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Saudi blogger faces death penalty for creating web site where people can have open conversations.

The creator of a Saudi Arabian web site called Free Saudi Liberals faces a charge of "apostasy," which comes with an automatic death sentence. 

The charge stems from comments made on his site by users that criticized senior Saudi religious leaders. 

He had initially been charged with "insulting Islam through electronic channels," but that charge was upgraded to apostasy by a judge. 

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/12/22/saudi-arabia-website-editor-facing-death-penalty
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196 comments
 
Must be one of US's friends in the ME.
 
Well before people start hating on Muslims, not all Muslims agree with this
 
And we are supposed to believe that anyone in Saudi Arabian government is actually sane?
 
+Mike Elgan I know I live in a different part of the world, growing up in a Protestant country (being an atheist myself), I am still amazed at how far these countries and these leaders take their faith, their religion and their politics. I just have to shake my head! sad face!
 
How can you judge a country by one example?
Since there was one shooting in the US does that mean everyone is a criminal?
Understand a culture before passing a judgment
 
People don't have the same rights as we do, and yet people here complain about everything all the time.
 
Bill, in case you hadn't noticed, Raif Badawi (the creator of this website) and his users probably are sane by any reasonable measure.

So YES, there actually are sane people in Saudi Arabia.

[ETA: Bill changed his comment to refer to the SA government, not everyone in SA. Thanks, Bill.]
 
Oil talk so not interesting (average country wise speaking)
 
It's a well known fact that the rulers of Saudi Arabia use a very sectarian interpretation of Islam to enforce their control over the country and it's resources. This brave man deserve all the help we can get him.
 
What is that supposed to mean? a country's laws is their law.
And not all of Saudi laws are islamic
 
The only laws that are valid are those that come from the people of the land either directly or by their democratically elected representatives.
 
No that's wrong, a country has the right to make its laws
 
Not all countries are "free" as US must be respected I think
 
What do you mean by country? I live in Canada. Canada don't make laws it is the people we elect who makes the laws and if we Canadian are not satisfied with those laws we can vote for someone else at the next elections and have these laws change. Laws are made by people not by abstract entity.
 
+Claude St-Louis The question is how we can help. Considering that Hamza Kashgari has been in prison for almost a year now for three respectful and harmless tweets (the "crime" was not to completely agree with Muhammad) I'm skeptical that western public outrage will be enough.
 
+Michael Bernstein it should have said Saudi Arabian government - I edited the comment. Nobody with an ounce of sanity should think you deserve to die for expression of views.
 
+Claude St-Louis who are you to say what a law is? You support democracy, and so do I. But I also believe that a country can decide how it should be run
 
Do not talk about free and US that to me is the reverse as of late +Pablo Francisco they have some serious issues about free imho.
 
+Humzah Khan That would only be a valid comparison if said shooter only shot up the school after he went through the legal system and received valid permission to mass murder. Obviously, individuals are unique and I know many Muslims disagree with insanity, but that doesn't change the fact that this is insane. 
 
+Alexander Neumann Does anyone know of an effective way to pressure the Saudi govt. to free this victim of the most extreme form of censorship ?
 
Free has a spectrum of definitions and interpretations
 
+Humzah Khan My values don't change depending on what nationality somebody is. I think you should be able to criticize religion or authority in general no matter whether you're Saudi or American because I think that this is the only way we can improve societies and ensure peace. I think it would be hypocritical of me and others who think alike to make exceptions for other countries.
 
+Humzah Khan i am a muslim arab girl living in north africa (tunisia) and saudian leaders don't represent Islam .
Translate
 
This is what happens when religion rules. Ridiculous notions that people are not allowed to think for themselves or criticize their leaders. History reveals the same thing. Here is a very pure look at what life was like in the dark ages.
 
Intolerance of alternate views is the human condition. Democracy is a slow motion riot with rules that has no choice but tolerance. It drives us all crazy and keeps us sane at the same time. Go figure.
 
And to think the US govt supports the Saudis, bummer.
 
And I like to add the US as the bringer of all things free. As long as it serves them cult.
 
Saudi Arabia is one huge jail period. Absolutely no freedom of conscience or expression. Wake up Saudis and rebel through small acts of defiance, sabotage, grafitti, using technology, etc. 
 
Naw +James Mason this guy was fucked once he choose to do this an knew it. It is a statement. Very fat kudo´s for that.
 
