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Saudi Blogger Sentenced to 1000 Lashes
Fifteen years in prison and 1000 lashes over a period of 20 weeks PLUS a fine $53,000 for simply being critical of Islam and the Saudi Arabia government. That is what Raif Badawi, a loving father of three in Jeddah got for his blog.
President Obama was so angry, he directly called the Saudi king to have this insane sentence voided under human rights violations. This was simply too extreme even for the liberal President who stated that Badawi has a right to freedom of expression and religion. Upon receipt of this American protest, the Saudis carried out the sentence and he was flogged in front of 100 watchers. Badawi's feet and hands were tied and received the first 50 lashes in a public square before afternoon prayers. It took 15 minutes. He was then returned to jail where he has been since mid-2012. His wife and kids fled to Canada.
Badawi had been expressing his opinions on his Free Saudi Liberals blog, which was shut down after he was critical of the Saudi clerics who follow the many, idiotic, strict Islam under Wahhabism. This form of extreme Islam was created in Saudi Arabia and clearly is not from the word of any God, but an oppressive set of man-made rules to control its population. It is the same sect that forbids a Saudi woman to driving a car!
Badawi was charged with making fun of the Saudi morality police and failing to remove the comments of others who were liberal and anti-Wahhab.
The problem with all this ties into a relationship between the USA and Saudi Arabia with polar opposite beliefs and customs. The only common ground is fighting terrorism, although, al-Qaeda began in Saudi Arabia and oil. The Saudis rely on America for military aid and weapons and economic ties. Its oil is still needed, but much less now since America has a surplus of oil. America needs them for oil and as a Muslim country that will join the fight against Islamic extremists.