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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Weird news - Man sentenced to 500 lashes for blasphemy

When you pick up novels about medieval times, you see so many cases where people were sentenced to many sorts of different sentences for crimes against God, such as the extreme one of being burned at the stake for blasphemy. A number of people were convicted and killed in such a manner, which even encompassed acts such as proposing that the universe did not center around the earth, rather that the earth moved around the sun. But these were all stories of what used to happen many centuries earlier.
So, it seems very surprising that such cases happen even now, primarily in Islamic countries where uttering anything that could be construed to be against god can actually be punished by death. And this is not a hypothetical case, there have been numerous cases where people have been convicted of blasphemy on flimsy evidence, or in the more horrid cases, mobs have believed about these utterances of blasphemy and lynched people. Consider this case, where a person on the Haj was convicted of uttering something against the relatives of the Prophet Mohammed and sentenced to a prison term as well as 500 lashes (which could actually kill him) (link to article)

Mansor Almaribe, 45, was found guilty of blasphemy after he was arrested last month in Medina while on a pilgrimage, Australian officials said.
It's unclear what Almaribe, a Shia Muslim from Victoria state, said or did to get arrested.
"The ambassador has urgently contacted Saudi authorities and will make strong representations, including to key figures in the Saudi government, seeking leniency," said Kate Sieper, a foreign affairs spokeswoman.
Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide
Is Critique Secular?: Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech

Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam (Liturgy, Worship and Society Series)

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