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1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  49 reviews
"Raif Badawi's is an important voice for all of us to hear, mild, nuanced, but clear. His examination of his culture is perceptive and rigorous. Of course he must be saved from the dreadful sentence against him and the appalling conditions of his imprisonment. But he must also be read, so that we understand the struggle within Islam between suffocating orthodoxy and free e ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published July 17th 2015 by Greystone Books (first published April 1st 2015)
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A.M. Goetz
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Raif's writings are powerful, yet poetic, and they need to be read. The entries included in this book were mostly written in 2012, yet they give an uncanny account of events that were yet to come. If you're looking for a deeper understanding of what it feels like to try to live free in a repressed country, "1000 Lashes" takes you there. This is a must-read for anyone who blogs, anyone who desires a deeper understanding of Saudi Arabian culture, and anyone who sympathizes with the unbearable plig ...more
Alicia Koster
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hard to believe someone can be punished for such peaceful thoughts.
Ryan Curry
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: atheism
First of all, Mr. Badawi is a very impressive writer. He gets his ideas across very clearly and is enjoyable to read.

I think that everyone needs to read this book and familiarize themselves with Mr. Badawi's story as soon as possible, yesterday would be a good time to start reading.

Mr. Badawi has been arrested, by the Saudi Arabian government for his views, and then subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and 1000 lashes. All for the "crime", of free speech.

I recentl
Virag Padalkar
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Your freedom ends on the outskirts of the freedom of others"

Loved this statement.

What Raif is saying is actually simple and non-controversial. Remove religion from state. Keep it indoors. Promote free-thinking. Promote curiosity. Promote questions. Even inconvenient questions. And that shall lead us to progress.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Badawi's book is made of the writings that got him into trouble with the Saudi Arabian government. The book is short as the writings were blog posts, and one does wonder why such writings could be so dangerous. But the words are powerful. The book worth reading.
Steve Granger
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
10 years in prison, 1000 lashes, and a million Saudi riyals (~$350,000 cdn) for these words - and this was reduced from a death sentence. You can certainly understand why some fight so vehemently for free speech and liberalism. Raif's story is not only worth knowing about, but something you should be concerned about as global citizens.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a short book, a collection of several of Raif's blog posts. I was surprized how respectful he is of his country and religion as he points out the changes that could be made to improve the society. He includes historical evidence of how things such as free speech, collaboration and mixing of the sexes, treatment of woman, etc used to be the norm in Islamic culture. He challenges his readers and leaders to think critically and examine their society. He quotes authors and discusses books an ...more
Pierre A Renaud

@raif_badawi #FreeRaif #ReadRaif #RaifBadawi #1000coupsdefouet #1000Peitschenhiebe #1000lashes
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This short book contains fifteen of Badawi's blogs for which he was punished by being beaten and thrown in jail. I was curious to see just what he said that caused the Saudi Arabian government to take such action. It didn't take much. Here are my favourite blogs:

A Male Escort for Every Female Scholar
I had heard that under Islamic law, women are forbidden to leave their house without a man to escort them but did not know that this extended to Saudi female scholars in the United Kingdom.

How dare h
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
"Nothing should be so sacred as to be protected from humour, for fear that humour might induce reflection, and reflection might induce questioning, and questioning might induce freethinking."

^ Couldn't agree more. Badawi is a brave and clever man. We need more people like him -- people who aren't afraid to speak out for logical, rational and empathetic thought, despite the risk of cruel punishment.

"Look at all the countries that are based on a religious ideology; look at their people and the ge
Sylvain Bérubé
L'historien et politologue américain Howard Zinn, connu pour son positionnement politique pacifiste qui élève au rang de devoir la désobéissance civile, affirmait qu'on ne peut pas être neutre dans un train en marche. Raif Badawi l'a bien compris et a ainsi pris la plume pour promouvoir des valeurs libérales lui étant chères. Et s'en va conclure un article sur la mixité avec cette question: «allons-nous enfin nous réveiller et prendre le train en marche?», suggérant implicitement qu'on en peut p ...more
John Naylor
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to rant in this review. I really did.

There is no way that Raif should be imprisoned for his thoughts. He should be venerated for them and working with someone in the Saudi government to improve lives.

Yet, he is in prison for crimes no more severe than actually daring to have an opinion. That is a bigger crime than anything he is accused of.