I actually can't imagine how people can live in Saudi Arabia!

 
Saudi Arabian judges are dangerous to humanity.
 
And jyet you (US) are the most big time guns retail country into the world and you allow citizens to own a gun and yet you have a problem? You lock up someone who tells the truth for once, you lock up individuals with no process and you call Saudi Arabia a huge jail period ? Think again +Mark Stuckless ... please.
 
And I have to be true this guy does not belong in jail let me be clear about that one. double ..
 
Stop using Saudi oil now. That's where their power to oppress their people comes from.
 
interesting.  I'm not Saudi so I have no opinion about someone else's country and government.   I am role modeling something rarely used in the U.S. and the world anymore.  it's called "minding one's own business"

Had this happened in the U.S where I live.  I'd have have a very strong opinion.
 
Minus one to that +Andrea Sveva Karshan - they should have the freedom to say what they like. If its critical of a barbaric religion that oppresses women and mandates mutilating baby girls then more power to them.
 
Are your gods so weak that they cannot stand a few words on a website?
 
+Claude St-Louis this needs to be done using the quite back door.if we make a huge issue of this they will take the extreme position. Keep in mind they are our allies , I think.
 
One thing people dont know about Saudi Arabia is that its like Vatican from Christian people. Just imagine one vaticanian will create a website opposing Vatican policy itself, what will be the ruling? This Guy dont have dignity to his own.
 
I've never been to North Korea and seen their labour camps. Have you? We judge on the basis of human rights, on ethics, on values that stem from our humanity. That does not have borders. Religious potentates wielding power they say is from god instead of coming from the people have no business making such laws. Do you support stoning this guy to death?
 
Humans will always fascinate me. Uncessary risks. 
 
I agree with +Andrea Sveva Karshan it should say that if you want to play basketball, you should do it in a place with ring in court yard. Not with people who are sleeping. Learn to play, so God will help you. Also, for political side, Saudi Arabia is a Kingdom State, a nondemocratic country that you can excersice whatever youre believing a "Freedom of Speech", there is always limit to it.

I am in a Gulf State where I like the environment where you can't see people screaming people on street, fighting for something. If you have problem, there is always a room for it. My family has safety ideologically, physically and mentally.
 
+Andrea Sveva Karshan Murdering someone for his opinion is not acceptable in a civil society. I don't believe in the Koran or that Muhammad was a prophet. Do I deserve to die for that ? Says who ? 
 
Where the heck do people get all their ideas about Islam from? Becuasease it sounds like I am practicing a different Islam.

 
+Andrea Sveva Karshan so you think the death penalty for saying some words is just fine. The story says he is charged with apostasy which is rejecting god - it is indefensible for any country to make such a ruling. I think this man is a hero. You think he should have his head cut off. 
 
People say that "no man is greater than God".  That does not seem to be what he is in trouble for.  He has criticised other human beings and that is what he is actually in trouble for.
 
+Scott Watson, that's what I thought, too. I fail to understand what he did that qualifies as "apostasy", except in the most tortuous and contorted way.
 
Anyone who claims that he has rejected God by criticising some people is trying to elevate those people to divine status   Surely that is blasphemy?
 
just when I thought the world was becoming a better place
 
This is a Western site, if we feel like bitching about things we feel are unjust in another country its our right to do so. 
 
We know not all Muslims agree with the saudis but people wont stand for draconian regimes,but some of the blame rests on others who arm these fundamentals then turn the other cheek all in the name of a dollar,pound... 
 
+Andrea Sveva Karshan but our treason would be based on country not what religion you are . Please don't compare my freedom with your religion.
 
Saudi arabia needs a bigger revolution, as we did in tunisia. thats really more than "haram" and islam is innocent from those evils.
 
+Thomas Aschemann the dark ages? How is a government execution for apostasy like Germanic pagan tribes raiding and pillaging other tribes and the Roman Empire?
 
what they did with this guy is not in islam in any thing, they do this to protect themselves and their system ( senior saudi religious leaders. are part of this system )  majority of muslims do not love them because they are scientists the authority 
 
+Andrea Sveva Karshan - it's not like you robbing a bank and me saying you shouldn't be arrested. This man did not metaphorically rob a bank. He built the roads that the bank robbers used to get to the bank that was robbed.

I understand that you need to abide by local laws, however it is the application of these laws that is completely fucked.

