back to article Forget 1,000 lashes for Facebook posts, Saudis now want to behead blogger Raif Badawi

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi – sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for announcing he is an atheist on Facebook – may now be beheaded by his government. "We have received information from reliable sources that there are attempts within the Penal Court to retry ‪‎Raif Badawi‬ on apostasy charges again," his wife said …

  1. Awil Onmearse
    Facepalm

    Embarrassing?

    "It could be that the Saudi authorities are hoping Badawi will do the same and bring the internationally embarrassing saga to an end, but that’s by no means certain."

    Recant [apostasy] and issue a public apology before spending a couple of years in prison? Show's you what a state we're in when that is apparently not fucking embarrassing!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Embarrassing?

      The good news is that while atheists face beheading by the Saudis, ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists (themselves partial to beheading infidels) can enjoy 5 star prison treatment with red carpet, queen sized beds, TV and shower:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/this-is-what-islam-tells-us-to-do-a-rare-glimpse-inside-a-saudi-arabian-prison--where-isis-terrorists-are-showered-with-perks-and-privileges-10080548.html

      Apparently "this is what Islam tells them to do".

      It's nice to know we have decent, civilized countries who have their priorities straight as allies.

  2. mourner
    Stop

    This is why and where the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" doctrine falls down. Today it is "you just got added to the $person_of_uninteresting_array". Tomorrow - $uninteresting = $interesting and you lose your head - hopefully in one clean chop.

    Lists are bad m'kay, just don't do it. It always ends badly.

    1. Elmer Phud

      "Lists are bad m'kay, just don't do it. It always ends badly."

      hadaway an shite?

      No.

      1. AbelSoul
        Trollface

        Re: hadaway an shite

        Surely you mean hadaway is shite?

        1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

          Re: hadaway an shite

          Surely in this case Hadaway is sunni?

  3. FuzzyTheBear

    Trouble , nothing but trouble

    Religions is nothing but troube , massacres , violence and wars.

    I hope they disappear off the planet. I jokingly replied to a friend's comment ..

    " The greatest achievement of the Devil is to have us believe he dosen't exist "

    i replied

    " The greatest achievement of the Devil is to have us believe God exists "

    Killing in the name of God makes no sense. Total insanity in fact.

    .

    1. Mike Bell

      Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

      Killing in the name of God makes no sense.

      Actually, it makes a lot of sense, as it protects and entrenches religion by eradicating competition. Darwinism in action, but at a cultural meme level.

      It's a nasty tawdry business. In my book, religion is about as useful to the world as Ebola.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

        http://www.metrolyrics.com/dumb-all-over-lyrics-frank-zappa.html

        You can't run a country

        By a book of religion

        Not by a heap

        Or a lump or a smidgeon

        Of foolish rules

        Of ancient date

        Designed to make

        You all feel great

        While you fold, spindle

        And mutilate

        Those unbelievers

        From a neighboring state

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

        "“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

        Now thats just silly giving all moden world leaders somthing like this to aspire too, even a new title with pacificly set ot guides as to take the title of " Badder than God".

        theres a few that are close, theres that black guy in america, the little pommy wimp, abbot and puke'n.

    3. Jim 59

      Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

      If you can't tell the difference between Mother Teresa picking a dying child out of the gutter, and an totalitarian state torturing its citizens, you are short of MIPS.

      1. Valerion

        Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

        If you can't tell the difference between Mother Teresa picking a dying child out of the gutter, and an totalitarian state torturing its citizens, you are short of MIPS.

        Why do you have to be religious to pick a dying child out of a gutter? It Mother Teresa did that it was because she was a nice person, not because she was religious.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

          She wasn't even a nice person.

    4. Roj Blake

      Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

      I'd just like to point out that Mao and Stalin were atheists.

      Intolerance will always find a way to thrive - with or without religion.

      1. enormous cow turd

        Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

        @ Roj Blake, Mao & Stalin & Kim Il Sung & Pol Pot & Hitler & various Jihadist preachers all replaced their established religions with socialism / comunism / fanaticism. They set themselves up as gods and demanded unquestioning obedience to their doctorine and took their general populations back agrarian illiteracy (to varying degrees). Religion / Political Idealism / Cults = all the same thing. Scare everyone into unthinking stupidity and obediance.

