Disobedience of the Law

raif-badawi
Actions have consequences, breaking the law is not a consequence-free game.

This is pretty much guaranteed to piss off just about everyone who reads it, I’m sure, but I recently got into a discussion on a forum with someone who was incensed over the jailings, beatings and executions of atheist bloggers in Muslim countries. Yes, it is likely that most people reading this agree that the laws in these countries, often based on Sharia law, are distasteful.  That doesn’t stop it from being the law of the land.

See, there are lots of people, particularly in the United States, who are wholly misinformed about their place in reality.  They are sure that everyone on the planet lives under the Constitution of the United States and shares all of the rights and privileges that we do.  They are wrong.  Our laws stop at our borders.  Anyone who lives outside of our borders has to deal with the actual laws and rights available in their own little corner of the world.  I fear that a lot of people who spend time online with those in the western world get deluded into thinking that they have these magical rights when, in reality, they have nothing of the sort.

It’s usually not the people that quietly stop believing in Islam and live their lives privately as an atheist, those people don’t get caught very often.  It’s the idiots who go out of their way to antagonize the society in which they live and blatantly shove their apostasy in the face of the authorities that bug me.  Just because you don’t like the law doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow it or pay the consequences.  And these people knew the consequences, in almost all cases, they lived in the society for their entire lives. They openly violated the law and then were shocked when they were carried off to jail for whatever punishment the country deemed proper.  This didn’t come out of the blue, nobody was surprised when the authorities showed up on their doorstep and even if they did, ignorance of the law is no excuse.  People need to stop acting stupidly and stop pretending they have rights they simply do not have.

Don’t give me the “civil disobedience” line either.  Civil disobedience is not a way to break the law and get away scott free.  In fact, the whole point of civil disobedience is to break the law, get caught and be prosecuted, such that you bring attention to the injustice of the laws themselves.  If you’re not willing to suffer the consequences of your civil disobedience, then you’re just being a coward.  I’m willing to bet that none of these bloggers ever gave a moment’s thought to what might happen to them if they were caught.  This isn’t civil disobedience, this is abject stupidity.

People like Raif Badawi, who openly flaunt their violation of the law and get what they have coming to them are not victims. Yes, I think the laws under which he was sentenced are idiotic, that means somewhere between jack and shit.  If he wanted to speak out against Islam, his first move should have been to get the hell out of Dodge, maybe going to Canada where his wife and children now have asylum.  It is not bright to punch the society in the nose and then pretend that you shouldn’t be held accountable for it.  Whatever happens to him is a tragedy, that doesn’t mean it isn’t entirely legal.  No matter how many times Amnesty International claims he’s imprisoned for “exercising his right to freedom of expression”, that doesn’t mean he actually has that right.  People need to disabuse themselves of that silly notion.  It’s nonsense.

So please, before anyone screams about how horrible and awful it is that people in other parts of the world ought to be able to break the law with impunity, realize that you and your local rights and privileges mean precisely dick to the situation at hand. Let’s deal with reality as it actually exists instead of pretending that your political fantasies have any bearing whatsoever on the situation.

6 thoughts on “Disobedience of the Law

  1. "They are sure that everyone on the planet lives under the Constitution of the United States and shares all of the rights and privileges that we do."

    Identify even one such person. You love to create fictional persons. They are so much easier to beat up on than are real ones.

  2. "Just because you don’t like the law doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow it or pay the consequences."

    So I guess you are pretty pissed off at the civil rights activists from the 1960s? As long as it is the law it's okay to oppress people and those being oppressed just ought to shut the fuck up and take it? You really take the law-and-order rule to the extreme, don't you?

  3. " I’m willing to bet that none of these bloggers ever gave a moment’s thought to what might happen to them if they were caught."

    Do yourself and don't wager any money on this fools bet You would lose.

  4. "People like Raif Badawi, who openly flaunt their violation of the law and get what they have coming to them are not victims."

    So whipping a person is a justified form of punishment for the act of free speech so long as the country has a law banning free speech? It may be legal under that countries system of laws, but that doesn't make it right. Your line of reasoning here means that Hitler was perfectly justified in what he did to Jews in Germany. That you would even make such an argument makes you a moral monster and confirms what I suggested some months ago in the comment section of one of your posts – your are exhibiting signs of psychopathy. Rather than condemn the laws under which Saudi Arabia engages in such brutality, you justifiy it and blame the victim for the brutality inflicted upon them. You are a pathetic excuse for a human being.

  5. "No matter how many times Amnesty International claims he’s imprisoned for “exercising his right to freedom of expression”, that doesn’t mean he actually has that right."

    Just because a nation, through its laws, does not recognize some right, does not mean that the person punished for exercising that right is not entitlted to that right. Your view of things is a logic that justifies continued oppression.

  6. No one is arguing that a person should not be punished for violating a nation's laws.But no non-violent act of civil disobedience is deserving of the punishment inflicted upon Raif Badawi. No decent, rational, reasonable human being should or would condone or excuse barbaric, savage, forms of punishment. Lashing a person for exercising free speech is a vile, wicked, heinous form of punishment. That you think Badawi got what he deserved for violating Saudi Arabia's law reveals you as a morally despicable person.

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