This man created a website. He did not say anything about Muhammad nor Allah. The question is, why is he getting punished for building the roads.

Earlier this year (or last) a man was sentenced to death for writing an FTP program which was used by OTHER PEOPLE to transfer pornography. The law, and state, is idiotic in there application of the law.
 
+Andrea Sveva Karshan I can say what I wish to one of another faith and disagree with any politician president included so what you call treason is just forces compliance of Islam. I feel sad for you.
 
Incredible! Only those afraid of new ideas would do that!
 
+Adam Hewitt first you need a country who we call our friend to defend religious freedom. They are very good at teaching hatchet men and women to propagate what they consider a country when in fact they have to kill the own people to force unwanted fanatical Islam.
 
This man has "Apostasy" written all over him. Good enough for me. Off with his head!
 
+Tony Sandoval You don't have to be a Saudi to have an opinion about their laws and legal system and corresponding lack of freedom of conscience and expression.  You can still hold to a non-interventionist foreign policy without sacrificing your right to say that what they are doing to this guy is WRONG and it SUCKS!
 
+Humzah Khan "How can one judge a country by this", I saw someone ask. They then compared this to the Connecticut shootings... Well, the CT shootings were carried out by an obviously disturbed individual. This death sentence was handed down by a recognized country's judicial branch. If we consider that country's judicial branch "obviously deranged" then the comparison is valid.
 
Seems the U.S.A. missed invasion of an oil country to "spread Democracy".  
 
+Tariq Munir you use the phrase Saudi Government like they really have one. In fact a bunch of rich guys that we made rich hide behind this thing they call religion. The term dictatorship works better and tells the true story.
 
If you kill on US or steal you gonna face death. If you drive drunk you will get 10 years in some states. So what make you guys think that all you do is correct ? Because you agree with them. Some people dont. Some countries dont. 
 
+Mike Elgan wow this post has started a fire storm. An utopian society... Where people can speak freely without fear of repercussions.
 
You know what really gets me is when they send a women who has no rights at all and put a mask on and then tell her to trash anything but Islam, what a pile of crap.
 
+Kait Helix if your talking about America at least we can complain and you get to keep your head, what a deal.
 
+Andrea Sveva Karshan I don't get it, you have know rights and are considered by many to be a slab of meat. You cover your head because they the men say so. Then they send you to try to defend this corrupted Saudi legal system using your Superior religious intellect to defend the men who don't even like you, really!
 
Insert  "gun control" as the justification.  Then you may understand cultural diversity better.
 
To us we do every day what he took into another country where people have very little rights if any. People will die if if they step out of place. God help those that try to show we are stronger when we stand together, therefore makes him a threat and must die. God bless the USA. We are past that
 
The Saudis are brutal pigs. We suck up to them and their barbarism for oil. Just saw a video on the beheading of a person convicted of rape. Hope he got a fair trial. I can't stand these people, their culture, the barbarism and their ridiculous faith. And I am sick of not being able to express this.

+穆海鹰  asks a good question. Is it possible?
 
Saudi arabia isn't the perfect country to say it rules by islamic rules by my opinion, people shouldn't judge islam by countries but by the holly qouraan. And if governments ruled by its rules the world would be at peace. Islam is about extremely respecting religions. People who hate islam hate it because it limits there boundary of having fun and injoing life but no one think that why are we here. know what islam is then judge us dont judge us with our leaders.
 
Bill and michael if saudi people are sane then americans cant have petrol because the saudi people hate americans having no cultural heridity so india has. I rather say saudi people are generous enough to let you people have people. I quesion yours intellectuality being uncultured like animals having sex with every bietch of almost all streets.
 
+mohammad turk people who don't  Islam don't do so because it limits our boundaries on having fun and enjoying life. Here is why I DONT LIKE IT.... It is just another religion created by men along with two other abrahamic religions that seem to cause no end to the trouble in this world and the amount of blood that the have spilled. Perhaps the Jews the least over history, despite the barbaric Israeli counter attaks. You are not anyone to say why we are here anymore than anyone else. The fact is no one knows and it will remain that way for the time being. Cling to fairy tales if you must, I won't deny you that crutch but don't impose it on me and don't assume you know why I don't like Islam.
 
Nonsense. Words cant break my bones.
 
Fine thanks for the clarification +Pirduan Sunnty. Don't like Islam for the reasons above anyway. And still hate he Saudis for the above reasons as well.
 
