The House of Saudi has faced some recent stiff competition, but is quite determined to maintain its position as the top Human Rights abuser on the planet, and so it has picked on a random Saudi twitter user who dared to express doubt about Allah and sentenced him to 10 years in jail, and also 2,000 lashes that are to be delivered very slowly at the rate of 50 per week to ensure that he has time to endure the agony for years.
The above reads like the opening for a satire site, but this is not satire, it is all wholly factual …
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism in hundreds of social media posts.
The report carried in Al-Watan says the 28-year-old man admitted to being an atheist and refused to repent, saying that what he wrote reflected his own beliefs and that he had the right to express them. The report did not name the man.
If you do not believe, then officially in Saudi Arabia, you are a “Terrorist”
As highlighted by the Independent article …
In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, King Abdullah attempted to clamp down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could “harm public order”.
Article one of the new provisions defined terrorism as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based”.
… so according to them, not believing exactly what they believe makes you a terrorist.
As a brief reminder
Their track record for human rights is utterly appalling in so many different ways and is perhaps the very worst on the planet, to be specific …
You might of course be tempted to think that they are not as bad as ISIS, but this is a nation that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS, and have also demonstrated that they have no qualms about jailing and then flogging in the public square innocent people (I’m specifically thinking of Raif Badawi).
Let’s Report them to the UN Human Rights Council
Alas, if only that was a meaningful step to take, but sadly it is not, the UN HRC has become an embarrassing joke. Not too long ago Saudi Arabia was selected to chair the UNHRC panel for appointments to be made in the current 30th session of the council, and that is quite frankly not just absurd, but is not acceptable by any measure.
This is NOT about Muslims, it is about Wahhabism
In Saudi the prevailing strand of Islamic belief is called Wahhabism (they don’t like that name and prefer the word Salafis). So yes, is a form of Salafism, and is a religious movement within Sunni Islam that was developed by an eighteenth century chap called Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (hence the name).
So who opposed Wahhabism when Abd al-Whhab first started it all? Would you believe his father, and his brother did. Does anybody oppose it today? Yep, one or two do … or to be more precise about 96% of the world’s Muslim population do and consider the Wahhabis to be complete nuts, principally because it is so extreme that it rejects traditional Sunni scholars and interpretation as followed by 96% of the world’s Muslim population.
So when will we hear others denouncing the house of Saudi? Er no, sorry, that is not generally going to happen. You need to also appreciate that anybody within the Islamic universe who wishes to journey on a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is not going to be daft enough to scupper that by ticking off the locals and (correctly) labelling them all as complete kooks.
What we actually have here once again is a very good argument for the support of secularism, it illustrates the intolerance and oppression that will take place when one specific belief gains sufficient power to dominate. There are a couple of very basic human rights at issue here, namely “Freedom of Thought” and “Freedom of Speech”. People should be free to believe whatever they wish, even if it is obvious to all that the belief is daft and silly. Others should also be free to criticise. Humans have learned from a rather bloody and violent past that both of these are essential human liberties and so we now have such rights. These were first enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), If curious, Freedom of Thought is Article 18.
Most nations, including Muslim countries, ratified that Universal Declaration of Human Rights back in 1948. There were however several who refused to do so … and yes, one of them was Saudi Arabia.
Officially our elected representatives might indeed deem them to be our “Friend” and “Ally”, but we need to also remember that they are opposed to the very basic principles we aspire to and cherish – The House of Saudi is not our friend.
Least you still doubt that and think that a few arms deals help to sweeten the bitter taste, you might also like to remember that they have spent $100 Billion oil dollars promoting their specific very extreme variations of Islamic belief all around the planet since the 1970s and today in many places we are reaping the harvest from all that. This latest 10 year sentence and 2,000 lashes for daring to doubt is a rather stark reminder of the philosophy that they have been promoting with that $100 Billion.