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← Saudis sentence Australian man to 500 lashes for blasphemy

Mark Ribbands's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Mark Ribbands

Comment 9 by brown dwarf … Why doesn’t the prime minister of Australia do something to protect her citizens …

I’m with you on that, Brown Dwarf.

Can anyone tell me what it says on Australian passports these days? Is it still the same as on British ones? ie ‘Her Britannic Majesty requests and requires that the bearer shall pass freely, without let or hindrance…’ and so on?

That wording used to be meant, and taken, seriously. And was backed up by a not inconsiderable number of Her Britannic Majesty’s gunboats if required.

Of course, this is likely to be a typical Arab diplomatic game, to satisfy the zealots but without any real intention of carrying out the punishment. No doubt precisely that interpretation will be under discussion through secret diplomatic channels. Both sides will need to save face, which is exactly what diplomacy is all about.

But notwithstanding that, there has to come a time when the free, secular world says, clearly and distinctly, ‘Enough!’ to this kind of barbaric, archaic, uncivilised idiocy. And also doesn’t scrap too many of its gunboats just yet. Just in case.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 22:05:25 UTC | #897293