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Australian sentenced to 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy

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Why do Islamic countries act so childish. Why do they get so upset over such trivial matters...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Poor fella. It's each persons responsibility to know about the types of laws and cultural differences for each country they enter though. He probably didn't know that blasphemy was a crime & it's obviously impossible to learn every law for another country. Government websites offer allot of detailed info though for travelers, always a good read.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well its in the Islamic countries that made their own "Human Rights" charter and tried to pass this kind of thinking off on the rest of the UN. Thank goodness some countries realised it for what it was, a big step back to ancient times (we're talking 100BC here). Well, he should have realised being a muslim in an Islamic governed country means he doesn't have the rights he had in Australia. Not wise on his part.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Boy oh boy!! And this Aussie is also a Muslim??

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I bet this dude will want to tell Saudi Arabia to go to hell after this ordeal is over!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ah, the Arab Fall and Winter.

Wonderful countries.

I hope they do not get angry at my published pictures of Mo and his friends at Hooters.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This story doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why would you insult the prophet's companions while in the middle of the Hajj?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's not fair to say the matter is trivial. It's definitely not trivial for them. If anything, the religion is hurting itself especially if they follow through with sentencing. The man obviously believed in the religion enough to make the journey. I'm confident that he probably has his doubts now.

I can't help but wonder if his nationality has more to do with it than they are willing to admit.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Tip to fellow jt-ers, stay outta SArabia & similar countries, aint worth the risk!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

500 lashes? This basically sounds like more of a death sentence to me.

If anything, the religion is hurting itself especially if they follow through with sentencing.

Sadly rather par for the course.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ben.

I doubt the 500 lashes are done in one sitting but more likely split up(with healing times in-between).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It''S ME,

If it is done in the regular Saudi fashion, it will be done 50 lashes or so a week. For a man with heart disease and diabetes, this does sound like a very possible death sentence.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nonetheless, my feeling is this: allowing more Saudis (tens of thousands even) to immigrate to Oz,explain and justify this quaint form of punishment must be the 1st priority of any governemnt coalition calling itself "Labour."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

500 lashes?? Can you even survive that?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I do not want to say the Saudi is a backwards retarded country, but ok, so what, this guy says something and 500 lashes will make it all better??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Religions have killed more people than anything else in the human history.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'll say it .. Saudi Arabia is a backward country!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@It"S ME

500 lashes would probably be spread during his 1-year imprisonment. But one of the things I personally do not like about the Middle East laws is that these lashes are usually done in public (in front of the city's biggest mall, etc).

There are a lot of sentences doled out by the Arab "peacekeepers", including policemen and the holy priests walking around lashing whoever they like. Most of them unfounded and even made up on the spot.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think it's a good learning experience for him. While a guest in another country you should learn some respect.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

The only thing I can think of that ticked off the Saudi authorities, is that something he said wasn't in line with their particular ideology. From Wikipedia: "While what is now Saudi Arabia was the birthplace of Islam, it was also home to various sects and strands of the religion until the rise of Salafism, also known as Wahabbism, a fiercely puritanical strain of Islam" . Perhaps he said something that he considered innocuous, but was taken as an affront to the authorities. Whatever the case, I hope he avoids this barbaric punishment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And its what year?? 2011...and these people expect the west to take them seriously?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lashes with what?

Also, quote: "Insulting companions of the Prophet Mohammed"?

Which of the Prophet's companions is he alleged to have insulted, I wonder?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

accused of insulting companions of the prophet Mohammed.

They would go into details except the media is afraid.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

None Muslims are not allowed into the cities of Medina and Mecca. This guy obviously posed as a fake Muslim, now look at the mess he is in. Of course your begging for trouble when you pose your self as some one you are not just to waltz into another culture/nation to make obnoxious comments what a loser.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Readers, please do not mock religions on this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone is being imprisoned and abused on the assertion that there is a god. Yet there is no proof of this. That is the point here. People should not be repressed, tortured, imprissoned etc.. based solely upon a belief.

The problem with religion is the unfailing ability of it to decide it is absolutely right and to use institutions to impose their opinion upon people, often at the point of a weapon or threat. That is where things go terribly wrong with faith.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

AerosX, there is no reason to believe that this guy is not a Muslim. We don't know what the point of contention was. Could be anything. Could be something simple that an Australian adherent may not think is a bad thing, but a Saudi adherent sees as heresey.

