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Blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes: Saudi Arabia's often-brutal pact with its clerics
Blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes: Saudi Arabia's often-brutal pact with its clerics

The anointment of the House of Saud more than three centuries ago came with a pledge to rule in tandem with the austere clerics of Wahhabi Islam whose puritanical theology has provided some of the underpinnings for extremist groups throughout the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, that partnership has left the royal family — often free-wheeling and free-spending in its own habits — presiding over a deeply conservative society with one of the worst human rights records on Earth. Public beheadings routinely follow Friday prayers, drawing large crowds. A Burmese woman convicted of killing her stepdaughter met her fate last week at the hands of a swordsman in the streets of Mecca,...

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