Princeton professor says he'll take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger

Photo: Facebook/Amnesty InternationalProfessor Robert P. George (L) and six others have volunteered to take 100 lashes each on behalf of convicted Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (R).

The vice chairman of the United States' Commission on International Religious Freedom has offered to take 100 lashes on behalf of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

Professor Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, together with six other people, offered to the Saudi government that they share in the 1,000 lashes that was imposed on Badawi for the crime of insulting the Islamic religion by running a liberal-themed blog.

The Christian Post contacted Professor George about this story and he confirmed that he and six others have reached out to the Saudi government to offer to take 100 lashes each for Badawi.

"Together with six colleagues on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I sent a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. calling on the Saudi government to stop the horrific torture of Raif Badawi — an advocate of religious freedom and freedom of expression in the Saudi Kingdom," George told the Christian Post.

"If the Saudi government refuses, we each asked to take 100 of Mr. Badawi's lashes so that we could suffer with him. The seven of us include Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Christians, Jews, and a Muslim," the Princeton University professor added.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi ran the defunct Free Saudi Liberal Network, through which he produced original content that discussed Islam and liberalism. The blog paved the way for social and political debate, which led to Badawi being charged with apostasy in 2012. The next year, he was also convicted of insulting Islam and breaking Saudi Arabia's laws on information technology.

Apostasy is punishable by death under Saudi law, but the blogger successfully appealed and was instead sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment and 1,000 lashes. He received his first 100 lashes two weeks ago. He was due for a second round last week, but Amnesty International reported that the government postponed the second round because Badawi's wounds have not healed and that he "would not be able to withstand another round of lashes."