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Hey Saudi authorities!

    A pox* on you and your ridiculous superstitions.

    Everyone deserves the right to ridicule religion.

    It should never be afforded any special status.

    * To use another equally silly superstition.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > The sentence brought condemnation, but little else, from governments around the world.

    Well, unless it endangers our oil supply, governments aren't going to officially give a rat's arse.

    F*ck me. It's like the 20th Century just didn't happen in these countries.

    For this kind of thing we need worldwide governmental sanctions. This is just one case among thousands or millions of quiet atheistic realisations. If that's not a vicious, brutal oppression of people worthy of international sanctions, I don't know what is.

    The apostacy of the religious to atheism is the quiet revolution that hardly anyone talks about but it is the final waking up of people from our bronze age mysticism, the realisation of our proper birthright: the real world, full of wonder and astonishment.

    Carl Sagan: "This is better than we thought. The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant." F*ck yeah.

    1. Cliff

      Basically, oil, yeah. Even though that's more complex than first sight, evidenced by the recent price slashes some say are engineered to keep Putin, Chavez (or successor), ISIS (captured wells) on the back foot at a time they're getting a bit big for their boots.

      Religion is corrupting, I am not a fan. I have my own set of superstitions/quasi-religious beliefs that I find convenient to reassure me against my overwhelming terror of not actually mattering a while bunch in the scheme of things, but that's my business. I certainly wouldn't try to force then on anyone - I know they're irrational, but they serve a purpose for me, and I think everyone should be free to pursue their own irrational yet comforting beliefs.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        re: not mattering

        Each to their own, live and let live, etc.

        But this really baffles me. Why are people terrified of not mattering? It seems to be a widespread affliction.

        1. Cliff

          Re: re: not mattering

          >>>But this really baffles me. Why are people terrified of not mattering? It seems to be a widespread affliction.<<<

          I wish I knew, it's not useful to me. It would be great to be cool with life and death just being a part of the protein cycle - but I'm not, I'm uncomfortable with impermanence.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Coat

            Re: re: not mattering

            You keep your bloody protein cycle rubbish, I'm part of the carbon cycle and if you don't like it....outside, NOW

            1. earl grey Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: re: not mattering

              We all matter. Soylent Green doesn't grow on trees.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: not mattering

            Cliff, though, being a fool and not cool I mean.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Twentieth? More like 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th altogether.

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        7th century...

        ...is when Islam was founded, and it's therefore 7 centuries behind other religions. 7 centuries ago Christians were behaving in what we now regard as an uncivilised manner. One day, I hope, Islam's fundamentalist followers will also learn culture and become like the rest of normal decent humanity. And in that group I include the majority of Muslims who condemn their mad co-religionists.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Meh

          Re: 7th century...

          Just to provide balance (from an atheist).

          In terms of mathematics and science, Islam was WAY ahead of it's Christian counterparts, so we came along and burned all the books and killed / subduded anyone that didn't believe the earth was flat, the sun revolved around the earth and that God created and ran everything.

          Islam, if anything, has come more like Christianity of old...and BTW it's a relevantly new change of direction.

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: 7th century...

            "If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them."

            Caliph Omar Bar-Hebraeus ordering the destruction of the Library at Alexandria.

            Good at sums maybe, perhaps not so enlightened.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 7th century...

          " ...is when Islam was founded, and it's therefore 7 centuries behind other religions."

          Because Christianity is a paragon of virtue, tell that to the victims of the Catholic church this last century, to name but one bunch of &^!!_%$.

          Apartently, GOD* built this tiny bit of rock in the goldielocks zone of one solar system on the edge of one of a billion galaxies, on the edge of this particular universe in order to put a higher** lifeform amde in his|her|it's image so they could praise him|her|it.

          So, he|she|it either exists*** and they're an egotistical shit not worthy of praise or _men_ invented yet another "religion" story as a form of power and control over people, 2000 years ago, people with a level intelligence that pales in comparison with what we**** have today.

