The Associated Press is reporting that a Saudi man received a 10 year prison sentence and 2,000 lashes over atheist tweets. The 28 year old unnamed man tweeted that Islam was lies and much of the prophet’s words was the reason for hostilities. He denied the existence of God and ridiculed the Quran. The young man stated that he was an atheist and refused to repent, saying that he what he wrote was his beliefs and that he had a right to express them.
Saudi Arabia is in direct violation of Article 19 of the United Nations Charter on Human Rights.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
These kind of governments have become educated in hate by a philosophy that instructs them in creating a tiered system of human value. If a certain people group has a religion different than mine, then they are of lesser value than me. If a person has certain amount of wealth then they are identified as evil and lose their value in comparison to one who doesn’t have the same financial prowess. These universities of hate which can be defined as those ideologies and philosophies that determine human value based on a particular criteria. It’s a superficial standard that satisfies my fears and insecurities in justifying the termination of others who don’t think like me, believe like me, or live like me.
When I start looking at people as dispensable when they do not meet my criteria or standard then bigotry and racism becomes the lens I look through. The value I place on anything determines my willingness to protect it. I will leave wore out furniture out in the front yard unprotected, but I will keep my jewelry in a locked box. The difference of location and protection was determined by my value placed on the two. People are not to be distinguished in value as wore out furniture and jewelry. ALL people are jewels!
The answer is the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated.
If I treat others the way I want to be treated then it requires me to sacrifice for the other person, not the other person sacrifice for me. If a religion, philosophy, or ideology, sacrifices others to benefit oneself, then it has a tiered value system of human life and has no place in a civilized world. The understanding must be understood that life is made up of relationships. Our relationships can either be like a bag of marbles that rub and irritate each other chipping pieces and leaving fragments of ourselves in the wake of our interaction. Or, be like a bag of grapes that are pliable and mesh together, drawing the goodness out of one another, producing one wholesome flow of nutrition benefiting others.
It’s not a choice! We must change the world!
Dr. Reuben Egolf
Vice President of Human Rights Global Congress