Saudi blogger Raif Badawi - Official Website - BenjaminMadeira
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi - Photo: Amnesty International

A look at the writings of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi – sentenced to 1,000 lashes.

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Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed free speech in the autocratic kingdom. His blog, the Saudi Free Liberals Forum, was shut down after his arrest in 2012.

Raif Badawi argued on 28 September 2010 in favour of “secularism [as] the most important refuge for citizens of a country.” Urged by clerics not to attend “heretical” celebrations marking Saudi national day, he underlined the importance of separating religion from the state. Strikingly he does not attack the Saudi monarchy and even praises the liberal governor of Mecca, the intellectual and poet Khaled al-Faisal Al Saud:

Secularism respects everyone and does not offend anyone ... Secularism ... is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world.



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