          Begars belief***** that poeple haven't put these fairie stories in the bin where they belong.

          * If there's a deity, it's name is Mathematics (minus all the religious social engineering praise me bullshit) [irony]

          ** Belief in a diety proves it's not.

          *** No it doesn't

          **** Some of us

          ***** irony again (US residemts, Muslims please note)

          Feel free to downvote, I'll put you in the comtempt bin with religion where you belong.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >It's like the 20th Century just didn't happen in these countries.

      I suspect that it's partially *because* the 20th Century happened to a lot of their neighbours. It was therefore important that the Saudis kept their country orderly and in-line, lest they lose control of the oil wells, and experience the West importing "20th Century" into their country as well.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Well, unless it endangers our oil supply, governments aren't going to officially give a rat's arse."

      As far as the UK is concerned you can add Arm's deals to that. I can't put into words the contempt I have for this, the Saidi's and our Govt's past and present.

  6. Captain DaFt

    Just a thought

    If you require fear, torture, and execution to keep people faithful to your doctrine of faith, beauty, and benevolence, maybe, just maybe, you're doing something horribly wrong.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just a thought

      The Catholic church never had a problem with that.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Just a thought

        What I said applies to all religions.

        1. Cliff

          Re: Just a thought

          Not sure it does apply evenly to all religions, though. Buddhism seems less keen on that stuff TBH.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Give some thought about all this...

    The ISIS is basically Saudi based and a sect of Wahhabi Islam. The royal family has supported the Wahhabi sect of Islam with money and support. What makes anyone think this guy is going to be pardoned?

    This isn't just "embarrassing" to the Sauds, this is the tip of the iceberg. Be afraid, be very afraid. And yes, world governments will look the other way because of oil and money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Give some thought about all this...

      ISIS is doing what the Royal House of Saud has always considered to be its mission and has avoided doing only because they do not want to engage in open war which they can lose. If ISIS is successful, I give it a grand total of 2 years before it is absorbed into what it was created for in the first place - a reincarnation of the grand Caliphate from ~ 9th century or thereabouts. With a member of the house of Saud at the helm.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: Give some thought about all this...

        This is not the Saudi government practicing some extreme form of radical Islam. It is the Saudi government killing its opponents and keeping the population oppressed, just like dictators everywhere.

        Speak out against the party line and you will be lashed, or shot in the back outside the Kremlin, sent to the Ghulag, machine gunned en-masse, sent to the camp, etc. etc. etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Give some thought about all this...

          > This is not the Saudi government practicing some extreme form of radical Islam. It is the Saudi government killing its opponents and keeping the population oppressed, just like dictators everywhere.

          I beg to differ.

          This chap merely stated that he has a different opinion about the nature of the cosmos. For this, the Saudis want to kill him.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Give some thought about all this...

        "Royal House of Saud" Irrelevant peseants before oil.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not unexpected with a new King

    Typically repressive regimes become more repressive after the ascension of a new leader, as letting up would be seen as weak and embolden the opposition.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reproachless

    Thank Deity that we are reproachless..that we don't ever encroach on human rights and that we don't support these people buy buying their oil...... Thank Deity that we don't invite each other on royal occasions or spend time on our Royal yachts. Thank Deity that our presidents are not close friends of the bad guys.......

    Maybe we should look in the mirror before looking at others....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reproachless

      Well _I_ haven't done any of those things, thank-you very much...

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: Reproachless

      You don't drive a car, use electricity, fly abroad on holiday then? I assumed from your "we're as bad as them" approach that you were somehow above all this tawdry mess. Yes our governments, and by extension our royalty who act on behalf of the government, tacitly support the Saudi and other extremist governments because they have oil. We don't however imprison, whip or behead people for saying things about religion or for being foreign.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reproachless

        And just how would explain Gitmo and the various CIA collection points. I can only presume that the UK also have their secret rendez-vous points ( US backed of course).

        We beheaded people up until the end of the 17th century....We used to burn, hang, draw and quarter people. I agree that those "anti religion", [commonly known as heresy], practices have been stopped.

