Something that you may to know about Saudi Arabia
"The Kingdom ... strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs."
So reads the statement issued by Saudi Arabia, where I grew up, the day the offices of "Charlie Hebdo" came under attack, with the loss of 12 lives.
Last Sunday, to show further solidarity with the victims, the Saudi ambassador to France joined other world leaders in Paris for a unity rally to celebrate free speech.
This is consistent with the face Saudi Arabia presents to the outside world. Visitors to the website of the Saudi embassy in Washington are invited to "learn ... how the Kingdom´s political system is rooted in Islam´s traditions which call for peace, justice, equality, consultation and respect for the rights of the individual."
Just two days before the Paris rally, my friend Raif Badawi was removed, in shackles, from a mini-bus outside the Al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah as a large crowd gathered around him after Friday prayers. According to eyewitnesses, he closed his eyes and raised his head skyward as a security officer approached him from behind with a large cane and started to beat him. Witnesses say Raif was lashed 50 times. Afterwards, he was taken back to prison where he is serving a 10-year sentencefor blogging.
Raif´s next flogging was set to take place today, but Saudi authorities postponed it due to medical advice, his wife said. She expects he will be flogged again next weekand every following weekuntil his sentence of 1,000 lashes is complete.
Raif is officially charged with "adopting liberal thought," "founding a liberal website," and "insulting Islam." He has become the latest symbol of the two-faced policy his country takes towards human rights.
Saudi Arabia is a strong American ally that has enjoyed virtually unconditional support from the United States for decades. President Bush famously held hands with its monarch, King Abdullah, as the two strolled through his Crawford, Texas ranch during the King´s 2005 state visit. President Obama was widely criticized for appearing to bow to Abdullah at a G-20 summit in London.
In the same month that ISIS horrified the world with its brutal beheading of journalist James Foley, Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded 19 people, for crimes ranging from smuggling cannabis to sorcery. Limb amputations for theft are sanctioned by the state religion.
In addition to oil, Saudi Arabia is the world´s leading exporter of Salafism, an ultra-conservative strain of Islam. The country touts itself as the birthplace of the religion of peaceyet underlines the Islamic declaration of "Shahadah" on its flag with a sword. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11.
Why does a world outraged by the horrific actions of ISIS and the Taliban turn a blind eye to the way this country treats its own citizens?
The first reason is obvious. It isn´t just our governments. Every time we fill our cars with gas, we all bow to the Saudi king.
The second is more complex.
Online videos of Raif´s flogging show worshipers from the mosque, including young children, running excitedly towards the square to watch the beating. Afterwards, the crowd erupts into cheers and applause, chanting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great!) in unison.
This isn´t surprising. The public likely considers Raif guilty of blasphemy and apostasy. A 2013 Pew Research poll found that large numbers in Muslim countries favor the death penalty for leaving Islamincluding 88% of Egyptian and 62% of Pakistani Muslims, as well as majorities in Jordan, Malaysia, Palestine, and Afghanistan.
Of course, these views don´t represent all Muslims. But contrary to what we´re usually told, they aren´t just held by a fringe minority either. Many of these countries don´t have populations willing to rally en masse to support free speech and pluralism the way France did. The change has to first come from within.
Raif has sacrificed a great deal to make this change happen. The world must support him and call Saudi Arabia out on its hypocrisy.
Some time ago, just 50 miles east of where Raif is being held today, another dissident once spoke of change, of challenging the status quo, of radical new ideas that would ultimately transform his society. He was ostracized, persecuted, and eventually driven from his city by those wanting to kill him. He was Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam; his persecutors, the Quraysh tribe of Mecca.
Muslims endeavor to emulate the life of Mohammed. Saudi Arabia has instead chosen to emulate the Quraysh.
This week, Raif spent his 31st birthday imprisoned and wounded. With enough awareness, we can put enough international pressure on the Saudi government to ensure that he spends his next one with his wife and their three beautiful children.
Ali A. Rizvi is a Pakistani-Canadian writer and friend of Raif Badawi. He grew up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, and is an advocate for secularism and reform in the Muslim world. He is currently writing his first book, "The Atheist Muslim."
HOBBS NEW MEXICO tspan:3m
HOBBS NEW MEXICO
Buying prescription drugs via the Internet: A consumer guide to HOBBS
The Internet has changed the way we live, work and even as bought. The advance of the Internet has made it possible to compare prices and buy products without having to leave the house. But when used for medicine is important to be very careful. Some websites sell drugs that are not legitimate, putting their health at risk.
For example, some websites that sell medicines:
They are not licensed pharmacies with state of the United States or are not really pharmacies.
