Saudi teacher to receive 750 lashes for blasphemy

In a ruling that human rights activists have condemned, a Saudi teacher who allegedly discussed religion with his students has been sentenced to 750 lashes and 40 months in prison for blasphemy. Mohammed Salamah al-Harbi, a high school chemistry teacher, was convicted of questioning and ridiculing Islam, discussing the Bible and defending Jews, judicial officials said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Human Rights Watch says al-Harbi had been "talking to his pupils about his views on a number of current topics, such as Christianity, Judaism and the causes of terrorism."