Thursday, February 25, 2010

Influential Saudi Cleric Calls for Beheading of Apostates

The Washington-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia unequivocally denounces Shaikh Abdulrahman Al-Barrak call for the beheading of those who initiate or accept gender mingling in schools or in the work place. “They should be given one chance to repent, but if they do not, they should be considered apostate and beheaded,” Al-Barrak said.

Al-Barrak published his Fatwa, a religious edict, on his website, which is read by Muslims all over the world. The Saudi clerics (the religious branch of the government) participate fully in ruling Saudi Arabia. They are in total control of the country’s sectarian and arbitrary judicial system as well as its educational institutions, including approval of schoolbooks.... See More

Despite King Abdullah’s cosmetic judicial and educational reforms, he and his large and diverse family (tribe) are keenly aware that the only base of legitimacy and source of power, which ensure their control of the country and its disenfranchised people, is the strength and ruthlessness of the theocratic establishment, which Shaikh Al-Barrak represents. Even if King Abdullah is serious about reforms, and most Saudis do not think he is but cannot say so, he is primarily accountable to his powerful and competing senior brothers who can easily override his decisions and/or render him powerless altogether.

Saudi Arabia’s domestic policies affect most Muslims across the world. This is due to Saudi Arabia’s centrality to Islam, control of its holy sites in Mecca and Medina, and influx of petrodollars. The Saudi autocratic and theocratic regime uses these powerful assets to exert its disproportionate influence and impose its will on Muslim communities worldwide. The Saudi government does this by exporting its stringent Wahhabi ideology, bribing heads of states, building religious schools and mosques wherever it wishes including in the US. This is the reason Muslim countries, represented by the Organization for Islamic Conference, OIC, sign up for whatever the Saudi ruling family wishes them to do.

Because of Saudi Arabia’s powerful religious and financial influence in the Muslim World, transforming Saudi educational and religious institutions should be President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s first foreign policy order of business in the Muslim World. Appointing an American Muslim envoy to the OIC by the Administration strengthens and legitimizes the Saudi extremist religious ideology, Wahhabism, at home and throughout the world.

Read article (in Arabic)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bombs Are Louder Than Words

“Bombs are louder than words”

Director’s Comment: Blaming the negative global image of Islam and Muslims on Western media and on misunderstanding of true Islam is erroneous, at best. Despite the fact that Arab and Muslim governments and their institutions insist that Islam is a peaceful, tolerant, egalitarian and just faith, non-Muslims as well as many Muslims around the globe judge Islam by what they see and experience. They see horrendous carnage committed by Muslims against other Muslims in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan among other places. They see young men and women strapped in explosives blowing themselves and innocent people up in Muslim and non-Muslim countries. They see women covered head-to-toe in black. They see beheadings, floggings, genital mutilations, stoning of adulteresses, and honor killings in public squares. They see severe gender segregation, marginalization of women, child and forced marriages, and arbitrary judicial systems that separate husbands from wives because of social and tribal status. They see grinding bans on free expression and religious freedom. They see intolerance and killings of Christians and destructions of their houses of worship throughout the Muslim World. They see Shi’ites and other minority Muslims oppressed and denied their divine rights to practice their religious rituals peacefully and freely. These are realities that are institutionalized, implemented, and sanctioned, in one fashion or another, and carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam in many countries.

Finally, Muslims can build religious houses and open schools in almost any country in the world and worship freely. Can non-Muslims do the same in any Muslim country?
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Red Roses Constitute Mortal Threat to Saudi Islam and Cultural Purity

Director's Comment:

It’s hard to think of a place in the world where repression is more inclusive and comprehensive than in Saudi Arabia. Political repression exists in many countries; in Saudi Arabia, repression is unlimited. Religious, social, political, educational, sexual and all forms of free expressions are considered un-Islamic, therefore forbidden. Not only that, but non-Islamic celebratory and joyous occasions (according to the Saudi-Wahhabi interpretations and definitions) are considered threats to Islam and the sanctity of perceived supremacy of Saudi culture. This is why selling roses before Valentine’s Day is taboo in the Saudi Kingdom, as described in the attached article. But there is more to the prohibition than merely selling and buying roses for this romantic occasion. It is seen as recognition and appreciation of Christianity, a faith the Saudi theocratic establishment considers inferior and blasphemous.

While taboos in Saudi Arabia are attributed to cultural and religious sensitivities, the real reasons are much deeper. The Saudi authorities and institutions’ relentless efforts to poison their captive subjects’ minds, attitude and perceptions against other religions and cultures have to do with fear of new ideas and empowering values. The Saudi system is built on and sustained by emphasis on total submission to rulers and God as well as by creating massive illusions in their subjects’ perceptions and psyche, from cradle to grave. Saudis are subjected to intense and continual religious, social, political, and cultural programming in schools, mosques, and living rooms. They are constantly reminded, coercively in most cases, into believing that their religion, culture, system of governance and dress code are superlatively superior and divine while those of other peoples’ are artificial, unfulfilling and Godless. The good news is that educated Saudis, especially women, do not subscribe to this deceiving illusion anymore.

Note. Disconcertingly, Saudis are not the only ones subjected to incessant indoctrination. Most Muslims fall into this category, and that’s why they have difficulties assimilating in other societies—even the ones they escape to because of intolerable political, social, religious and economic conditions and oppression in their homelands.

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