        But today we now have "waterboarding" a very, very, very contemporary American technique for "asking" people nice questions. Apparently all it takes is about 3 seconds before the effect takes its toll. Drowning is apparently very,very painfull, let's not talk about the psychological effects

        Or do you prefer to deny that those modern techniques actually exist. Should we presume that all Gitmo inmates are guilty, I have no idea, some of them probably are, I suppose it is just unfortunate for the others. But since it's the Yanks that are doing the kicking then everything must be hunky dory.

        What happens in Saudi Arabia is their problem, we have got to take care of our own problems before looking beyond our borders. Our governments are in a turmoil, corruption is rife, capitilism is reaching it's ends and all you have to worry about is what is happening in Saudi bloody Arabia. Wake up and remove your blinkers, the pain that will strike us next is more likely to come from within than anywhere else. The media have very successfully covered your eyes with everyone else shit... but it's maybe about time to wipe of your own.

        1. Ossi

          Re: Reproachless

          It's not an 'either...or', it's a 'both...and'. Criticise corruption, despotism, inequality, and injustice wherever it is. Why confine yourself to one place? Does the rest of humanity not matter?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Reproachless

            "Does the rest of humanity not matter?"

            The rest of humanity has no importance when one is incapable of practicing what one preaches. Unfortunately contemporary 1st world society appears to have blinded itself to it's own bad practices.

            By focusing on other peoples problems we no longer see our own.

            The golden rule of survival, take care of yourself first, then, and only then, begin to take care of others.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: Reproachless

          Exactly when did radical atheists or secularists fly an airplane into a building in Sa'udi Arabia, killing thousands of innocent people? The U.S. is responding to an act of aggression against innocents, and the Sa'udi government is committing an act of aggression against an innocent. That should be clear to everyone.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Reproachless

            1 : You do not know with 100% certainty who was flying those planes or who put them there !!!

            2 : Saudi Arabian laws are not dictated by the USA, therefore the Saudi Arabian government are not commiting an act of agression against an innocent according to SA law. US laws apply only to the US...

            3 : We have seen recently how the US responds to it's own US innocents on US soil, the police sometimes shoot them.. and were talking about 3 people in the last few months So please cut the crap about saving people in other countries...Especially those which have huge cultural differences. The US needs to clean up it's own mess first.

            Whether you or I agree with Saudi Arabian laws is moot because we do not have to live by them.

            Your rights to Freedom do not necessarily correspond to the same rights of freedom within other cultures. I do not agree that wearing a veil is anything but opressive and yet many muslim women state by wearing it they feel that they feel liberated ...who are we to tell them that they are wrong...

            1. NumptyScrub
              Trollface

              Re: Reproachless

              2 : Saudi Arabian laws are not dictated by the USA, therefore the Saudi Arabian government are not commiting an act of agression against an innocent according to SA law. US laws apply only to the US...

              This was also equally true of Saddam Hussein in Iraq; even though he was acting like a proper totalitarian despot, he was also the sovereign ruler of Iraq and acted entirely under Iraqi law (that he wrote himself, possibly in crayon), yet the US saw fit to go steaming in and replace him anyway. So they need to man the fuck up and go steaming into Saudi to "install democracy" as well, or they'll end up looking like giant hypocritical turds for replacing one human rights violating government, but completely ignoring another.

              I'd put my money on the US deciding that the giant hypocritical turd look is in for this season, but maybe the lure of all those Saudi oil wells will prove me wrong.

            2. John Savard Silver badge

              Re: Reproachless

              "You do not know with 100% certainty who was flying those planes or who put them there !!!"

              No, but I know nutcases when I see them, and the "911 Truth" style movements definitely qualify. In the real world, sometimes we have to live with 99.9999% certainty.

              "Saudi Arabian laws are not dictated by the USA, therefore the Saudi Arabian government are not commiting an act of agression against an innocent according to SA law. US laws apply only to the US..."

              I didn't say anything about Sa'udi Arabia breaking some other country's laws. Aggression against innocent people is an objective matter, and has nothing to do with any particular country's laws. Thus, Negro slavery and the Holocaust were both "legal" according to the laws of the countries that countenanced them, but that mattered not a whit. Right and wrong and justice are absolutes that exist for all times and places, and are not subject to change by human whim, or alterable to benefit vested interests.