And exactly which religion is the charge of Apostasy referring to? And exactly where is the holiest city in all of Islam? Please.
 
The writer of this article is not objective; he is ecpressing his own perspective regardless of what the truth is ... I think the content in Saudi liberal website should be publicized and translated "correctly" in Arabic and English.. of course KSA closed that website and got the truth vieled! 
 
Dude chill i said my opinion and man u wouldn't say that if u read the holly qouraan because it is written in it about every thing happening now and it knows everything EVERTHING(im giving u clues k) but muslim scientists didnt discover them yet. Its ur decision. ألله يهدي من يشاء.
 
This discussion is just going on an on about laws made by men or by a "god" and people who interpret them to their will... nibody ia talking about what's moral here. And moral is to not take a life, no matter the reason.
 
+mohammad turk I am trying to chill. But there is an intelligent young man's life at stake here because of silly superstition, a fairy tale and a brutal monarchy. It is hard. Don't mean to take it out on you but it is what I think. I got about half way through the Quoran and found it to be unacceptable as I did the bible and the torah. This kind of god is a fairy tale to me. He is hateful, full of contradictions and just plane not relevant anymore TO ME. I appreciate your honest attempt at trying to help me, honestly I do. I know you have the best intentions and for that I love you as a human being and apologize for my aggressive behavior towards you personally, this kind of headline just burns my last nerve. Poor boy. apsotosy....pffft.

And where is Mecca +mohammad turk ?
 
+Adrian Ciubotariu I agree with exactly what you are saying except I disagree that it is always wrong to take a life. Self defense or defense of your children, loved once's or an innocent person about to be killed by criminals are reasons I would kill. But I agree, the question here is about morality not about Islam.
 
Well one shouldn't be surprised!  The Theocracy Islam is basically a totalitarian ideology.  So be it.
 
your comment sucks. no offence,great dinner, i could have gone for tenths.
 
Should we pity Bronze Age clogs or suggest they update their system?  
 
religion should go back to mosques and churches.
 
yes, they afraid of every free mind. they are like Iran's government.
 
+John Miller 
bro, every religion becomes a totalitarian if it governs people.
 
sounds like a country we need to stop giving aid to.
 
Created by MAN, MEN same difference all created by man yes there may be and is I believe a higher being or some thing like that  but yes man is to blame for all of this.
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The majority of the citizens are in favor of the sharia, so the blogger and all of you should respect that.
 
Limitation & banning d brain functioning....how pitty...
 
+Hamza A 'the majority of citizens'? You dare use democracy as an argument? did that include the women? and the people who didn't believe "the right things"?
 
LOL +Katharina Kettner . "You use democracy as an argument."

+Hamza A Why are there so many arabs and muslims escaping from the middle east? Because it sucks to live there. Where are muslims happy? How about, USA, France, UK, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Italy....everywhere except Muslim countries. They run like scared rabbits from your sharia law if they have the resources to do so. You indoctrinate the children and don't think twice about causing violence to women if they don't comply. Oppressed people don't stay that way forever, sharia and extreme Islam's days are numbered as we see in Egypt. To hell with sharia. 
 
+Hamza A and even worse, when arabs and extreme muslims get to the these countries that take them in, what do they try to do? Turn those countries into the countries they fled from. Intolerant, can't even respect the laws of another country. So what if there is a film that shows the profit in a bad light? Who the hell does that hurt? You people have to go off like a bunch of monkeys screaming in the streets, causing violence, and then want the UN to pass laws against such talk. Well see in the USA I can talk about the profit fornicating with a donkey and that is my right. Understand?
 
Killing for saying an opinion is a crime, it is not according to Islam killing  for saying what you believe in. Those who is criticise their government should be set with and find out what is possible to be done to have better life for their people  
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I see all the comments here and i think most of them came from U.S citizens!
What im trying to say is there was a shooting and kids died in a puplic school in the past weeks and you are trying to solve something thousnds of miles away from you and i dont see how you are related to it, so i believe YOU SHOULD MIND YOUR OWN BUSINES and but this huge energy you have to solve your own problems
 
I don't understand Islam and the Laws of this country...why your country allow this? Is there really no freedom and is that really a law? Is this really what your Allah wants? 
 
I don't understand Islam and the Laws of this country...why your country allow this? Is there really no freedom and is that really a law? Is this really what your Allah wants? 
 