They can give an incorrect diagnosis or sell you a drug that is not appropriate for your medical condition.
Do not protect your personal data (eg social security number and credit cards).
Some of the drugs that are sold on the Internet:
They are fake (counterfeit or adulterated).
They are very strong medicine dose or very low concentration.
They contain ingredients that can be harmful to your health.
They are expired or expired medicines.
They have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA for its acronym in English), or have not been studied for their safety and efficacy.
They have been prepared using safe standards.
They are not safe for use with other medicines or products you use.
No right or have not been properly stored or shipped labels.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICINE FOR THE FIRST TIME
Talk to your doctor and get a physical before taking any medicine for the first time.
Use only medications that have been prescribed by your doctor or other health professional you trust, who is licensed in the United States to give prescriptions or prescriptions.
Ask your doctor if you have to do something specific for your prescription.
The following information will help protect (a) if you purchase medicines via the Internet:
KNOW WHERE YOUR MEDICINES COME TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE SAFE
Make sure that the website where you buy your drugs is state-licensed pharmacy in the United States and you are located in the United States. Pharmacies and pharmacists in the United States must be licensed by a state pharmacy board. The pharmacy board of the state where you reside, you can tell if the website you use is a state-licensed pharmacy if you have good reputation, and if you are located in the United States. For a list of state pharmaceutical boards in English at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) whose website is:www.nabp.net . For information in Spanish call toll free 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645), the Li line Telefónica Health National Hispanic Family.
The NABP is a professional association of pharmaceutical state boards. This association has a program that will help you find some of the pharmacies that are licensed to sell through the Internet. The websites where the hallmark of this program appears, have been checked to ensure they comply with federal and state regulations. For more information in English about this program and for a list of pharmacies where VIPPS® (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites ) seal appears, visit the website: www.vipps.info . For information in Spanish call toll free 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645) National Helpline Hispanic Family Health.
. Find the websites whose practices are designed to protect you a secure website should:
Be located in the United States and be licensed by the state pharmacy board which operates the website (visit the website www.nabp.net for a list of state pharmaceutical boards in English). For information in Spanish call toll free 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645) National Helpline Hispanic Family Health.
Have a licensed pharmacist who can answer your questions.
Require a prescription from your doctor or other health professional who is licensed in the United States to give prescriptions or prescriptions.
Having a medium through which you can talk to a person if you have any problem.
MAKE SURE YOUR PRIVACY IS PROTECTED
Note that the privacy and security of the site you will find easy to use and understand.
Do not give any personal information (such as your Social Security number, the number of your credit card or your medical history) unless you are sure the website will keep the protected information and not made public.
Ensure that the website will not sell your personal information unless you authorize it.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Report the web sites you do not feel safe (a), or those for which you have complaints. Visit the website www.fda.gov/buyonline and click under "Notify the FDA sites web troubled "to fill the form in Spanish.
Through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Treasury Department, states, and private sector lenders and investors are supporting small businesses and creating a lasting impact on the economy, said Clifton Kellogg, Director of the SSBCI program. More than $1 billion in State Small Business Credit Initiative funds have been distributed, making a real difference at the local level. Because of these funds, businesses have been able to buy new equipment, expand their facilities, and hire workers.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs need capital to build their businesses, and SSBCI is designed to help spur new private sector lending or investment in small companies by leveraging private capital along with the federal support offered by the program. Through SSBCI, the Treasury Department will award nearly $1.5 billion to state programs across the country that support small businesses, including small manufacturers. SSBCI funding is not repaid by participating states to the federal government. Instead, to help even more small businesses, repaid loans and investments remain with participating states to be redeployed locally. The SSBCI Quarterly Report shows that as of September 2014, participating states have recycled more than $60 million to support additional investments.
States have made considerable progress in deploying these funds to support economic growth locally. The states that have deployed the most SSBCI funds by percentage of allocation include: North Dakota (Mandan Consortium), Idaho, Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, Kansas, and Alabama. The states that have deployed the most SSBCI funds by dollar amount include: California, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Alabama, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Ohio, and Georgia.
SSBCI was created when President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act on September 27, 2010. The Treasury Department awarded allocations to all fifty states by early 2012, based on a formula set by the Small Business Jobs Act that considered population and unemployment levels. Each state designs its own small business programs, and five types of programs are eligible for SSBCI funds: Capital Access Programs, Loan Guarantee Programs, Loan Participation Programs, Collateral Support Programs, and Venture Capital Programs. In the SSBCI 2013 Annual Report business owners reported that more than 95,000 jobs will be created or saved as a direct result of SSBCI support.