December 7th, 2011
06:41 AM ET

Australian man faces 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy

By Brian Walker, CNN

(CNN) – Australia appealed for leniency after its citizen was sentenced Wednesday to 500 lashes and a year in prison by a Saudi Arabian court.

Mansor Almaribe, 45, was found guilty of blasphemy after he was arrested last month in Medina while on a pilgrimage, Australian officials said.

It's unclear what Almaribe, a Shia Muslim from Victoria state, said or did to get arrested.

"The ambassador has urgently contacted Saudi authorities and will make strong representations, including to key figures in the Saudi government, seeking leniency," said Kate Sieper, a foreign affairs spokeswoman.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Australia • Islam • Saudi Arabia

soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Reality

    And to continue the "blasphemy" regarding Islam: (fortunately I don't live in crazy, "dark-aged" Saudi Arabia)

    from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    December 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Quid Malmborg


      December 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Reality

      For those who are "reading challenged":

      From a PowerPoint slide:




      Added details upon request.

      December 8, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • .........

      for those who are breathing hit report abuse on reality bull sh it

      December 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  2. DR

    I think the whipping there is more about public humiliation than pain infliction. The flogger holds an object under the arm to limit the stroke.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Oh, well, that's okay then.

      December 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  3. Hypatia

    How charmingly 7th century of them. I suggest a 21st century response with drones.

    December 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Jimtanker

    They dont do all 500 in one day. You get say 25 and then heal up and then get more, and more, and more.

    December 7, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  5. KoKo

    wow that is cool what did he do anyway

    December 7, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  6. KoKo

    omg that is so wierd like really really wierd what did he do any way

    December 7, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  7. GSA

    Hello US, anybody home? I know you guys love to help out other countries and ppl in need right? Hello, anybody there....guess not!
    When your friend gives you valuable things I guess you let them do what they want when they want no matter who they hurt.

    December 7, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Ed

      What would you have the US do? Should we go to war with Saudi Arabia? Maybe we should just nuke em. While or foriegn affairs department can speak up, we are under no obligation to do so and Austraila has not asked us too yet. They are a nation let them deal with it if they ask for our help then we can become involved. We may already have contact the Saudias about it. But this in not the fault of the US stop looking for excuses to balme us for everything everywhere in the world

      December 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Kelly

      Ed, Thank you. Well put.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Nonimus

      What Ed said.

      December 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  8. Jimtanker

    Guess that he should have kept his mouth shut when he was in a hardline MusIim country. When you go to another country you live by their laws.

    December 7, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • jos

      Too bad some of the hardliners want to move in and change laws in Western countries.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • redragon

      It said he was muslim also

      December 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Too bad many/most/all believer cults (including many/most/all christian variants) want to change Western laws.

      December 8, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      This was a Muslim from another country following the requirements of his religion by making the Hajj. Apparently he said something that was taken out of context by someone else concerning the Prophet and/or his family, and that got back to the Mutawwa'în (religious police). The rest reads like something out of Europe during the 15th Century when Catholics and Protestants willingly tortured, imprisoned and murdered each other due to what they believed or who they spoke out against.

      December 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  9. chris

    Typical Sharia Law State. Muslims ask for tolerance and freedom of religion only when they are the minority. Once they gain a majority in an area, they rise up and impose Sharia law on the rest, then force conversions. They did this in the Levant, Egypt, North Africa, Turkey, Iran, etc, etc. There is actually a blueprint for it in the Koran. It is exactly what Mohammed did in Mecca and Medina. He wrote the verses of Peace (we are a peaceful religion) when Islam was the minority. Once they became the majority, he wrote the verses of the Sword (convert or die, jihad, etc). When two verses in the Koran contradict each other, the scholars go with the later verse, therefore the more violent interpretation of Islam takes precedence over the peaceful one.

    December 7, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Jimtanker

      They actually have it kind of right over there. They caught a guy that moIested 5 young girls and they crucified him! Good job SA. After he was dead they put his head on a pole in the city square. There would be a lot less child moIestation if we did that.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Captive Audience

      Because in America we never make the mistake of convicting innocent people.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • jos

      Yeah; and all the repression and violence against women. So refreshing.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Captive Audience, yes, in the U.S. more guilty go unpunished for crimes than the other way around, what bugs me is that criminals can sue and win for getting hurt while committing a crime.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • el

      Chris!! Very well said!!! Beautifully written!

      December 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  10. larrydavidsandwhich

    All of the liberals chant with me in unison, "Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam is a peaceful religion..."

    December 7, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • panera

      What is worse being lashed by the liberals or by the islamists?

