder their children walk free if they’ve got some cash. Our society is pretty fucking far from okay, but at least we don’t have our priorities quite this screwed up. What a sad, desperately low bar that is…

You can help put the pressure on Saudi Arabia. I doubt there’s anything we can do for Lama, the little girl who was murdered, but we can still safe Raif’s life. He’s diabetic, and probably won’t survive 1000 lashes. Demand Raif’s freedom. Sign the Amnesty International petition. Tweet under the hashtag #FreeRaif. Share his son’s photo.

A Saudi Arabian man starts a website for freethought and political debate. He's arrested, threatened with the death penalty, tried for apostasy, and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes. An international effort to secure his release has so far been unsuccessful.  A Saudi Arabian man suspects his five year old daughter of losing her virginity. He forces her to get an examination, then brings her home, where he repeatedly rapes her, and beats her to death with a cane and cables. He crushed her skull, broke her back, ribs and left arm, and burned her in several places. The Saudi royal family prevents him from being released after only a few months in jail and a fine, and a court eventually sentences him to 8 years in prison and 800 lashes. However, he pays her mother blood money ($270,000 - a boy would have been worth double that price), and is released after only a couple of years.One of these things is not like the other. Not even remotely. One of these things is a bit of mild criticism of a repressive society, the other is the horrific violation and murder of a child. I know who should be in prison facing the lash. It isn't Raif.  There's something deeply broken about a society that tries to murder its freethinkers, but lets fathers who rape and murder their children walk free if they've got some cash. Our society is pretty fucking far from okay, but at least we don't have our priorities quite this screwed up. What a sad, desperately low bar that is...  You can help put the pressure on Saudi Arabia. I doubt there's anything we can do for Lama, the little girl who was murdered, but we can still demand Raif's freedom. Sign the Amnesty International petition. Tweet under the hashtag #FreeRaif. Share his son's photo.

Find out if there’s a protest you can attend. Enough worldwide pressure may win his freedom. Enough worldwide censure may make Saudi Arabia rethink its priorities when it comes to imprisoning people. Let’s hope they realize it’s better to free their thinkers and imprison their rapists and murderers rather than the reverse.

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Freethought is More Harshly Punished than Child Rape in Saudi Arabia #FreeRaif

4 thoughts on “Freethought is More Harshly Punished than Child Rape in Saudi Arabia #FreeRaif

  1. 1

    You say that something is wrong due to the difference in punishments. But for the people who set up the laws that way it is simple what Raif Badawi did is undermining their power base. And that is something that deserves far more punishment the something as child rape which doesn’t challenge it.
    This is also the reason they have been delaying the new set of lashes (due to Raif not having recovered enough from the last set), they don’t want him to die and turn in to a martyr what they want is an example.

    Which is why I doubt that the pressure brought to bear on the Saudi government will result in his release.
    The best we can hope for is a reduction in his sentence.

  2. 2

    The Saudi government is mistaken if they think torturing Raif Badawi is going to set the example they want. It may cause some people to quit writing or blogging, but in the grand scheme of things, they are going to expend a lot of time, effort, and money trying to expunge free speech. And I don’t think it’s going to work. Hopefully they’ll come to recognize the value and dignity of all human beings and stop punishing people for expressing themselve. Sadly, far too many people are going to suffer along the way.

  3. 3

    Give the poor king a break. He had a filthy WOMAN shake hands with him. And she didn’t even have her hair covered.

    Then again, according to the wingnuts she’s actually a man.

  4. 4

    From a book review of ‘On Saudi Arabia’ by Karen Elliott House:

    Men have it rough, but women have it much rougher. According to Wahhabi Islam, men must obey Allah and women must obey men. “Fortunately for men,” House writes, “Allah is distant, but unfortunately for women, men are omnipresent.”

    link

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