While Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (below) is only 50 lashes into his 1,000-lashes punishment for the “crime” of “insulting Islam,” a group of Americans have made an unusual offer on his behalf:
Conservative Princeton University professor and vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Robert P. George, along with six other advocates, have offered to take 100 lashes each for Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi…
“Together with six colleagues on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I sent a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. calling on the Saudi government to stop the horrific torture of Raif Badawi — an advocate of religious freedom and freedom of expression in the Saudi Kingdom,” wrote George.
“If the Saudi government refuses, we each asked to take 100 of Mr. Badawi’s lashes so that we could suffer with him. The seven of us include Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Christians, Jews, and a Muslim,” he added.
… “We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured. If your government does not see fit to stop this from happening, we are prepared to present ourselves to receive our share of Mr. Badawi’s unjust punishment,” note the group in the letter shared with CP.
Wow. That’s a generous offer… that the Saudis will never accept. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t appreciate the gesture.
If there’s a silver lining to be found in Badawi’s case, it’s that everyone outside Saudi leadership and religious extremists seems to agree that this punishment is a slap in the face to free speech and religious freedom. We’re united against this faith-based cruelty.
(Thanks to Kyle for the link)