The Takeaway

President Obama arrives in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh today. Alongside other world leaders, he’ll pay his respects to King Abdullah, who died last week at the age of 90.

While the King was considered by many to be a reformer in a deeply conservative state, human rights groups are critical that the violations of the Abdullah legacy, including unfair trails and unreasonably harsh punishments, should not be met with tacit silence on the part of the Western world.

Is the United States sending a mixed message? Toby Jones, associate professor of Middle East history at Rutgers University, and Ali A. Rizvi, a Pakistani-Canadian writer and friend of Raif Badawi, a liberal blogger who was publicly flogged in Saudi Arabia, weigh in.

Listen the interview here.