+Axel Kratel this is an international site where you are free to spout off your opinions whether they are right or wrong.
 
+Talal Mohd I don’t think so, there is no such your business and min in globalism , We in the Arab world also reacted to the killing accident, when it come to general opening conversation, we should be open and have the ability to share it with others  
 
+Virtutis Gloriamerces No, it is not all I have.  I was merely using your own words to point out the underlying ignorance of your attitude. It's obvious it did go over your head.
 
Actually, I don't care what you do.
 
you have to stop hating. you just keep talking about muslims !!!
we have lay. and they know what they are doing !
 
Well he is a Saudi citizen. He knows the rules. Let him be a martyr for his cause.
 
we have love but NOT for anyone :) So my government know what they are doing :)
 
So much of the world is run by troglodytes. Not painting a great picture of Muslims. 
 
+David Hockedy that is true, but in the eyes of Muslims you can also say a lot of the comments here are not painting a great picture...
 
This kind if treatment is well and truly justified in Islam. Unfortunately apostasy is the correct charge as his open conversation presents an instant threat to their closed system. Only a reformed version of Islam would be capable of treating him with tolerance and reasonableness.

Islams punishment for apostasy is death. It's in the scripture itself and preached by its leaders.

I feel sorry for such brave souls as he that must surely know the trouble they're bringing down on themselves. They're the brave pioneers in the initial stages of Islams reformation. A reformation that  will be anything but peaceful.
 
I recommend saudi people to use TOR .
so ur govement cant track your internet..

 
Isn't God almighty? Does God have to rely on people to defend Him by killing other people? What will happen to God if this particular human being is spared?
 
It's very hard to decide what's right and what's not right here, He opened the channel for individuals to cause potential harm and conflict upon each-other.  SA is a country which relies very heavy on its cultural reputation. I think that the judge would have made a decision which he didn't want to make, such a young handsome man.  The problem is with blogging, is that it's not the owner who gets out of hand, it's the members, and they can control. Remember  the principal  #1 The platform is the people, they can make you, they can also break you.
 
developers know across boarders and issues on electronic communications.  This man does not have to be another example of human error.  how does the www get others in dangerous situations unforeseen by others?
 
I like the verdict, let the puppets face the death-penalty.
 
+Robert Lowe Ya know, I don't think that's really the case. Where did you get your stats?
 
+Claude St-Louis I like that the people make the laws, but I will stay with my country, at least in the U.S. We have freedom of speech.
 
+Claude St-Louis hey good luck, in trying to help. I agree with you, killing him because he speaks his mind that's terrible
 
Muslims accept Issa (Jesus) as a prophet. They should look at his example. When a woman caught in adultery was brought before him by the religious leaders who were ready to stone her to death, he drew in the sand. Then rising up he said let him among you that is without sin cast the first stone. Starting with the eldest down to the youngest, they all eventually walked away leaving Jesus alone with the woman whom he forgave. Muslims are very interested in Issa and should follow his example of forgiving rather than condemning.
 
he obviously needs to die. I see no other way. (please smell the sarcasm)
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Are you kidding me!! Run to the US embassy! 
 
+arif dadi I read pretty well but have know idea what you just said. Really, try it again after you give it some thought.
 
Religion is the drug of masses. And that judge is really high and stupid.
 
I hope everyone realizes that Catholics and all other religions have done this at some point throughout history. When it comes to religion if anybody disagrees the only way that they feel they can do anything about it is to make them go away. So many people think that the religion a follow is peaceful when people are killed in the name of religion everyday.
 
+Humzah Khan For the same reason I have and continue to hate on the USA for having completely out of date gun laws, I will hate on Saudi Arabia for having the medieval, religious-based laws like apostasy on the books.
 
+Talal Mohd I'm not from the USA and in my country we, nearly 20 years ago, considerably tightened our guns laws. So based on your logic I should be able to say that I think existence in Saudi Arabia of a medieval, religious-based law like apostasy in the 21st century not only proves that the Saudi leadership are out of touch with the modern world it also demonstrates the insecurity the leadership has about its religion.
 
The other thing to keep in mind here is that the Saudi Kings are largely secularists.  They only choose to "honor" those parts of Sharia Law that are convenient to their retention of wealth and power.  Like most forms of Christianity, Islamic teachings can be a great training course for slave labor.  The leadership doesn't really buy any of it.

