"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Thousand Lashes



As reported today in Poets and Writers, PEN is holding weekly vigils outside the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in London in support of Raif Badawi, an activist and blogger who was convicted last May for insulting Islam. Badawi was sentenced to ten years in prison and one thousand lashes, the whipping was begun last Friday. He will receive 50 lashes each Friday following morning prayers for 20 weeks. (They say their prayers first.) The extended punishment is intended to instill fear in the population and cause severe long-term damage to Badawi, probably death.

Really. A thousand lashes?

Another shot over the bow warning writers everywhere to not insult Islam. Never insult Islam or write anything that can in the slightest way be construed as criticism if you value your head and your back. Don't insult Islam if you value your freedom and the writing life. Don't insult Islam or....

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9 comments:

Other Mary said...

I had not heard of this until I read your blog. It saddens me more than I can say. Thank you for writing about it.

Frances Garrood said...

I'd read about this, Yvonne. It is truly barbaric.

Mama Zen said...

Yes, barbaric is the word for it.

Anthony Duce said...

Another country and religion still in the dark ages.. So sad.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Mary,
I just read about it via P&W and then read the article. I cringed. Couldn't believe it. Thanks.

Frances,
That's the word. Thanks.

Mama,
No better word to describe it. And to think Saudi Arabia is supposed to be such a good friend of the US. Why? Because they keep the oil flowing?

Anthony,
So dark, beyond dark. It's no wonder they can't see the light.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's more than a little terrifying.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
Thanks for commenting. I hope the word is spreading and I hope the protest in London can make a difference. If a group tried this in DC they'd probably bring out the riot police, Saudi such a good friend and all.....

Timoteo said...

I agree with Anthony. It seems incomprehensible that in 2015, parts of our world still exist in the dark ages.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Tim,
Hi, and thanks so much for adding a comment. I can't stop thinking about this. I can't imagine having this loom in front of all my Fridays. To us here, Friday means the start of the weekend, fun with family and friends, good food, music and relaxation. And look what it means to him? Saudi Arabia, the axis of despair.