Thursday, July 19, 2012

Saudi authorities detain webmaster

They are really serious about trying to put an end to those pesky bloggers who 'insult Islam':
Saudi authorities have detained a Saudi national for setting up a website that "harms the public order and violates Islamic values", court documents and his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, which follows an austere version of Sunni Islam, shows little tolerance towards public dissent and censors its media. Cyber crime regulations that came into force in 2007 make bloggers and website owners legally accountable for what they publish online.

The 25-year-old Ra'if Badawi, who runs the website "Free Saudi Liberals", was charged with cyber crime and also with disobeying his father, which is considered a crime in the conservative Arab monarchy and top US ally.

"He did that by setting up a website that harms the public order and violates Islamic values, including insulting the divine being and attacking some religious icons such as the Grand Mufti," a document from the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution showed.
More

 This is the Saudi 'Grand Mufti':

 

 I mean, come on. Who can resist not making fun of this guy?

43 comments:

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "…the conservative Arab monarchy and top US
      ally.
"

They like to think they're a ‘top US ally; typical Arab ego.  Top U.S. allies would include folks the U.K. and Canada, maybe even Israel.  Saudi Arabia qualifies as a middlin’ rank, situational ally, at best, maybe not even that.

Marcus said...

What's happening in Colorado? Totally insane.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
You mean the fires?  Global warming is already upon us is what's happenin’.

Marcus said...

No, the cinema shootings.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Nut with a gun.  It happens.

Marcus said...

From what I've gathered so far at least one gunman dresssed up in a gasmask entered the cinema about 30 minutes into the film. He threw teargas or smoke grenades and opened fire with an AR15 assault rifle. Killing 14 and wounding as many as maybe 50 others. There have been some witnesses who claim there were at least two gunmen (but that could be just a common mistake, the same was said during Breivik's shooting in Norway, so it might have been just one).

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

Sometimes nuts collect together near the bottom of the bowl.  Probably just a sole nut though.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
On the subject of nuts…  I'm seeing reports that the Bulgarian suicide bomber was a Swede, and a once resident of the prison in Guantánamo,

Zeyad said...

Lee, why does it irk you when people mention that Saudi Arabia is a US ally? It's not like they're making up that part. Your country has been close buddies with the Saud family at least since WWII, and US president after president have prostrated themselves in front of the Saudi king. The fact that you don't like it has no bearing on the issue.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Lee, why does it irk you when people mention that
      Saudi Arabia is a US ally?  ***  The fact that you
      don't like it has no bearing on the issue.
"

As long as we're on the subject of things that have no bearing on 'the issue’…  This is probably as good a time as any to point out that the common interests actually shared by America and the Saudi monarchy don't extend to them agreeing with nor paying any attention to our notions of human rights and good governance.  Never has; likely never will until they finally revolt against their monarchy.  (Which may be awhile in comin’)

I rather think the Saudi have much closer allies available for you to make random mention of than the U.S.A.  So, the response to your question would be that you guys seriously need to get real.
Anybody who takes American bribe money, or who doesn't hold rallies in their capital city on a regular basis for chants of ‘Death to America’ gets called an ‘American ally’, like you're gonna somehow make us responsible for Arab backwardness.  (Take the bribe money and hold the ‘Death to America’ rallies anyway, and they're still called an ‘American ally’.  Bar there is pretty damn low, doncha reckon?)
Well, we are not responsible, and I think it's high time somebody finally pushed back against that damn foolishness.  So, I'm pushin’ back.  Question now is, ‘Why does the pushback so distress you?¡

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

...was charged with cyber crime and also with disobeying his father...

It is a pity that all of our allies do not also use our Constitution. Cyber crimes here tend to run more along the lines of fraud not freedom of speech. And nowhere do I know of is there any law against disobeying one's father. But I suppose if I were to suggest a rewrite of anyone's laws I would be accused of infringing on their sovereignty. Oh! The trauma of listening to certain commenters all these years.

Zeyad said...

LOL, you're doing it again, except your explanation of why it upsets you makes even less sense this time. Saudi Arabia is a very close US ally, and it doesn't matter if you personally agree with the definition of 'ally' or not. Last I heard it wasn't mandatory for the population of an allied nation to like you for them to be considered an ally. The fact that you have had several bilateral agreements with the Saudi government for the last six decades is enough reason for them to be considered a 'top US ally'. 'Arab backwardness' (seriously?) has nothing to do with it either.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Marcus,

It was one 24 year old man, James Holmes, who did the shooting. He carried a shitload of weapons, was wearing a gas mask and body armor and threw some kind of gas canister into the back of the theatre. I am listening to an eye witness right now who says that a man got a call on a cell phone and went to an exit door and about 15 minutes later the shooter came in. It is unclear if he was saying there were 2 men or 1 as the sound was bad. The shooter gave himself up. The last count I heard was 12 dead and 71 wounded.