              1. NumptyScrub

                Re: Reproachless

                Right and wrong and justice are absolutes that exist for all times and places, and are not subject to change by human whim, or alterable to benefit vested interests.

                "Right" and "wrong" and "justice" are entirely relative, and are constantly redefined as societal norms evolve. The Crusades were considered "right" and "just" at the time, as were the practises of slavery and indentured servitude, for quite some time. The concept of judicial combat (and personal duels) even managed to last well beyond the 16th century when it was outlawed in the UK. The Saudi authorities happen to consider beheading for apostasy to be "right" and "just", and while I completely disagree, I suspect that like me you already know a few people who would consider beheading "right" and "just" for the crime of committing acts of paedophilia.

                I have a personal definition of what is right and what is wrong, which I adhere to, but I'm not naive enough to think that anyone but me has the exact same definition; life constantly puts people in front of me who have (sometimes vastly) different opinions on those concepts. They are certainly not immutable, if my experience is anything to go by.

          2. Roj Blake

            Re: Reproachless

            I'm pretty sure that the inhabitants of Fallujah had nothing to do with 9/11.

    3. Cameron Colley

      Re: Reproachless

      I can't type for other commentards but, personally, I have always been a vocal critic of the UK government's involvement in the torture of citizens of any country by any country.

      Just because Obama showed himself to be just as much a despicable piece of crap as Bush and Guantanamo Bay is still there and still torturing the innocent with no intervention from the government of my country (whom I did not elect) it does not mean I have no right to criticise the less-than-human Saudi government.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Excellent!

    Once that annoying trouble maker is out of the way, we can get on with selling some more jets and arms to them.

    No joke icon, it's no joke.

  11. jake Silver badge

    I've said it before ...

    ... and I'll say it again. Organized religion is the root of all evil.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've said it before ...and you'll say it again and still be wrong

      "Organized religion is the root of all evil."

      Rubbish. It is often the crutch of despots, thugs and thieves, and useful for manipulating those who can't think for themselves. But it is clearly apparent that those who wield the power and line their pockets rarely believe in or abide by the rules they demand of their followers, and always have a very selective view of how and sacred texts are interpreted and applied.

      If Islam weren't around, the people of the Middle East would still be conducting bitter, violent civil conflicts on tribal, nationalist or political grounds. The current level of brutal violence, impoverishment and suffering in the region is proof that (a) there probably isn't a god, and (b) if there is a god, it certainly isn't one that anybody out there claims to worship.

      And that's why Raif Badawi is in trouble, because the vermin that govern Saudi Arabia are a non-democratic elite, whose hold on a very fast growing population is weakening fast. The falling oil price isn't going to do them any favours in buying bread and circuses, and the Saudi "royals" need to pretend to support their home grown form of Islam as part of a Faustian pact between Wahabist clerics and the governing families. Without the combination of the "religious police" intimidating the population, and the Roman games style distraction of persecuting people that don't matter like Raif Badawi (or other expendables like foreign nationals working as domestic servants, or the very victims of rape and sexual violence), there would be every possibility that the population might get bored and dissatisfied, and then overthrow the royals, sticking their heads on poles where they belong. The Saudis behead people at the rate of more than one a week, and it is still regarded as public entertainment by many out there, so I'm sure if the current "royalty" are overthrown they'll draw a good crowd.

      Given all this, Badawi's fate doesn't matter to the Saudi government, nor does international opinion, what matters is keeping him alive for a good bit to create some distracting soap opera for the peasants and make it clear that dissent will be stamped on.

      Meanwhile the US continues to trade with, encourage, arm and support Saudi and the other Gulf states even as they bankroll Islamic State.

    2. Ray Molacha

      Re: I've said it before ...

      Well, I agree that it's bad (notwithstanding the smattering of good that may have come through it over the centuries) -- but overall it's just another weapon in the arsenal of those who wish to control and oppress. As a weapon, it is powerful and dangerous, but don't forget that weapons have wielders. To find the source of evil, we have to look behind the weapons into the intentions and aims of those who use the weapons. There are many such weapons in this intensely asymmetric, undeclared war -- but religion is among the most insidious because it purports to lay down ground rules which in fact, only the oppressed believe in or adhere to.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: I've said it before ...