As for "he's just posting his thoughts" -- in some parts of the world thoughts can be very dangerous.  For example, someone "though" it was a good idea to:

1. Define 'treason' as an offense punishable by death (perhaps reasonable)
2. Define speaking one's mind regarding the leadership as being treason. (woops)

Is #2 a heinous crime?  Not unless someone 'says' it is.  And yet we had someone on this thread earlier try to argue that the punishment fits because the action was "treason." -- giving no consideration to the idea that someone just arbitrarily made up that rule one day.

I think the Saudi Kings know better than most Americans the power of just 'saying' stuff.  In America, saying something is so commonplace that it's kind of lost its potency.  In Saudi Arabia, though, being able to be the one who 'says' stuff is essentially having the power to re-shape reality in your image.
 
+Don Barlow Do you suggest that we ask our govt. to act diplomatically on our behalf to solve this? 
 
+Rosemarie Otero That's the heart of the matter. Freedom of speech is also the freedom to think what you want and not necessarily what other people think Dissent is possible. Dissent is a danger to those who hold power therefore the population of the state must think only what will be acceptable by those who hold the power. Freedom is a threat to tyranny. 
 
+Najib Killas That won't solve the problem that the authority have to control a population who is more and more informed and able to pass judgement on their actual leader. Sooner or later, peacefully of violently they will need to give more power to the people.
 
not true
it really annoys me how you insist that the world must be run the way you want it to be
Respect other cultures, understand them before you judge them
 
Reminds me of something Forrest Gump's mom told him - "Religion is as religion does."
Gives enough clues.
 
why do you live in such place? live now while you still have a chance..
 
+Sergio Varela it has taken some time to get back with on this view of yours on religion. I really can see why you think those things about religion because I felt some of it in my teens. I'm not here to trash your views but to ask simple questions. When you look at the stars and your told you go forever what does that mean to you? Infinity is a word that I have been trying to understand for fifty years. I still haven't a clue what it means. If I can have this conversation with you on neutral ground that would be great . If not , no hard feelings.
 
+Don Barlow God has given us limited brain power- there many things we do not understand
 
...I'm still trying to understand how this man, who simply MADE a website is being told he REJECTED GOD. How the hell does programming a few lines of code equate into a religious offence? (Nevermind the fact that other MEN are handing down this sentence and not GOD him(her/it)self.
So that means if I merely correct someone's punctuation in some text where they're "defiling" something from the Quran, then I'm also going to be beheaded too? Really? So maybe they need to round up every teacher that taught anything in Saudi Arabia...after all, the first "crime" apparently was SENTIENT THOUGHT....

Remember, a nation's strength is only as good as its people. If those people are held together by something as individualistic as religion, then be prepared to literally practice what you preach. Every religion in the world is being tested. People are ready to wake up from the overt obuscation and bastardisation of faith that is meant only as a way to oppress. 450 years ago, some people left Europe to try and seek out a new life where they could practice their faith without fear. Also at that same time, other people believed spreading "the gospel" meant enslaving, and killing those who didn't "recieve Jesus."

I'm pretty sure any state set up on the basis of religion as it's basic principles would have the same laws as Saudi Arabia. We don't have this system in America, but we still have the same problem at times. I could be classified as a "terrorist" (without prior notice as to why, and under what juristiction too) if you were to interpet parts of our law the "wrong" way. All it takes is the "right" judge.

The real issue here is how are the laws that govern the State being interpeted.
 
Where is the link to the site so we can see the comments/ conversations?
 
I can see the notion of "limited brain power" if everyone who promotes thinking for themseves gets prosecuted and killed. There is a precedence in Muslim history, when printing was abolished in 1483 and only taken up in the 18th century (by this speed blogging will probably be allowed in 2300 ;-).
Islamic culture and knowledge really had had it coming before, between 800 and 1200, with Ibn Rushd probably one of the last great thinkers (who by the way propagated the separation of civic/legal society and religion), and when Muslims did respect - and properly appropriate - other cultures, from Aristotle to fire arms. So what happened? Islam Golden Age ended with the Plague and the arrival of the Mongools.
 