The bottom line is that this situation is a human injustice. No person should be imprisoned for expressing an opinion. No one should be whipped for something they say. And no religion, and I do mean No religion has any place as the primary legal system of government. It is an inherently biased and repressive model that will abuse people and prevent the realization of human rights.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@nandakandamanda

Lashings are usually done using long rattan canes which leave welts or even cuts across the back.

@AerosX

On the contrary, I believe this guy might be one of the expats who have been in in the Kingdom long enough. His first son's name, "Jamal" is a common-enough first name in Saudi Arabia. Another evidence is that when he was arrested, he was had been reading and praying in a group which implies that he was reading the Quran, which is no easy feat. But I may agree with the rest of your post, that he may have been arrested for the simlpe fact that he does not look like other Muslims in the area.

The law and lawmakers in the Kingdom are of a different mindset when it comes to "crime". Say a foreigner just had a vehicular accident. Instead of arresting or even questioning the other car's driver, the police would say "It's your fault you had the accident. If you stayed in your country, you won't be in this accident."

I do hope that he gets some leniency (or even pardon) for Mr. Almaribe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the Australian media, he is said to be a Shiite Muslim, which is allegedly the root of the problem. Conservative Sunnis do not recognize Shias.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

when in Rome do as romans do especcialy when you are a foreign Muslim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is frightening that someone can be imprisoned and beaten because of alleged affronts, the content of which we are seemingly not allowed to know about. I can only imagine the trial. Nobody says what was said. They just say he said something mocking and he is convicted.

If the Saudis don't want people mocking, maybe they had better explain clearly what that means. I am pretty sure this guy did not have any intent to mock his own religion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tokyokawasaki:

" Why do Islamic countries act so childish. Why do they get so upset over such trivial matters... "

They do not act childish, they act according to strict islamic law. Since Saudi Arabia is one of the most literal Shariah countries (In Saudi Arabia, the Koran is the constitution and Shariah is the law), this is what you get. Nothing childish, simply following the letter of their law.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Elbuda Mexicano:

" Boy oh boy!! And this Aussie is also a Muslim?? "

Of course. Only muslims go on a Hadj, and only muslims are allowed into Mekka and Medina. You want to visit there, you have to convert first.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

genji17:

" And its what year?? 2011...and these people expect the west to take them seriously? "

No! 2011 is the Christian calendar. In the islamic calendar, the current year is 1433 AH. But since you mention it, something like mentioning this year is 2011 might have gotten him the blasphemy charge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This nation (Saudi Arabia) is a barbaric nation! I watched a lashing episode on YouTube and it is nothing but barbaric. Any nation doing so should be added to the "Axis of Evil" list. Then, 100% sanctions should be imposed on that nation, every passport should include "Saudi Arabia" as a nation prohibited for traveling to. Pure disgusting. I do not have a problem with Muslims in general, I find it an interesting religion and respect it, but I find these actions deplorable. Sad to have read this article.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Saudi Arabia can be compared to the Vatican with Catholics, and Shiites are like Protestants in Christianity, so being on non Sunni Muslim in Saudi is not a good idea, I feel sorry for this poor Aussie mate! Maybe Australia can boycott Saudi Arabia or kick all the Saudis out of Australia??

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@WilliB, yes I kind of figured this guy was a Muslim. Me?? Convert too??? LOL! Already having fun going from a good Mexican Catholic to a great Mexican Buddhist, so no Hadj for me, rather chant NMRK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tom DeMicke:

" This nation (Saudi Arabia) is a barbaric nation! I watched a lashing episode on YouTube and it is nothing but barbaric. Any nation doing so should be added to the "Axis of Evil" list. "

You could not be more wrong. There is nothing barbaric about Saudi Arabi in particular. Saudi Arabia simply follows strict literal Sunni islam to the letter. Where you you strictly follow Sunni islam to the letter, you get Saudi Arabia. That can be in your neighbourhood too. Geography or ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Conservative Sunnis do not recognize Shias.

