This is the first time I have read any of Raif Badawi’s writings, and it is amazing how clear-sighted and objective he is. He wrote his blog from Saudi Arabia and for the sin of spreading this truth, he has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. The sentence, in a sad irony, upholds his views entirely. Sadly for the millions of Muslims who love their religion, it has never led to anything but oppression of humanity and suppression of free thought. It is amazing and wonderful that someone is even able to think so clearly from with the oppression of Saudi Arabia – where, as with all Muslim lands the brainwashing begins at an early age that Islam is the only religion and its teachings the only way to live.
It may help before reading it to watch this video of Ayaan Hirsi-Ali explaining Islam, as an Apostate she is the perfect source to help us truly understand. What she tells us makes it clear Islam is nothing but a cult. It tells its followers that to even question Islam is forbidden and will lead to hell, that each member is responsible for ensuring all the others remain devout, that any who do not believe are fair game. Most importantly, Ayaan tells us that Islam sees no point in life other than to ensure a good afterlife – there is an obsession with death. It is a death cult responsible for the fear and oppression and the murder of millions since the prophet first had his ‘revelations’.
Clearly, anyone questioning Islam is particularly dangerous to the faith, as it takes very little inspection of the life of the prophet to see that he was not a good man. He led over 60 bloody wars and conquests, he had 9 wives, one of which was a child when he slept with her. His revelations were always convenient to improve his status. He died richer and more powerful than he started out – because of his ‘revelations’. He was inconsistent and often incoherent. Clearly today he would have been seen as a maniac, a schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur, a weirdo. That is the reason Islam forbids its followers to question it, or to associate with non-believers – because doing so will immediately reveal the truth.
There are no angels watching you, none of the revelations were from a higher being than the prophet’s fevered imagination. The privations and the violence you are instructed to perform are for nowt as there will be just death and if you are lucky – nothingness. If you are unlucky and the Judeo-Christian tradition is in fact true, then you are going straight to hell for having been an abiding Muslim. No wonder Islam forbids rational questioning, science, dissent, unbelievers, other religions, education in the Western Enlightened Tradition. No wonder it is afraid. No wonder it is insecure. It is a mirage created by Arabian tribal custom and bolstered by an insane builder of Empire.
Reflecting on the role of the Muslim religious establishment on 12 August 2010, Badawi warned about the stifling of creativity:
As soon as a thinker starts to reveal his ideas, you will find hundreds of fatwas that accused him of being an infidel just because he had the courage to discuss some sacred topics. I’m really worried that Arab thinkers will migrate in search of fresh air and to escape the sword of the religious authorities.
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.
Badawi linked Palestine, one of the touchstones of Arab solidarity, to the question of political Islam, attacking Hamas.
I’m not in support of the Israeli occupation of any Arab country, but at the same time I do not want to replace Israel by a religious state … whose main concern would be spreading the culture of death and ignorance among its people when we need modernisation and hope. States based on religious ideology … have nothing except the fear of God and an inability to face up to life. Look at what had happened after the European peoples succeeded in removing the clergy from public life and restricting them to their churches. They built up human beings and (promoted) enlightenment, creativity and rebellion.States which are based on religion confine their people in the circle of faith and fear.
The only article of Badawi’s hitherto translated from Arabic into Englishdenounces the demand of Muslims in New York that a mosque and community centre be built on the site of the World Trade Centre, where 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaida. It goes against the official Saudi position by linking the terrorist group to the kingdom – and accuses Muslims of intolerance.
What hurts me most as a citizen of the area which exported those terrorists … is the audacity of Muslims in New York that reaches the limits of insolence, not taking any regard of the thousands of victims who perished on that fateful day or their families. What increases my pain is this [Islamist] chauvinist arrogance which claims that innocent blood, shed by barbarian, brutal minds under the slogan “Allahu Akbar”, means nothing compared to the act of building an Islamic mosque whose mission will be to … spawn new terrorists … Suppose we put ourselves in the place of American citizens. Would we accept that a Christian or Jew assaults us in our own house and then build a church or synagogue in the same area of the attack? I doubt it. We reject the building of churches in Saudi Arabia, not having been assaulted by anyone. Then what would you think if those who wanted to build a church are the same people who stormed the sanctity of our land? Finally, we should not hide that fact that Muslims in Saudi Arabia not only disrespect the beliefs of others, but also charge them with infidelity to the extent that they consider anyone who is not Muslim an infidel, and, within their own narrow definitions, they consider non-Hanbali [the Saudi school of Islam] Muslims as apostates. How can we be such people and build … normal relations with six billion humans, four and a half billion of whom do not believe in Islam.