      December 7, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Jim

      The liberals are idiots not knowing they are walking straight into the trap of sharia law

      December 7, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Captive Audience

      The only person I've heard say that Islam was a religion of peace is George Bush.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • jos

      Could be right.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      I take it you have NEVER read the bible? You ARE aware we christians have done worse. Every Torture device used in the middle ages was made by & for Christians to use on others. So much for being the TRUE religion of peace.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  11. Ali

    What did this guy say to call it blasphemous???

    December 7, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • jos

      He probably said God has a Son. Oh! He does! Yay, Jesus!

      December 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    Of all the crimes people have dreamed up through history, blasphemy has got to be the most ridiculous.
    If a god has a problem being bad-mouthed, let Them smite as They see fit.
    That being said – it is wise to watch your mouth when visiting foreign lands.
    When then natives rub blue mud in their belly buttons, the safest thing to do is rub it in your own just as solemnly.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Woody

      If the far right wing christian nut jobs in the USA had their way, they'd be flogging people left and right. Then there's the other all time favorite, HERESY. There's nothing like a good old fashioned burning at the stake for curing heretics. This is 2011?

      December 7, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • captain america

      Yes doc watch your mouth when butting into foreign lands.Like a bull sh it canadian horning in on an American news blog?

      December 7, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Ed

      Don't listen to them Doc I think your comment was right on

      December 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Grenn

      I'm going to get some blue mud now....

      December 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Blue mud is for those about to be sacrificed and eaten...

      December 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Grenn

      Okay putting the blue mud away now....

      December 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Blogs like this *are* the blue mud in the US. 😉

      December 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  13. JohnR

    500 lashes IS a death penalty?

    December 7, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • JohnR

      That was supposed to be an exclamation mark, not a question mark!!!!!!

      December 7, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Nonimus

      ... but the question mark makes it so much more interesting.

      December 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  14. hippypoet

    the dude did something he should not have in a religiously run country – sucks for him!
    add another 50 lashings for stupidity!

    December 7, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • JohnR

      So you don't question the penalty? People need to mind their behavior but governments can do as they please?

      December 7, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  15. Lee

    It is One of big ally of USA . USA formulates policy based on its interest rather than Human rights . USA can do anything, good or bad , moral or not moral for its interest

    December 7, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • Ironicus

      Military expediency trumps human rights every time.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • CosmicC

      While that's true, what does that have to do with an Australian citizen?

      December 7, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Kelly

      A little off-topic there, don't you think, Lee?

      December 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  16. Keith

    Coming soon Murpheesboro, TN; Dearborn, MI; Park 51, NYC, etc...

    December 7, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • jos

      Scary true.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      There are, I think, hundreds, if not thousands, of Mosque's in the US, many dating back to the early 1900's. What's your point?

      December 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Keith, where is "Murpeesboro, TN"?

      Gee, mightY warrior, I thought you found it impossible to be a moron, yet here is proof that anyone can dream the impossible dream.

      December 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Keith, the only way this could legally happen in the locations you describe would be if laws, possibly including the US const!tution, we're changed. The only way these changes would come about is if a large number of believers voted for them. No atheist is going to vote for increasing the influence of religion. So, just like most abortions in the USA, the potential adoption of theocratic type laws is a believer problem. In this case, you should be pushing for the strict adherence to separation of church and state.

      December 8, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Keith

      Well, well if it isn't the actress tammy and her cannuck sidekick. HAA, The UN is trying to promote laws which would make criticizing islam illegal. Hilliary has been supporting this. And since Obama signed an executive order allowing Interpol free reign in this country, theoretically you could be arrested and wisked away for prosecution-American law and voters be damned.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Keith

      HAA, You are aware that pastors in Canada can be charged with a "hate crime" for simply presenting biblical views on h0m0s^xuality? Is that how this law got pa$$ed in Canada-majority rules? I doubt it. Unless Captain America is right about you cannucks. That being said, islamic blashphemy laws and sharia could be rammed through any legislative process without reflecting the views of the majority. Canada appears to be a good example. Kind of like the judicial tyranny here in America where some federal judge over-rules the clear will of the voting public. An all too common practice here now, unfortunately.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  17. Hello, its me

    Any person who visit one of these middle eastern toilets should know better and unfortunately this guy will witness the tolerance of Islambism.

    December 7, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • Cor

      Oh, it's you! I thought it was somebody else.

      December 7, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  18. Cor

    500 lashes? Time to bring out the mascara machine!

    December 7, 2011 at 7:15 am |
  19. Oops, someone let the cat out of the bag again

    In Napoleonic times, 500 lashes was an almost certain death sentence.

    December 7, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • NOo..oON

      According to Mistress Angelique, that's just a warm-up.

      December 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  20. Avi Lehyani

    Wow.... fantastic.. This is Saudi Arabia, a great friend and ally of the US. The religious feeble minded strikes again.

    December 7, 2011 at 6:48 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.