Raif Badawi, who was recently the recipient of 50 lashes. With a whip. (PS--godawful video--seriously. I'm sure there's repercussions for filming and all, but this wasn't great, actually.) But seriously, Saudi Arabia has held and even executed people for "sorcery". As a blogger and sometimes alternative path practitioner, that is seriously heinous to me. People should have the right to comment upon their government, their community, their religion and the things that matter to them. How else can they right wrongs or address injustices so that they can be corrected? Shutting people up is saying "might makes right"--and that means, even wrong can be right, if only the mighty so decree it.
For blogging in a way that was irreverent about religion, his body was displayed to be publically seen and abused. This is to say, that his body is not his body at all, but a thing owned by the government of Saudi Arabia to prove some point about his kind of speech. As in--"don't you other people think about blogging like he did".
That is appalling.
Now, I am not so familiar with the writing of Raif Badawi to say that I know what he was on about. I have found from one site that he might have been against the masjid at Ground Zero, which I was, as a First Amendment freak, very much for. I saw this as a way of saying "Fuck YOU!" to extremists by showing that we could give hospitality to Muslims because we were sane enough to differentiate between transgressors, and regular Muslim folks. He reasoned that it was unfair to the US to suffer the presence of people who reminded us of pain, and might even become radicals, themselves. So disagreement happens. But he doesn't deserve to be lashed for accepting that Islam has an extremist and terrorist problem. A problem which cannot be fixed if it isn't even acknowledged. Saudi Arabia should thank sane people who see what is happening and make comment about it. They shouldn't be jailed or lashed. They should be recognized for trying to bring sanity to the conversation. For saying "This is" and not hiding shit.
This "apostasy" the SA government thinks is about Islam--is about addressing Saudi Arabia's wahhabist nonsense. The kind of nonsense that let them nurture al-Qaida and invent ISIS. It's about the political aims, not the religious benefits, of the religion. It's about honesty.
Badawi was honest--he gets lashed for it.