Liberal Moroccan writer Said Nachid talked, during a conference of the Adhoc organization of liberal modern thought, held in Rome, about his friend Raif Badawi, who was arrested in 2012 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam through electronic channels." Nachid said that in the early days of Badawi's incarceration, when he still had his mobile phone, he used to call him and tell him about the religious guidance one is forced to attend, including mandatory prayers and lessons in the teachings of Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taymiyya. The video was posted on Adhoc's social media channels on November 13.
Following are excerpts
Said Nachid: I would like to express my gratitude to you for talking about the case of our friend Raif Badawi. I had thought that that his case had begun to sink into oblivion, because of the magnitude of the Gulf lobby around the world. Our friend Raif Badawi was arrested years ago. On the first few days after his arrest, he used to call me, because he still had his mobile phone. His final sentence had not been pronounced yet, and he was allowed to keep his phone, so he used to call me. Do you know what they did to him in prison? They forced him to observe all the prayers - from the Fajr prayer to the 'Isha prayer. They forced him to read from the Quran out loud, and to attend classes of religious reformation.
What did they teach him in those classes in prison? Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taymiyya. I asked him: What are they doing with the extremists? He told me that the extremists excel in these classes and earn credit points. Eventually, they are released. All they have to do is to repent. What does this mean? They declare their repentance. That's not all. When they are released, they receive a grant. They can do whatever they want with these grants. Some of them use it to establish media outlets, in order to distribute their extremist ideas. Generally speaking, all the Muslim countries have only one criterion for extremism. What is this criterion? One's position towards the ruler.