      Note that I didn't say "all religion is the root of all evil". Nor did I say that "all organized religion is the root of all evil".

      What I said was "organized religion is the root of all evil".

      The devil is in the sub-setsVenn diagrams.

      WOW! That was a quick nix. Did the dude/tte rejecting the post actually comprehend my point?

  12. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    If you don't want to be ridiculed,

    don't do ridiculous things.

    Religion - all flavours, all versions, everywhere - are the worst case of argument by authority. They're an obvious extension of 'I'm king, because I have a big sword and you have to obey me' with the added advantage that no-one can argue with the interpreted wisdom of a prophet.

    They're *all* mysogynistic control systems - a plague on all their houses. The sooner we evolve away from religion, the better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you don't want to be ridiculed,

      +1

      Chris Hitchens why did you have to pass away, we miss you.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    plus a ten year travel ban when he gets out

    So they're saying they're country is so terrible, being forced to live there is a punishment?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: plus a ten year travel ban when he gets out

      Heresy! 100 lashes!

    2. Cameron Colley

      Re: plus a ten year travel ban when he gets out

      Indeed, you would think though that they would want him to leave the country not stay there.

      Just goes to show what a pile of excrement they are. They obviously torture for torture's sake with the religion not really coming into it at all but just being a reason to behave like the subhuman scum they are.

  14. Elmer Phud

    But . . .

    But we love Saudis, they are our mates, they buy loads of 'civil disturbance control' stuff from us and Boris Johnson lives up thier collective arses.

    What's not to like?

  15. MJI Silver badge

    Women driving

    They are still banned there, but a certain well liked and important woman made her view felt.

    She took the last King for a drive around Balmoral.

    And QE2 is not a slow driver!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Women driving

      "She took the last King for a drive around Balmoral"

      Big deal. The religious rules in Saudi only apply to the hoi polloi, and any of the elite that get on the wrong side of the big boys. The king doesn't give a hoot whether Saudi women drive or not. He's fully aware that as soon as the aircraft climbing out of King Khalid airport have got their undercarriage up, the posh women are changing out of burkhas into mini skirts. He's fully aware that as soon as they're in Europe the posh Saudi women are tooling around in flash cars. He's fully aware that there's no Allah.

      The point of Islam as it is practiced in the Middle East today is simply as part of a scheme for the powerful to oppress the peasants using a combination of violence in this life, and the threat of damnation in the afterlife. Just like Christianity in the middle ages in Europe. Give them a few hundred years and they'll have grown out of it, Islam will still be around, but adhered to much like the Church of England is adhered today, for births, marriages and funerals, and with the doctrine cleaved to like a smelly but comfortable old slipper.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Women driving

        You and I might know that but a lot of the Djhadists don't. The Christian Crusades, which this seems akin too, were a bloody period for all concerned.

        What's scarier than anything else is that there does not appear to be a lack of candidates joining ISIS. I do not know if ISIS forces their soldiers to fight for them but it definately looks like they are doing it out of their free will.

        It's not so difficult to see why unemployed, disillusioned Brits, French and even Swiss nationals from various ethnic cultures are being pulled into the regime. Whereas the local goverments offer no apparent hope, ISIS is offereing them a place in the "Kaliphate"... Of course they are just being used as cannon fodder but they apparently don't see it that way.

        I wonder what "real" solutions could actually be employed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Women driving

          I wonder what "real" solutions could actually be employed.

          Re-read your sentence, especially the last word of it and you will have the answer. Out of all of Maggie's (and her copycats on the continent) heritage this is the worst.

          The best proof is that the _LOWEST_ percentage of population and the _LOWEST_ percentage of muslim minority with any interst in ISIS is Germany which retains manufacturing and still employs a disproportionate amount of people of Muslim heritage in it. Compare that to France which is the exact opposite - massive unemployment (>25%) amidst muslim minoritties. Compare that to Holland, Belgium and Britain.