One of the wounded was a 3 month old baby, who is doing well at this time. Of course, this begs the question of who brings a 3 month old baby to a movie theatre at midnight, but that is not the central story here, obviously.

A horrible event for all involved.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I don't know, I think I'd have to call that argument a draw on points.

KSA is our ally, of convenience yes, but an ally never the less.

And the laws they are invoking are backward. I would guess they are not exclusive to Arab countries, though. My guess is Iran has something similar and they are Persian.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "The fact that you have had several bilateral agree-
      ments with the Saudi government for the last six
      decades is enough reason for them to be considered
      a 'top US ally'.
"

Again, you guys need to get real.  By that definition the old Soviet Union was a ‘top US ally’ during the entire Cold War.  You're settin’ the bar for your accusation of 'US ally’ way too low.
No doubt you find this pretense comforting somehow, but I've gotten tired of acquiescing without comment to the pretenses with which you comfort yourself.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "KSA is our ally, of convenience yes, but an ally
      never the less.
"

Ah, but, this is cold truth is an inadequate comfort for most Arabs; also inadequate for Zeyad.  They must make the Saudi out to be a ‘top US ally’, like that's gonna make some self-evident difference about something.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Machine Prints Books on Demand

The machine is designed to print a book -- largely indistinguishable from any book you'd find on a shelf -- from any of 8 million titles it has in its database. And, yes, amateur writers, it can also create a genuine book from that novel or memoir you've been sitting on for years.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

They must make the Saudi out to be a ‘top US ally’, like that's gonna make some self-evident difference about something.

Except, I am not sure who "they" are. The article was on Reuters and I didn't see any byline. Zeyad just seems to be excerpting them. His point all along seems to pertain to the lack of freedom to blog, which I can see he would sympathize with.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
It's kinda like this Zeyad.  The knee-jerk reaction across the entire Muslim Middle East has long been that every bad thing that occurs happens either because America wanted it to happen, or America ‘allowed’ it to happen.  And, that pretense has become tiresome.  And it's holding the region back.
The Arabs are never gonna drag themselves out of third world status until they start taking on their own responsibility for what happens in Arab lands.  And, in general, they just don't wanna do that.

But, I would commend to your attention the recent ‘Message’ of The SandMonkey, who at least has the beginnings of a clue.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "The article was on Reuters and I didn't see any
      byline.
"

Did you see any extraneous mention of Saudi Arabia being a ‘top US ally' there?  If there was one there I certainly missed it.  I thought it was Zeyad himself who thought that was relevant and a required and somehow relevant thing to mention.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
And, again, in closing…  We have some ‘top allies’, but I'd sure as hell not put Saudi Arabia in that category.  They're more a regional ally, and an ally of convenience and necessity.  No matter how much Saudi ego would like to make it out to be more.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Thought I was closing, guess not.  I looked again.  I led myself astray looking at the quote marks on Zeyad's main page.  (Quote mark started on the paragraph after the ‘top US ally’ language.)  That language was indeed in the Reuters' piece, and not supplied by Zeyad.  My bad.
I stand by my other points though. 

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Yeah, I just grabbed that paragraph to show you, Lee, but you beat me to it. Zeyad's emphasis was actually on the part about the blogger disobeying his father. Another sore point for him, I'm sure.

Anyway, I'm off to grab a chocolate shake at my favorite ice cream shop. It rained a little today and is going to get hot and steamy. Lucky I cut grass last night.

See ya.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Wiki say that the first King Saud and guy named Wahhab first made thier alliance in 1740.  There was no U.S.A. in 1740.  The Declaration of Independence didn't happen until thirty-six years later, and it was another thirteen years before the United States was actually created (with the replacement of the earlier ‘Articles of Confederation’ by the current Constitution in 1789), damn near 50 years into the formation of the Saudi/Wahabi identity.
Trying to hook the nature or existance of Saudi fundamentalism and the Salafi movement to any alliance with the United States goes beyond merely being tenuous and well into the realm of outright fantasy.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Having read a dicussion about the roots of Saudi fundamentalism on a Saudi blog, I can say that their alliance with the US did not come up as a cause.