We can end Saudi Arabia's ability to stay in power by stripping oil of its strategic status. It wouldn't be that hard to do, wouldn't cost any taxpayer money, and would greatly boost the American economy. I'm talking about the Open Fuel Standard. Check out openfuelstandard.org and see what I mean. This could completely change the game. And a wonderful side effect is that gas prices would come down a lot. OPEC would no longer have so much influence on gas prices and we would no longer have to contribute so much of each of our personal income to the Save the King Foundation: http://www.openfuelstandard.org/2012/10/will-price-of-gas-ever-return-to-normal.html
 
+Humzah Khan Yes but this is one of many many examples of extreme islam. And if the majority of muslims don't agree why aren't they speaking out against it?
 
This is is an atrocity! This is Sharia law doing what it does. It is an unfair, unrealistic political system that is from a vile and brutal regime. Islam is not a religion but totalitarian regime that is cruel and unjust in every way. People are punished or killed for having an opinion! This must be stopped and only if people with stand up in one voice outraged will they listen. Be their mirror, show in disgust your  reaction to such horrors! The Saudi Royals live with such double standards! They are the biggest hypocrites on the planet!
 
You don't have to live in the middle east or be a muslim to figure out what islam & the majority of muslims are really about. Just read the news on a daily basis, most of the terror & murdering is being perpetrated by muslims world wide. I cannot think of any positive contributions that islam has ever made to civilization. And as for Sowdi Arabia, for women it's no better than a prison.
 
+Humzah Khan Humzah, you are perfectly right about not using one country as an example for all. The Wahhabis are heretical Muslims (however much they pretend to be exemplars of orthodoxy), but they control over 90% of Muslim institutions elsewhere. And examples of Islamic extremism are not restricted to Saudi Arabia. What about Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Aceh province in Indonesia, Mali, Somalia, Egypt, and most other Islamic countries. The problem is ubiquitous. The overwhelming faith-based hatred for Jews and Israel is without parallel in history. I know of many reformist, moderate Muslims in many countries, but they seem to be outnumbered everywhere, and many of them have fallen foul of even 'moderate' governments. Without a reformation, Islam will remain stuck with extremism for a very long time.
 
So, what's new? IsIam breeds nothing but economic stagnation, oppression and mindless violence and it's been that way for over 1,000 years. However, every country is entitled to have laws and rules to be followed by it's citizens. If you break those laws, no matter how stupid or ignorant they might be, you face the penalty. In Saudi Arabia and other muslim countries you can marry a nine year old girl, rape a women and make her twice the victim. That's just how it is. 
 
Just spoke to Jesus on Skype and he says he is not a Muslim. And that's from the horse's mouth, so to speak. So 'ows about that then?
 
Please let us not lose sight of the difference between the obnoxious doctrines of Islam and the plight of ordinary Muslims who are born into this religion and who cannot escape from it under penalty of death.
 
I admire the courage of those Muslims who speak out against the imams and sheiks; our own leaders are so weak-willed to allow this into Western countries,
 
+Humzah Khan I undersestand  Humzah, but are all the ordinary muslims speaking out? Surely a government must listen to  it's people if the majority are with the right of people to blog etc
 
Missy Murphy, please understand that Islam, unlike other religions, demands the death penalty for apostasy.  Our own civic leaders continually praise Islam as a 'religion of peace' when it is clearly nothing of the sort.  Can you expect 'ordinary Muslims' to speak out against their religion when Western governments do so much to encourage its spread?
 
Mark ... indeed. If you fly with the ducks, the chances are you will get shot with the ducks.
 
The world has to be very careful how islamic matters are discussed.  At the moment there is a world conspiracy going on and it is all about them.  No one is paying attention to the fact that all muslims have believed in this religion that has been kidnapping, raping and murdering people especially women and children and has stolen land that does not belong to them.  They are vicious in their attacks yet very silent and any muslim promoting any kind of pathetic arguments should be taken with a pinch of salt.  No one has ever taken up the fact that they have killed over and over again to spread islam.  Now they are killing us mentally with all these games.  I would be very careful how I look at this matter.  Now they are out to get sympathy votes.  But they are criminals.  It is written in the Koran that they have to kill all non muslims and their women have contributed equally or more to the spread of this vile religion.  Be careful.  They are playing with your mind because they know they have committed crime.
 
"Apostasy" is Classic Islamic for "getting a brain". Islamics are not familiar with this simple human phenomenon. Instead, the 1 1/2 billion of them all have to share one insane book from the 7th-8th century. Killing takes the problem away - or so the ridiculous book says.
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