Category Archives: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: World’s Greatest Hypocrite

 

Raymond Ibrahim

Saudi Arabia recently preached to the international community about the need to confront “intolerance, extremism and human rights violations.”

If this sounds surreal, consider the following excerpts from a July 26 report in the Saudi Gazette (emphasis added):

Saudi Arabia has reiterated its call on the international community to criminalize any act vilifying religious beliefs and symbols of faith as well as all kinds of discrimination based on religion.

Saudi Arabia wants Western cartoonists, comedians, and others—people who represent only their individual selves—to stop mocking the religious beliefs and symbols of Islam, even as the Arabian kingdom’s own institutionalized policy is to vilify and discriminate against the religious beliefs and symbols of all other faiths.

Not a single non-Muslim worship building is allowed there; the highest Islamic authority decreed that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”  Whenever Christians are suspected of meeting in a house for worship—or as one Saudi official once complained, “plotting to celebrate Christmas”—they are arrested and punished.

Any cross or other non-Muslim symbol found is confiscated and destroyed. Anyone caught trying to smuggle Bibles or any other “publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam” can be executed.

In 2011, a Colombian soccer-player “was arrested by the Saudi moral police after customers in a Riyadh shopping mall expressed outrage over the sports player’s religious tattoos, which included the face of Jesus of Nazareth on his arm.”  In 2010 a Romanian player kissed the tattoo of a cross he had on his arm after scoring a goal, causing public outrage.

And yet, Saudi Arabia has the unmitigated gall to ask the West—where Islam is freely practiced, where mosques and Korans proliferate, and where Muslims are granted full equality—to cease “discrimination based on religion.”

Continues the Saudi Gazette:

Addressing an international symposium on media coverage of religious symbols based on international law, which started in this French city on Saturday, a senior Saudi official said the Kingdom emphasized years ago that the international community must act urgently to confront ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance, which has become widespread in all communities and peoples of the world.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, few countries exhibit as much “ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance” as does the Arabian kingdom.  Along with the aforementioned discrimination and intolerance against all other religions, Saudi Arabia is notoriously clannish and racist.

Ten percent of the population is denied equal rights because of their race; back men are barred from holding many government positions; black women are often put on trial for “witchcraft”; castrated African slaves are sold on Facebook in the birthplace of Islam and its princes are known to beat their black slaves to death. Human Rights Watch has described conditions for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia as resembling slavery.

Worse of all is if you’re black and Christian.  After 35 Christian Ethiopians were arrested and abused in prison for almost a year, simply for holding a private house prayer, one of them said after being released: “They [Saudis] are full of hatred towards non-Muslims.”

This is unsurprising considering that the Saudi education system makes it a point to indoctrinate Muslim children with hatred, teaching that “the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.”

According to Saudi novelist Hani Naqshabandi, “Our religious institutions do not give us room to exercise free thought….  They [Saudi institutions] said that the Christian is an infidel, a denizen of hell, an enemy to Allah and Islam.  So we said, ‘Allah’s curse on them.’”

Again, bear in mind that all this is official Saudi policy—not the “free expressions” of individuals, which the Saudis are condemning as creating “ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance” around the world.

The Saudi Gazette goes on to quote one Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, “a senior Saudi official.” Speaking at a recent international symposium in France which hosted representatives from 16 European nations, he said that Western “freedom of expression without limits or restrictions” areabuses [that] bred intolerance, extremism and human rights violations…”

Again, it bears reemphasizing that in the West individuals are free to express themselves.  And it’s just that—expression, not action (as in murder, terrorism, rape, enslavement, church bombings, or the slaughter of “apostates”).

As for Western governments, thanks to political correctness, not only do they discourage freedom of expression but honest, objective talk concerning Islam is suppressed (hence every Western leader maintains that ISIS “has nothing to do with Islam,” AKA, “the religion of peace”).

Meanwhile, it is precisely Islamic teachings that breed “intolerance, extremism and human rights violations,” and not just in Saudi Arabia but all throughout the Muslim world.  And it is precisely these teachings that prompt Western peoples to criticize Islam, including through cartoons.

None of this is enough to embarrass the Saudis from their farce:

Al-Omari said the Saudi participation in the symposium falls in line with its efforts to support the principles of justice, humanity, promotion of values and the principles of tolerance in the world as well as to emphasize the importance of respecting religions and religious symbols.

Actually, because of Saudi Arabia’s absolute lack of “justice, humanity, promotion of values and the principles of tolerance,” even the U.S. State Department lists the home of Islam and Muhammad as one of eight “Countries of Particular Concern.”