          Granted, correlation does not equal causation, but you do pay in more than one way for the destruction of social stability which manufacturing used to bring in. The queues of volunteers for ISIS is one such payment.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Ossi

            Re: Women driving

            Nice theory, but unemployment in the UK is lower than in Germany:

            Unemployment in Germany: 6.5%

            Unemployment in UK: 5.7%

            I don't have figures for Muslims alone. Perhaps you would like to point me to where you got those from? However, it would be wrong to say that it's not a problem in Germany:

            http://www.euro-islam.info/country-profiles/germany/

            The proportion of Muslims in each population is approximately the same.

            It might have more to do with the fact that Germany's Muslims have a largely Turkish heritage whilst the UK's have a South Asian one i.e. it has more to do with the culture of the Muslims than the host country. That would seem not entirely unlikely to me.

            By the way, is there a kind of Godwin's law for blaming Thatcher?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Women driving

          "I wonder what "real" solutions could actually be employed."

          Well, stopping people from going clearly isn't working. Personally I'd allow people that wanted to go to depart on condition that they renounced their citizenship (and I wouldn't have them back as "asylum seekers"). A few thousand Euro-Muslim rednecks aren't going to change the order of battle in the Levant, more likely they'll all end up dead, either before or after the locals decide they've had enough of all the pseudo-Islamic nonsense pedalled by thugs.

          Clearly the driving force for Isis recruitment is a sense of grievance. But it seems to be opportunist grievance against anything and anybody, rather than anything specific. We have islamists in the UK aggrieved at their supposed lack of opportunity, lack of jobs, or what have you, despite a relatively low unemployment rate and an overly generous welfare state. Or they're aggrieved at their "muslim brothers" being bombed or shot by western powers, when these are people they don't know, are ethnically unrelated to, often in countries they've never visited it, and given the essentially internecine muslim-on-muslim conflict that is actually taking place, they're wanting to join a force whose main function is to kill the wrong kind of muslims. Or they're sucked in by the caliphate idea (ignoring that the quasi-failed state of Pakistan was set up as the "home of the pure" back in 1947 or thereabouts), and holding a grievance against the decadent west. Or grievance that all their mates have been questioned by the police for child molesting. Or grievance that it now costs more than ten shillings to post a letter first class, etc etc.

          Given the known identities of those going to join Isis, education is neither problem nor solution - there's equal numbers of the bright and the thick. Stooge groups for either side like Cage or Quilliam aren't achieving much, and the (from the outside) disorganised and ambivalent nature of the Islamic religion taught in the west clearly isn't persuading these people that Islam is about tolerance and peace.

          So, no solution comes to my mind other than offering free one way air tickets for all who want them (including dependents).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Women driving

      No, she's a head in need of a guillotine.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wahhabism at its best and we allow them to setup schools in the UK, US and Europe to promote their warped outlook. Not only that but we also allow them to provide textbooks to our schools. Is it any wonder that the kids that have been through those schools and their indoctrination then go on to join ISIS and continue the barbarism?

  17. Allonymous Coward

    Saudi Arabia

    Is a great argument in favour of the oil running out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saudi Arabia

      Or even better: us ridding ourselves of our dependency on it.

      ITER: hurry the f*ck up.

  18. Valerion

    Do we even need Saudi oil anymore?

    Serious question from my position of ignorance. The US produces more than Saudi does, especially now the shale oil is being produced in vast quantities. Sure, the price might go up a bit if we cut them out of the supply chain, but given it's come down a lot recently we can probably live with that.

    They could go, what, 10 years without oil revenue on existing cash reserves? Then they'd have nothing. No economy at all. And we could ignore them forever.

    Of course oil from the rest of the world will run out eventually, but science will have solved that before then.

    1. druck Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Do we even need Saudi oil anymore?

      Valerion wrote:

      They could go, what, 10 years without oil revenue on existing cash reserves? Then they'd have nothing. No economy at all. And we could ignore them forever.

      You think they'd sit back and wait for that to happen? Or perhaps use the cash reserves to fund fellow wahhabists in their creation of an an Islamic State, taking over all the oil producing countries of the Middle East and north Africa?

