NPR – Author: TOM GJELTEN
Free-thinking bloggers in some Muslim countries face criminal prosecution and even death for expressing their ideas. There are Islamic scholars who say this is a distortion of what Islam teaches.
Some of the most deadly terrorist attacks have been Muslims killing Muslims. Earlier this month, a truck bomb targeted Shia Muslims in Baghdad, killing some 300 people. ISIS considers them apostates. In Bangladesh, radicals have gone after Muslims they suspect of blasphemy. NPR’s Tom Gjelten reports on how a liberal Muslim in Saudi Arabia found himself facing such charges.
TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Eleven years ago in Saudi Arabia, a restless young man named Raif Badawi set up an internet forum. It was a place where he and other Saudis could share thoughts about the social order in their country. In English, the site was called Free Saudi Liberals. Inevitably, it got Badawi in trouble with the religious authorities. Four years ago, he was arrested. He remains in a Saudi prison today.
ENSAF HAIDAR: (Foreign language spoken).
GJELTEN: Ensaf Haidar is Badawi’s wife. She speaks here through an interpreter.