Thus in ultra-hypocritical manner, Saudi Arabia asks the international community to stop exercising freedom of expression—even as it openly and unapologetically persecutes, discriminates, and violates the most basic human rights of non-Muslims and non-Saudis on a daily basis.

It still remains to determine which is more surreal, more unbelievable: that Saudi Arabia, which tops the charts of state-enforced religious intolerance and ethnic discrimination, is calling on the West “to confront ethnic, religious and cultural intolerance,” or that the West deigns to participate in such disgracefully hypocritical forums.

Saudi Prince threatens military action w/o American support against Iran

obama nukes

Jeff Dunetz///In the first public criticism of the P5+Iran deal by a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, Prince Bandar bin Sultan told Lebanon’s Daily Star the deal would allow Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb and would “wreak havoc in the region.” Covered in The Times of London, the prince also told Daily Star, “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf powers are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal”

Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two leading players in the Sunni/Shia divide and are competing for leadership of the Muslim world. The Sunni Islam Saudi Arabian monarchy fears that the Shia Islam Iranians will employ terrorists in an attempt topple the monarchy and the ruling House of Saud.

Prince Bandar was the Saudi ambassador to Washington for 20 years before returning home to run the country’s intelligence service from 2005-2014. While he is no longer a part of the inner ring of Saudi decision-making, the prince is still a very connected member of the ruling family. The prince would not be conducting interviews without the permission of highest authorities; most likely he was asked to to put himself out there by his uncle King Salman.

The Prince also said that regional powers have lost faith in America:

“People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally”

The prince was less polite in an op-ed he wrote for the London-based Arabic news Web site Elaph. He compared the Iran nuclear deal made by Obama to the North Korean nuclear deal Bill Clinton made.  Bandar suggested that they were both bad deals but Clinton made a bad deal with the best of intentions thinking it was a good deal. Obama on the other hand knew he was making a lousy deal and made it anyway.

Quoted in a Washington Post article which translated part of the Elaph piece:

Bandar says [about the North Korean pact], “it turned out that the strategic foreign policy analysis was wrong and there was a major intelligence failure.” He added that if Clinton had known the full picture, “I am absolutely confident he would not have made that decision.”

The Saudi royal then contrasts this with the present situation with Iran, “where the strategic foreign policy analysis, the national intelligence information, and America’s allies in the region’s intelligence all predict not only the same outcome of the North Korean nuclear deal but worse – with the billions of dollars that Iran will have access to.”

Bandar says Obama is smart enough to understand this but that he is ideologically willing to accept collateral damage because he believes he is right.

(..)The Saudi prince says the new Iran deal and other developments in the region have led him to conclude that a phrase first used by Henry Kissinger – “America’s enemies should fear America, but America’s friends should fear America more” – is correct.

At his press conference earlier this week, President Obama seemed to indicate the only opposition to the P5+1 deal came from congressional Republicans, Israeli Premier Bibi Netanyahu, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer (see video below). The president was not being truthful. Not only is there opposition from Congressional Democrats, but one of the leading critics is Senator Bob Menendez – a New Jersey Democrat. In Israel, with the possible exception of the Arab parties, all of the political parties in the Knesset have come out against the deal.  And based on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, we now know that another one of the United States’ closest allies, Saudi Arabia, believes the P5+1 deal was a blunder.

Will a Saudi Prince Really Come to Israel?

President Obama with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. Photo: Screenshot.

Is the Middle East going to experience another historic moment with the visit of Saudi Prince Talal bin Waleed to Israel in what could be the most significant move toward peace between the Arabs and Israelis since Anwar Sadat’s iconic trip to Israel? Or is this merely a rumor?

The Jerusalem Post ran the story of Prince Talal’s visit, subsequently ran a denial, and then scrubbed everything. What the Jerusalem Post thinks of the original story is anyone’s guess.

Unlike the Post, however, no Arab source has retracted the story. In fact, Paul Miller of the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought contacted Moroccan Journalist, Aziz Allilou, who broke the story in the Arab world outside of Saudi Arabia. On the basis of this exchange, Mr. Miller reports that there is neither an official confirmation nor denial of the story, which originates with credible Saudi media sources in Arabic.

It is highly unlikely that the Saudi government would let the story run without a disclaimer if it were not true. And so far the story not only has legs, but it also portends the most dramatic movement toward peace in the region in recent memory.