I guess I'm confused with why you are taking this line of argument when I haven't seen Zeyad, or anyone else here, talking about the causes of fundamentalism. The nearest Zeyad came to that was when he talked about tribalism. And tribalism, btw, would seem to be the point of origin for that law in KSA about not disobeying one's father.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I guess I'm confused with why you are taking this
      line of argument…
"

I decided that I probably wasn't going to convince Zeyad that the Saudi didn't rate as a ‘top US ally’.  We probably aren't going to agree on the definitions to be used for that.  So, I figured I'd just skip that as a preliminary round wasted, and just go right to the heart of the matter.
We're not responsible for Saudi fundamentalism.  It's not our fault that the Saudi run a benighted repressive government; it's not our fault that a majority of Saudi subjects seem just fine with that so long as that benighted, repressive regime spreads the wealth around sufficiently that they don't have to get their hands dirty with any real work.  And it's certainly not our responsibility to fix it.
That seems to me to be the heart of the matter.  So, I figured maybe it was time to skip over the definitional argument for what constitutes a ‘top US ally’ on account of that wasn't going to get us anywhere in the end anyway, and go straight at the real problem.

The Saudi are the way they are because that's the way they are.  They were well on their way to being that way before the U.S.A. ever came into existence.  The blame for that does not rest with us, and fixing that is not our responsibility.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Somehow I think you're preaching to the choir, Lee.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Shisha.

Huh! So much for those days bygone.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Somehow I think you're preaching to the choir, Lee."

Perhaps.  And then again, maybe not everybody's singing with the choir just yet.
There's at least an outside chance that whomever wrote the Reuters' piece tossed in the random ‘top US ally’ comment on account of he (she?) actually though that was somehow relevant to the subject at hand.
Zeyad may have tossed in that comment about the Paki being our ‘allies’ (4 July 2012) on account of he thought it was somehow relevant.
Tends to make one think they might somehow be laboring under the misapprehension that we're responsible for those folks domestic social and political evolution, or lack thereof.

Petes said...

^
LOL. No, the troll ain't defensive at all ... he's only made ten snarky comments on the matter so far.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Some might consider that to be going on offense.  (Might be that Lynnette even thinks it's overdoing it.)  Be that as it may be…
Any chance you have an actual comment to make on the subject matter under discussion?  (You could pick whether the Saudi are a ‘top’ally, or whether foreign policy alliances could reasonably be expected to give us power over their domestic habits, either one could be considered on topic.) 

Or, maybe you got nothin’ to actually add but figure that callin’ me the troll here is sufficient cover for your own trolling in this particular instance?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Tends to make one think they might somehow be laboring under the misapprehension that we're responsible for those folks domestic social and political evolution, or lack thereof.

Since I am not privy to Zeyad's motivation on why he makes a comment, I can't really say if that was the reason or not. The only thing I can say for sure is that he is more knowledgable about Middle Eastern history than I am and went to a great deal of work to write the pieces on tribalism so long ago. I do not think he has made a similar effort to understand our history(Kissinger doesn't cut it), so may simply be picking up on what certain people here write about regarding our involvement in the ME. And there has been a lot in our press about our alliances with KSA and Pakistan, perhaps not so much as causing, but enabling fanatacism to continue there. But there I think I would use PeteS's phrase and say that our press has been giving people in the ME a pass by espousing that idea. The root cause of the fanatacism lies in the ME and it is ultimately their issue to deal with. It only becomes our issue if it directly attacks our country, as on 9/11. Our job is to try to deal with our own fanatics, or closeminded people, such as Michele Bachmann, Queen of the Wackadoos. There was a reason I voted for John McCain, despite his choice of Palin as running mate, and he stood up and showed it just the other day.

But all this talk of KSA has motivated me to start a book that has been laying in my pile for ages:

Saudi Arabia Exposed, by John R. Bradley. He worked at Arab News in KSA for 2 years and writes about his observations of the country.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oh, btw, in case anyone missed it, Omar Suleiman died on Thursday at a clinic in Ohio.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "There was a reason I voted for John McCain,
      despite his choice of Palin as running mate, and he
      stood up and showed it just the other day.
"

I don't know whether you refer to his comments regarding Bachmann and Huma Abedin or his continued eagerness to get much more deeply involved in Syria.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I was referring to the Bachmann debacle earlier. As for his stance on arming the rebels, I am not surprised by that. It sounds like the Obama administration is more interested in enhancing the rebel's communications and intelligence abilities. Or so they say.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bamia sounds good, Zeyad. Anything with a tomato base sounds good, actually. I've never tried okra, myself, but I've heard it's good. You'll have to try Texas chili, if you haven't already.

Zeyad said...

Lynnette, I eat chili (the kind with beans) at least once a week. It's my favorite Texas dish so far.

Petes said...

I hope you do it in a well ventilated area, Zeyad ;-)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "It sounds like the Obama administration is more
      interested in enhancing the rebel's communications
      and intelligence abilities.
"

The rebels are getting the guns they need elsewhere.  McCain's claim to shame notwithstanding.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

It's my favorite Texas dish so far.

One of my favorite dishes too (with beans). :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

The rebels are getting the guns they need elsewhere.

So they say. But it's all circular, eventually it will work its way back to us. If only in people's minds.

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