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January 23, 2015 3:57 pm

Jewish Federation CEO Offers to Take 100 Lashes on Behalf of Saudi Blogger

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Raif Badawi was punished by the Saudi government for criticizing the country's clerics in his blog. Photo: Facebook.

The CEO of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Hannah Rosenthal, is among a group of US activists offering to take 100 lashes each in place of a Saudi blogger punished for criticizing his country’s clerics, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Friday.

Saudi Arabia sentenced Raif Badawi, 31, to 10 years in prison, a £177,000 fine and 1,000 lashes. He faces 20 weekly floggings of 50 lashes each, which are to be delivered every Friday in front of a mosque in Jeddah by the Saudi regime. His health was compromised by the first 50 lashes to the point that the second set of 50 lashes was delayed, according to the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).

In a letter to the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Rosenthal and her fellow signatories highlight the hypocrisy of Saudi officials and call for Badawi’s immediate release. They also requested to receive the lashing instead of Badawi if his punishment is not suspended.

The letter, posted on the American Islamic Forum for Democracy’s website, noted that Saudi officials attended the recent Paris march in support of human rights and civil liberties, and in memory of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher market massacres. Yet, in Saudi Arabia, Badawi has been dealt an “unjust” punishment that violates those same rights.

“Raif Badawi stands condemned under rules that flagrantly violate these human rights and civil liberties and is being subjected to an unspeakably cruel punishment of 1000 lashes,” said the letter, which is dated Jan. 20. “We call on the government of the Kingdom to put a halt to this grave injustice.”

“We are persons of different faiths, yet we are united in a sense of obligation to condemn and resist injustice and to suffer with its victims, if need be,” the letter continued. “We therefore make the following request. If your government will not remit the punishment of Raif Badawi, we respectfully ask that you permit each of us to take 100 of the lashes that would be given to him. We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured.”

Others who volunteered to take lashes in place of Badawi include Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Eric Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; and Robert P George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and the vice chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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  • debby fayga

    funny they do nothing for the Jews of Yesha. They support OTI and pro arab causes But now this? Stupid stupid stupid.

  • I was just going thru looking at articles and I came across Raif Badawi. I stopped to read
    about him and I also in this article saw how the Love of God was offered with such
    compassion and gentleness. They are all brothers united by love. My heart is humbled

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    This might be the stupidest thing I have ever heard a Jew say.

  • Tobin Jacobson

    This is just another example of the cruelty, inhumanity, intolerance, viciousness, and violence inherent in Islam. It’s a religion that belongs in the Dark Ages along with the Inquisition, and the sooner the rest of the World figures this out, the better off we’ll all be. Unfortunately, since there’s no talking to these people, it will likely take violence to annihilate their insane beliefs. By the way, a thousand lashes is the equivalent of a death sentence, but applied as torturously as possible. Don’t you just love Islam?!?

  • Wm J. Levy

    I knew that eventually a Jew will offer to take the lashes for the Iranian blogger.

    Jews have a death wish and that’s the truth. No other people in the world would do that. We don’t stand up to our enemies. We don’t threaten them with death if they try to attack us but instead we love them to death.

    What did this Jew do to save Alan Gross from 5 years in a Cuban prison or what did he do to the terrorists in France? NOTHING but he is going to take 50 lashes. Would he take a bullet in the brain for him?

    This is a weakness and the weakness is that Jews have evolved to the point genetically of not fighting but dying. Read Dennis Wade’s book “A Troublesome Inheritance”.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    Great publicity, great grandstanding but no one expects the
    Saudis to accept. What would these people do , if the Saudis said ok we will permit substitutes. IT is a tragedy that our dear ally, Saudi Arabia would stoop to such barbarity, but this grandstanding only diminishes the tragedy of what this young man will have to live through, How about a trip to the International Criminal Court instead>