First there is Prince Talal himself. A media tycoon and highly successful investor who frequently appears on business channels, the Saudi multibillionaire is the modern visage of Saudi Arabia. Soft spoken, impeccably dressed, his insights into the ebb and flow of international markets are highly sought after.

An Arab moderate, the prince has urged his Arab brothers and sisters to shift policy toward Israel in search of a more peaceful, prosperous, and homogenous Middle East.

This appeal was followed by a statement of cosmic proportions. According to Saudi media, the prince intends to embark on a seven-day pilgrimage of the Holy Land and pray in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Calling for Muslims in the Middle East “to desist from their absurd hostility toward the Jewish people,” the prince went on to announce that Saudi King Salman has instructed him to open a direct dialogue with Israel’s intellectuals in pursuit of amicable ties with all of Israel’s Arab neighbors.

Prince Talal denounced the growing waves of anti-Semitism in the region and praised Israel as the region’s sole democratic entity.

The story gains credibility considering that the Saudis and the Israelis have had five “secret” meetings to discuss common defense and intelligence issues related to President Barack Obama’s policy of strengthening Iran economically while permitting the terror state to become a potential nuclear power with a breakout capacity that is unknowable.

If the prince is successful in achieving his aspirations, he will be inscribed in history as one of the Middle East’s, if not one of the world’s, great visionaries.Amid the despair in the region generated by Obama’s Iran policy, Prince Talal’s pronouncements are uplifting and portend a bright future and a potential military and intelligence cooperation that will serve as a bulwark against an Iran emboldened and strengthened by Mr. Obama’s naïve policies.

In arrogantly thinking he alone could decide the future of the Middle East, Mr. Obama has unleashed the unintended consequences that frequently shape great events: in this instance for the betterment of all the peoples of the Middle East but ultimately to the detriment of America’s interests.

Mr. Obama might awaken one day to a Middle East where America will face the diplomatic and strategic unintended consequences of his choice to embrace her enemies while rebuffing her friends.

We should applaud Prince Talal and wish him every success. May his journey open a path to the betterment of the entire region and for a lasting reconciliation between Israel and her neighbors.

If the story cannot be substantiated or is perhaps nothing more than a trial balloon, even that shows progress. For if it were true, this could well be the most promising breakthrough toward peace between Arabs and Israelis since Sadat’s speech to the Israeli Knesset. If Prince Talal will not be breaking bread with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu any time soon, it cannot be overstated how Prince Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family, condemnation of anti-Semitism and praise for Israel’s democracy, is still a giant step in the right direction.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. @salomoncenter. This article was originally published by The Observer. 

فإن الأمير السعودي تعال حقا إلى إسرائيل؟

الشرق الأوسط سوف تواجه لحظة تاريخية أخرى مع زيارة الأمير السعودي طلال بن الوليد إلى إسرائيل في ما يمكن أن يكون خطوة الأكثر أهمية نحو السلام بين العرب والإسرائيليين منذ رحلة السادات الشهيرة إلى إسرائيل؟ أم أن هذا مجرد إشاعة؟

جيروزاليم بوست ركض قصة زيارة الأمير طلال، في وقت لاحق يدير الإنكار، ثم تغسل كل شيء. ما جيروزاليم بوست يفكر في القصة الأصلية هو تخمين أي شخص.

على عكس بوست، ومع ذلك، لا يوجد مصدر العربي قد تراجع عن القصة. في الواقع، بول ميلر من مركز سالومون اليهودي الفكر أمريكا اتصلت الصحفي المغربي عزيز Allilou، الذي كسر القصة في العالم العربي خارج المملكة العربية السعودية. على أساس هذا التبادل، وتقارير السيد ميلر انه لا توجد أي تأكيد رسمي ولا إنكار هذه القصة، التي تأتي مع مصادر إعلامية سعودية موثوقة باللغة العربية.

فمن المستبعد جدا أن الحكومة السعودية لن تسمح على المدى القصة دون إخلاء لو لم يكن صحيحا. وحتى الآن القصة ليس لديه سوى الساقين، لكنه ينذر أيضا الحركة الأكثر دراماتيكية نحو السلام في المنطقة في الذاكرة الحديثة.

أولا هناك الأمير طلال نفسه. A قطب الاعلام والمستثمر الناجح للغاية الذي يبدو في كثير من الأحيان على القنوات التجارية، والملياردير السعودي هو محيا الحديثة في المملكة العربية السعودية. تحدث لينة، ويرتدون ملابس منزه، اكتشافاته في المد والجزر من الأسواق الدولية وسعى للغاية بعد.