This book needs to get read especially in places that ban it. It shows intelligence and a humanity that many lack.
Mars Cheung
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A good read, not just for those concerned about polarized conflict between the Left and the Right, but because of the insights it offers into real liberalism (as opposed to regressive leftism), the need for free speech and for secularism. Short but insightful.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The most important book I've read this year.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Raif Badawi’s “1000 Lashes: Because I say what I think” is a book that has sat on my shelf for some time waiting for the moment to pick it up. Considering the disappearance, and likely torture and murder of Saudi journalist Jamaal Kashoggi recently, now seemed like the moment.
Badawi, the founder of the online forum “Free Saudi Liberals” and prominent blogger/critic of the Saudi regime was sentenced to death in 2012 for apostasy. An outcry from the world media saw his sentence reduced to 10 yea
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sad book... What happened to this man is horrible.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Allein schon aus reinster Empathie muss man diesem Buch zugute halten, dass sich jemand getraut hat offen seine Meinung zu präsentieren, wo Presse/ und Meinungsfreiheit so gut wie nonexistent sind (sehr lapidar ausgedrückt).
Man möchte meinen, dass bei jemandem, der für seine Politkritik inhaftiert wurde, viel subjektivere Äußerungen in den Bloginhalten vermerkt sind. Ist aber überhaupt nicht der Fall - im Gegenteil; ich war positiv davon überrascht, wieviel ich als islamferne Person über gewisse
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
For those familiar with modern criticisms of religion in the Western world, there's nothing remarkable in what Raif Badawi wrote on his blog, now condensed into this short book. Yet it brought down the full weigh of the Saudi authorities on his head and earned him a prison sentence and 1000 lashes. There's nothing of stunning originality here, though I did learn a few new snippets about about Islam and life in Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, you should read his words and appreciate how fortunate you ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who wants to know more about the different views that exist in Saudi Arabia and the injustices and tyranny of religious rule of any country should read this brave cry for freedom to think and speak.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, philosophy
Incredibly important, surprisingly funny; a great writer on liberalism and secularism who deserves worldwide support until he's released.
Al aa
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The case of Raif Badawi has been of special importance to me and I was watching the evolvement of it closely over the past eight years.
Raif is a Saudi Arabian writer and the creator of online forum "Free Saudi liberals". He has been imprisoned since 2012 due to his writing in this forum and another forum under the name of "Modern Discussion" الحوار المتمدن.
He was accused of apostasy and sentenced to death, then the sentence was reduced to ten years of imprisonment, 1000 lashes and one million Sa
Sadie (formerly known as Lennongirl)
A book that shows that also shorter volumes can carry a powerful message. Beautiful writings by a young Saudi who wants his country, his society to progress. He offers his progressive views on politics, religion and the need to divide these two, also on general issues of his society, especially the relationship between men and women and women's status in general. It's an interesting glimpse into the thinking/world of a young man who softly - very softly! - puts the fingers in several wounds, in ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I can't understand why he waged his life like that. someone with family, wife and children to look after. he threw his freedom for the sake of a lost cause.

reading one his articles, he seemed very enthusiastic about change. I don't think he was naive, that he didn't anticipate the price he'd pay. I don't think he failed to measure it. it's a country so rigid that free, critical thinking could get you killed. and it's all in their scriptures and doctrine.

change might take centuries with those pe
John Jaksich
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this short offering by activist-journalist Raif Badawi -- we are offered a glimpse at what might be called: a taste of freedom in the Arab world. Mr. Badawi had been sentenced to jail in Saudi Arabia because of what is written in pages of this short look at the Arab spring. Heartbreaking in many ways-- we are now in the middle of the backlash from IS. Freedom and truth die only when we allow it to do so. I do recommend the book.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent reader

I appreciated the author is a struggle for freedom, as well as his general thoughts. I would definitely recommend that everyone read this book.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Earned a new perspective of Raif Badawi and his ideas of change for a peaceful, democtratic and liberal Saudi Arabia.
I really enjoyed reading the collection of articles!
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dieses Buch gehört zu den Büchern , die man "in einem Atemzug" lesen kann.

In diesem Büchlein sind einige Schriften des saudischen Blogger Raif Badawi zusammengestellt worden.
Die Gedanken von Badawi umfassen die politischen, sozialen und kulturellen Umstände der islamischen aber vor allem der arabischen Welt.
Er befasst sich in vier Kapiteln mit der Scharia, dem Kalifat, das Verhältnis der muslimischen Welt zum Westen, Liberealismus, die Rolle der Frau, dem Såkularismus, der Aufklärung und natürl
Sabrina Kammer
Mir fällt es unheimlich schwer, dieses Buch zu rezensieren. Ich finde, es steht einem Menschen nicht zu, die Texte auf dem Blog eines anderen Menschen zu 'kritisieren'. Jedem Menschen sollte die Meinungsfreiheit offen stehen - egal ob es dabei um Bücher, Politik oder Religion geht. Wir sind Individuen, die alle einen freien Willen haben und somit auch eine eigene Meinung zu den Themen der Welt.

Uns beschäftigen Dinge, über die wir uns austauschen und mitteilen möchten. Ich bewundere Raif Badawi,
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Ridicule is of vital importance in a free society. No subject should be above ridicule. Nothing should be so sacred as to be protected from humor, for fear that humor might induce reflection, and reflection might induce questioning, and questioning might induce freethinking."
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“Any religion-based state has a mission to limit the minds of its people, to fight the developments of history and logic, and to dumb down its citizens. It’s important to stand in the way of such a mentality, to deny it from continuing its mission to murder the souls of its people, killing them deep within while they are still alive and breathing.” 9 likes
“FREEDOM OF SPEECH is the air that any thinker breathes; it’s the fuel that ignites the fire of an intellectual’s thoughts.” 5 likes
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