The feuds that result and an all out war by one branch of Mohammedism upon the other may be the West's only hope.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Saudi is pretty clear on their laws. Don't want to get lashed? Don't break the law. The guy can't afford a lawyer but could afford the plane ticket there?

With his name and his son's name, I'm assuming he's from Saudi decent so not sure why he wasn't really clear on what is okay and not okay.

I don't agree with Saudi laws but if I went (which I never could because I am a female and they wouldn't let me in as a tourist on my own) I'm thinking insulting their religion is not exactly a good idea - not a good anywhere though!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Relax, people. It's not like he's being waterboarded. Just 500 lashes.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So, I assume we will soon see thousands of mainstream and moderate Muslims take to the streets to protest this hijacking of their religion on the part of the Saudis, right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One could only dream Ben!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

BenJackinoff:

" So, I assume we will soon see thousands of mainstream and moderate Muslims take to the streets to protest this hijacking of their religion on the part of the Saudis, right? "

LOL, yeah right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Saudi Arabia is an incredibly backwards society. 21st century technology with 7th century social mores. I don't know why the world doesn't just boycott them to extinction and be done with them. Yeah, they have oil, but so do a lot of other places that are at least only moderately evil. Not to mention that SA produces a truly remarkable secondary export- terrorists. And financial support to extremist groups that promote their horrid, misogynistic way of life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No Religion = free mind

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

By the way Associated Press should be more detailed with what exactly happened and not vague reporting as usual

3 ( +3 / -0 )

By the way Associated Press should be more detailed with what exactly happened and not vague reporting as usual

Just perhaps, they are concerned about getting 500 lashes themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Ben lol good one ^_^

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mmmmm. I'm a athiest Australian who knows enough to know that one shouldn't insult one's hosts in foreign countries. If it is so important to them that they dole out 500 lashes for the offense, I either; don't visit in the first place, or keep my mouth shut whilst I am there. That being said, a man on a religious pilgrimage seems unlikely to be inclined to insult prophets, so perhaps this is a sectarian issue after all. Religion is good like that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tamarama:

" Mmmmm. I'm a athiest Australian who knows enough to know that one shouldn't insult one's hosts in foreign countries. If it is so important to them that they dole out 500 lashes for the offense, I either; don't visit in the first place, or keep my mouth shut whilst I am there. "

Firstly, the charge is that he insulted the companions of the prophet. Well, Mohammed was not his host, so that is nonsensical. Secondly, as an atheist, you would not be allowed to enter Mekka or Medina, so that also moot. (And if you were a Saudi citizen, the punishment for your atheism would death. So you shouldn´t really worry too much about 500 lashes.)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Geez, 500 whips, that's a bit harsh. I mean, what was this Aussie ocker doing - drinking Fosters' beer whilst en route to Mecca or something?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BurakuminDes:

" Aussie ocker doing - drinking Fosters' beer "

Is that supposed to be funny? There is no alcohol in Saudi Arabia. It is haram. In European papers I am reading that the guy was Iranian, so there is good chance he is Shiite. That could explain a lot. He might have said something stemming from Shia doctrine, and a Sunni listener got miffed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

koiwaicoffee: Religions have killed more people than anything else in the human history.

Yet more people were killed in the 20th century than any other, and pretty much all of these killers were atheist/secular in nature, including Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot. What do we learn from this? Should we put secularism and atheism in the murderous doctrine bucket? Of course not. What the great killers of history have in common can be better related to megalomania and narcissism. When one group, whether religious or anti-religious, stands up and says "everyone who disagrees with us is stupid/wrong", then we start getting trouble. When we lack compassion and tolerance for those who disagree with us, then we have problems.

And that seems to be exactly the problem here. Seems this guy has ended up on the wrong end of the Saudi religious police because his brand of Islam didn't match theirs. I hope the Aussie government can sort something out and get him out of there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well 500 lashes will kill him, the Australian government will do nothing but feeble protest. The Saudi government makes me sick!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Taking "blasphemy laws" into consideration means anyone can claim someone is a blasphemer no matter what they say since blasphemy is based on an individuals perception and self interpretation. Very sad times indeed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I mock all religions if they make no sense or contradict themselves.

