Islam abuser handed 10 years

Updated 13 May 2014
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Islam abuser handed 10 years

A criminal court in Jeddah has sentenced a Saudi man to 10 years in prison, in addition to 1,000 lashes and a SR1 million fine, for setting up a website and insulting Islam, an Arabic electronic newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Raif Badawi, the defendant, has rejected the court’s preliminary verdict, but the public prosecutor said he wanted tougher punishment for the Muslim man for attacking Islamic faith.
The appeal court had earlier nullified the court’s previous verdict on the man issued in Ramadan.
Badawi had been sentenced to seven years and three months and 600 lashes at the time.
The appeals court had also referred the case to another judge to give his verdict, sabq.org said. The previous judge had also ordered closing down Badawi’s website.
Speaking with Arab News, Dr. Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, said the verdict was issued mainly because of his attack on Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). “These are red lines that nobody should cross,” he said.
Badahdah criticized the double standard practiced by international human rights organizations that call for the release of Badawi. “These organizations close their eyes on rights violations in Syria, Burma and other countries,” he pointed out.
Saudi bloggers backed the court decision and said the man, being an apostate, deserved harsher punishment. “The punishment issued by the court is soft compared to the enormity of the crime committed by the man,” said Bandar, a blogger.
Others said the verdict would help the man change his narrative and appeal to God for pardon.
Another blogger urged the public prosecutor to explain his charges against the man.
“Let’s pray for the man in the hope that he will be guided on the right path,” said another blogger.


Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

Updated 2 min 13 sec ago
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Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

  • He said he hopes to support Saudi filmmakers through his recently launched production company
  • The festival, at Ithra, is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province

DHAHRAN: Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. talked about his experiences in Hollywood, and the challenges he has faced during his career, when he appeared on Monday night at the fifth Saudi Film Festival, which is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province.
Known for his roles in movies such as “Men of Honor”, “A Few Good Men” and “American Crime Story,” among others, he has appeared in more than 85 films during a 30-year career on screen and stage. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.
Gooding Jr. arrived for the event, at the King Abdul Aziz World Center for Culture (Ithra), accompanied by Claudine De Niro, the estranged wife of actor Robert De Niro’s son, Raphael. They were greeted by renowned Saudi film producer and Hollywood businessman Mohammed Al-Turki.
Gooding Jr. spoke to the audience at Ithra for almost 60 minutes about his long career and the challenges and pitfalls he had experienced on the road to success in the film industry. He also offered some advice to anyone interested in following in his footsteps.
“No one prepares you for success,” he said. “That’s why you see a lot of actors that star in movies, then disappear. Or you see athletes that make a $100 million and then they disappear, too. They weren’t ready for it.
“You have to envision yourself standing on that stage, holding an Oscar over your head, saying, ‘This is for the Middle-East’. You have to envision the script that you will write and envision being on that stage, holding that Oscar.
“People asked me after I won that Academy Award if I ever thought I would be on that stage. I always said, ‘Not in a million years.’ But that’s a lie. You have to envision yourself on that stage, winning that award, so that when you succeed it will feel normal, not like it’s something special, so that you can do it again.”
The actor also said that he intends to support filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and other countries through his recently launched production company.
Asked if he had any projects planned in the region, and Saudi Arabia in particular, he said: “I do, actually. I have a couple of things. I don’t want to give it away but let’s just say that there is a lot of great literature that I’ve read, a lot of different books, including Arabian Nights. It’s hard to talk about the things in development because you don’t want to give it away but there is definitely something in development.”