      Or is that what is already happening?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do we even need Saudi oil anymore?

        "You think they'd sit back and wait for that to happen?" Well, they wouldn't be needed, so each country could seize saudi assets on their soil.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do we even need Saudi oil anymore?

      "The US produces more than Saudi does, especially now the shale oil is being produced in vast quantities"

      But you're part of a world market. If you sterilised the supply of Saudi oil through sanctions or war, then the world's swing producer leaves the market. A drop of a few million barrels a day in demand (perhaps 5%) has caused the oil price to halve, and its obvious that to take out the 14% of world supply that is from Saudi would cause the price to skyrocket - perhaps to around $300/bbl. And things would be worse if you treated the other Gulf despots the same - they are another 10% or so of world supply.

      You then get into the argument around isolationism, and why can't the US be energy independent, and the short answer is that if you declare economic war on the rest of the world, they'll do the same back. The US is big enough to exist as non importer or exporter, but you've then got the problem of what do you do for rubber, coffee, tin, copper and so forth, and the fact that you'd have to do all those low value assembly jobs you previously exported to China.

      Shale is only a stop gap - production costs are too high, well decline rates high, and the costs of shale will go up rather than down because we're picking the low hanging fruit first. If the US wanted to marginalise OPEC, then they should have come up with algal biofuels - this is the only obvious non-mineral transport and heating fuel that might scale. Back in the 70's the US did some good foundation work, but shelved it when oil prices collapsed. They started looking again this time round, and will now drop it like a stone as the oil price craters. And so the world (and thus US) dependence on Saudi despots will continue.

      We will eventually rid ourselves of our dependence on oil and gas, but unfortunately the tree huggers have pushed that time back by two decades by demanding crap non-solutions like wind power. All the money that might have gone into making nuclear power cleaner and cheaper, or making algal biofuels workable and cheap, that money has been diverted into subsidies for wind and solar, most of which has disappeared into the pockets of Wall Street financial investors. Which shows that the governments of the West aren't really much more democratic than the sheikhs, maybe a little bit less thuggish. But even that's changing - how many SWAT raids were there in the US last year? Around 60-80,000 instances where uniformed and heavily armed thugs broke into people's homes, mostly without warrants, and in over a third of cases finding no evidence of criminality. Who needs religious police?

  19. John Savard Silver badge

    What Is Needed

    It's time to bring about regime change in Sa'udi Arabia, and ensure that the new regime is firmly committed to universal standards of religious liberty and the separation of church and state, so that things like this will never happen again. From one end of the Islamic world to the other, non-Muslims must have full equality, under constitions which firmly prohibit making Islam, or any other faith, an established church - that is, favored in any way by the government, in violation of the basic eternal democratic principle of a wall fo separation protecting religious faith from government interference,

    Of course, that wall of separation doesn't exist in the other direction, and so the faithful Muslim population can continue to vote for legitimate laws that reflect their moral beliefs which are informed by their faith. So beverage alcohol, abortion, pornography, and maybe even teaching evolution in public schools might still be illegal in Sa'udi Arabia, but such laws are admissible, being in line with precedent in genuinely democratic nations.

  20. David Nash
    Facepalm

    "It's time to bring about regime change in Sa'udi Arabia, and ensure that the new regime is firmly committed to universal standards of religious liberty and the separation of church and state"

    Oh is that all?....Easy peasy...worked out fine in Iraq, after all!

  21. phil dude
    Childcatcher

    very sad....

    Being executed for declaring a not-belief. Thomas Moore was executed for declaring a belief.

    Why can't we have social groups that base their living philosophies upon the evidence of the real world?

    Oh that's right. Control.

    Once you can be forced to declare a belief in things that cannot be proven, this can be used to control your thoughts and treat humanity as optional.

    Think of the children brainwashing going on right now...

    P.

  22. Bucky 2
    Devil

    The real reason

    I was initially opposed to the punishment.

    But then I saw his hippie hair. I suppose I can look the other way this once.

  23. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Remind me again: Which person is accused of having brought shame on the state?

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