Yes, this is a death sentence for all intensive purposes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagellation

In the Napoleonic Wars, the maximum number of lashes that could be inflicted on soldiers in the British Army reached 1,200. This many lashes could permanently disable or kill a man. Oman, historian of the Peninsular War, noted that the maximum sentence was inflicted "nine or ten times by general court-martial during the whole six years of the war" and that 1,000 lashes were administered about 50 times.[6] Other sentences were for 900, 700, 500 and 300 lashes. One soldier was sentenced to 700 lashes for stealing a beehive.[7] Another man was let off after only 175 of 400 lashes, but spent three weeks in the hospital.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a Muslim himself he may agree with the punishment. You never know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WilliB

Firstly, the charge is that he insulted the companions of the prophet. Well, Mohammed was not his host, so that is nonsensical.

Oh, dear, WilliB. That barely deserves a response. Mohammad does not dole out the the lashes either my friend, so what we are really talking about here are the workings of man, not myth. In fact, I'm not going to even bother....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The worst problem here is that this "judgement" is being supported by a country's government based on religious edict.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An Australian man has been sentenced to 500 lashes and a year in jail by a Saudi Arabian court after being found guilty of blasphemy

I can't think of a better reason not to go to Saudi Arabia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why do Islamic countries act so childish. Why do they get so upset over such trivial matters...

Meanwhile American Christians are up in arms about what to call a tree.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/christmas-tree-or-holiday-tree

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with Wolfpack 100%!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Australia will do JS!

The Saudis have the oil and Oz recognises this.

And yes 500 lashes is a death sentence.....

Insult my religion and die..........that is not religion!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

borscht:

" Meanwhile American Christians are up in arms about what to call a tree. http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/christmas-tree-or-holiday-tree "

So what? Are they demanding 500 lashes for anybody for blaspheming the Xmas tree? Ridiculous comparison.

Fwiw, I call an Xmas treen an Xmas tree, and I am not even Christian.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Burakumindesu:

" Geez, 500 whips, that's a bit harsh. "

In the context of Shariah laws, it is pretty mild, actually. The purist punishment for blasphemy under Shariah is death.-

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gee, my vision must be off because I can't find all the stories about mass protests by mainstream and moderate Muslims demonstrating their angry over how Saudi Arabia has made Islam look bad with this ruling. Could someone point me in the direction of a link to such a story? It must exist because I often hear how actions like this ruling do not represent Islam or Mulims. They must be so angry over this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While they are at it pulling strings for this guy, they, the Australian authorities, could claim another local boy who looks to be headed to another crazy-like state; I mean about Assange heading to Sweeden

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saudis finally abolished slavery in 1962. They are coming along just fine. We can't expect miracles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Saudis finally abolished slavery in 1962. They are coming along just fine. We can't expect miracles

Oh, those Saudis and their newfangled ways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WilliB: I see what you mean. But, the idea behind lashing someone is wrong. It's barbaric no matter where it takes place. It's wrong. It's human torture. There are other effective tools for punishment. Yes, it's wrong to insult a nation's religion and beliefs, but physical torture...is going back in time. It's just wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tom DeMicke:

" I see what you mean. But, the idea behind lashing someone is wrong. It's barbaric no matter where it takes place. It's wrong. It's human torture. "

Are you disputing God`s law for all mankind? Because that is what Shariah is. Your question itself would land you in deep trouble in a Shariah country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no alcohol in Saudi Arabia.

There is alcohol smuggling and illicit manufacture, despite the risks --that's prima facie false[1]. just as there is homosexuality despite its risks. (not comparing the two in any way other than via the lens of their local law)

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1160846.stm

1 ( +1 / -0 )

m4c32:

Well sure, there are always some law breakers. But in this case, why would a guy who likes to drink go on a Hadj? That is a contradiction in terms.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If possible better to stay out if these hard core Muslim countries that have Sharia law as if we were still living in the time of Moses!! No cerveza?? No gracias!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Elbuda

I take your point, amigo, but if Moses existed, he lived about 1900 years before Islam existed! :)

If possible better to stay out if these hard core Muslim countries that have Sharia law as if we were still living in the time of Moses!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How can an Australian not afford a lawyer but can afford to have himself and well from this article we can understand his son, over in Saudi Arabia doing a what? and how long does that holiday take? Those economics dont add up to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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