عربي معتدل، حث الأمير أشقائه وشقيقاته العربية في تغيير السياسة تجاه إسرائيل بحثا عن أكثر سلما وازدهارا، ومتجانسة الشرق الأوسط.

وأعقب هذا النداء ببيان ذات أبعاد كونية. وفقا لوسائل الإعلام السعودية، يعتزم الأمير للشروع في رحلة حج لمدة سبعة أيام في الأراضي المقدسة وأداء الصلاة في المسجد الأقصى في القدس.

تدعو المسلمين في الشرق الأوسط “إلى الكف عن العداء سخيف تجاه الشعب اليهودي”، ذهب الأمير على أن يعلن أن العاهل السعودي الملك سلمان وطلب منه فتح حوار مباشر مع المثقفين إسرائيل في السعي لتحقيق علاقات ودية مع كل من اسرائيل الجيران العرب.

ندد الأمير طلال تزايد موجات العداء للسامية في المنطقة، وأشاد اسرائيل ككيان الديمقراطي الوحيد في المنطقة.

مصداقية مكاسب القصة معتبرا أن السعوديين والإسرائيليين لديهم خمسة اجتماعات “سرية” لمناقشة قضايا الدفاع والاستخبارات المشتركة المرتبطة لسياسة الرئيس باراك أوباما لتعزيز إيران اقتصاديا في حين يسمح للدولة إرهاب أن تصبح قوة نووية محتملة مع قدرات متقدمة هذا هو مجهول.

إذا كان الأمير ناجحا في تحقيق طموحاته، وقال انه سيتم المدرج في التاريخ باعتباره واحدا من الشرق الأوسط، إن لم يكن أحد في العالم، visionaries.Amid عظيم اليأس في المنطقة الناتجة عن سياسة أوباما تجاه إيران، تصريحات الأمير طلال هي النهضة وتنذر بمستقبل مشرق والجيش المحتملين والتعاون الاستخباراتي التي من شأنها أن تكون بمثابة حصن منيع ضد إيران جرأة وتعزيز سياسات أوباما ساذجة.

في التفكير بغطرسة وحده يمكن أن يقرر مستقبل الشرق الأوسط، والسيد أوباما العنان العواقب غير المقصودة التي كثيرا ما تشكل الأحداث العظيمة: في هذه الحالة من أجل تحسين جميع شعوب الشرق الأوسط، ولكن في نهاية المطاف على حساب مصالح أميركا .

السيد أوباما قد توقظ يوم واحد إلى الشرق الأوسط حيث ستواجه أمريكا من عواقب غير مقصودة الدبلوماسية والاستراتيجية لاختياره لاحتضان أعداء لها في حين رافضة صديقاتها.

ينبغي لنا أن نشيد الأمير طلال ونتمنى له كل التوفيق والنجاح. قد رحلته تفتح الطريق لتحسين المنطقة بأسرها وللمصالحة دائمة بين إسرائيل وجيرانها.

إذا كانت القصة لا يمكن إثباتها أو ربما ليس أكثر من بالون اختبار، حتى أن يظهر تقدما. لأنه إذا كان صحيحا، وهذا يمكن أن يكون جيدا اختراق الواعدة نحو السلام بين العرب والإسرائيليين منذ خطاب السادات في الكنيست الإسرائيلي. إذا الأمير طلال لن يتم كسر الخبز مع رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو في أي وقت قريب، فإنه لا يمكن المبالغة كيف الأمير طلال، وهو عضو في العائلة المالكة السعودية، إدانة معاداة السامية والثناء على ديمقراطية إسرائيل، لا تزال خطوة عملاقة في الاتجاه الصحيح.

إبراهيم H. ميلر هو أستاذ فخري في العلوم السياسية، جامعة سينسيناتي، وزميل بارز في مركز سالومون للفكر اليهودي الأمريكي. salomoncenter. تم نشر هذه المقالة في الأصل من قبل المراقب.

Saudi Arabia says ready to confront any Iran mischief

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned Iran Thursday to use the economic benefits of a new nuclear deal to help its people and not fund “adventures in the region.”

“If Iran should try to cause mischief in the region we’re committed to confront it resolutely,” Jubeir said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, days after the landmark deal was struck granting Tehran sanctions relief in return for dismantling and mothballing most of its nuclear program.

Kerry will also head to the Gulf in Aug. 3 seeking to allay fears over the Iran nuclear deal. The Saudi minister said the meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council would take place in Doha.

