The mark of an educated mind is the ability to entertain an idea without accepting it.
The heroic stars spending themselves,
Coining their very flesh into bullets for the lost battle,
They must burn out at length like used candles;
And Mother Night will weep in her triumph, taking home her heroes.
There is the stuff for an epic poem-
This magnificent raid at the heart of darkness, this lost battle-
We don't know enough, we'll never know.
Oh happy Homer, taking the stars and the Gods for granted.
In May 2012, shortly before his arrest, Badawi addressed the nature of liberalism.
"For me, liberalism simply means, live and let live. This is a splendid slogan. However, the nature of liberalism – particularly the Saudi version – needs to be clarified. It is even more important to sketch the features and parameters of liberalism, to which the other faction, controlling and claiming exclusive monopoly of the truth, is so hostile that they are driven to discredit it without discussion or fully understanding what the word actually means. They have succeeded in planting hostility to liberalism in the minds of the public and turning people against it, lest the carpet be pulled out from under their feet. But their hold over people’s minds and society shall vanish like dust carried off in the wind."
His final thought quoted Albert Camus: “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
In another piece that month, Badawi invoked the Quran to support the importance of liberalism, the need to separate religion and state and implied that Islam itself has been distorted by the Saudi political establishment to promote illiberal and authoritarian ideals.
"No religion at all has any connection to mankind’s civic progress. This is not a failing on the part of religion but rather that all religions represent a particular, precise spiritual relationship between the individual and the Creator. ..However, positive law is an unavoidable human and social need because traffic regulations, employment law and the codes governing the administration of State can hardly be derived from religion."
Translations: Mona Mahmood, Amnesty International, Ian Black, Raya Jalabi and Gatestone Institute.
“Lawrence seems to have possessed a natural gift for remaining silent and motionless, without betraying himself – he had always been fearless; from boyhood on he had deliberately cultivated indifference to danger and hardship, as well as emotional independence, as if rehearsing for the role he was about to play, and his lack of fear somehow communicated itself to others in the sense that they felt he belonged where he was whoever he might be."
Michael Korda’s book Hero, on the life and legend of LawrenceLawrence certainly had his vices but of his virtues he had an audacity and flexibility that made him unique.