Back at work only days after an 18-day negotiating marathon to seal the unprecedented accord, Kerry met al-Jubeir, the beginning of a charm offensive designed to win over the many doubters in the United States and abroad.

“All of us in the region want to see a peaceful resolution to Iran’s nuclear program,” Jubeir said after their talks.

He welcomed a deal with a “robust and continuous inspections regime to make sure Iran does not violate the terms of the agreement,” adding it should also have an effective and quick “snapback” mechanism that allows for sanctions to be quickly reimposed if Tehran violates Tuesday’s accord.

Under the deal, Iran will win relief from crippling sanctions in return for dismantling and mothballing much of its nuclear industry so it cannot quickly develop an atomic bomb.

“We hope that the Iranians will use this deal in order to improve the economic situation in Iran and to improve the lot of the Iranian people, and not use it for adventures in the region,” Jubeir said.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with al-Jubeir at the
White House on Friday in his first meeting with a key ally following the Iran nuclear deal, a White House official said on Thursday.

The official said Obama and al-Jubeir would discuss the Iran accord among other things.

Iran stands accused of supporting the militia Houthi group in Yemen who overran the capital and parts of the country, forcing the Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his government into exile in Riyadh.

Saudi-led warplanes have been waging air strikes against the rebels since March, helping to force the militia into retreat with ministers from Hadi’s exiled government now preparing to visit the southern city of Aden to assess the damage.

Majority Sunni Gulf countries have remained wary of the U.S. overtures to arch-foe Iran, believing the nuclear deal will only embolden Tehran’s Shiite leaders.

(With Reuters and AFP)

Saudi Arabia to Go Nuclear

AP080714015007-e1386336132677
by Michael Lumish// Saudi Arabia and Russia are getting rather chummy these days. Toward the middle of last month, Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, visited with Vladimir Putin during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.  On Thursday, June 18, Saudi Arabia signed six agreements with Russia, including a nuclear deal which could see Russia building up to sixteen nuclear power plants on the Saudi Peninsula.

According to the National Interest:

The main agreement was a legal framework for civilian nuclear cooperation, with Saudi TV reporting that the country may pay Russia to operate as many as sixteen civilian nuclear power reactors. If accurate, such a deal would be hugely beneficial for both sides: Russia’s Rosatom would receive a lucrative contract, topping up government coffers, while the Saudis would be able to export significant amounts of oil and natural gas that are currently used to meet high domestic energy demand.

The various agreements contain a number of provisions including cooperation on the Yemen issue.  The nuclear arrangements are generally being interpreted in economic terms and in terms of the Russian relationship with OPEC.  As Nuclear Power Industry News notes the deal could mean up to $80 billion dollars flowing into Russian coffers due via nuclear construction projects.

As Reuters reports, such a deal would also allow Saudi Arabia to sell oil on the international market that might otherwise have been diverted for domestic consumption.  However, it should also be noted that Saudi Arabia has already signed nuclear cooperation deals with the United States, France, South Korea, China and Argentina.

Meanwhile, Nuclear Power Daily tells us:

According to Russia’s state-run atomic energy agency Rosatom, the deal for the first time in the history of Russian-Saudi relations creates a legal framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. It opens a number of prospects, including cooperation in construction and operation of reactors, nuclear fuel cycle services as well as education and training.

This story has largely gone under the radar in the western press, particularly the American press, and reading most of the reports, so far, this all sounds relatively benign.  The National Interest even claims that the deal is “good news” while blandly noting that “a friendlier Saudi-Russian relationship raises some concerns for the United States.”

My suspicion – and it is only a suspicion – is that the Russian-Saudi deal is, at least in part, a reaction to the nuclear deal that United States President Barack Obama hopes to shortly conclude with Iran. Analysts are predicting that Obama’s Iran nuke deal will fuel a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East and, in all likelihood, this is what we are looking at.  It could be that the primary motivation of the Saudis is simple economics.  By building nuclear facilities for domestic energy consumption they can sell more oil on the international market.  What is also quite likely, however, is that Saudi Arabia, like Iran, has cast its eye on the potential for a nuclear weapon. It seems highly unlikely that Sunni-controlled Saudi Arabia, not to mention Sunni-controlled Egypt, is going to look kindly upon a Shia bomb in the neighborhood.

The Russian-Saudi deal is a preliminary step that will allow Saudi Arabia to begin its own nuclear weapons program.  They may not do so, however.  It could be that Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Sunni-Arab world, are perfectly content to see their Shia rivals become the dominant Muslim force in the region, but I would not bet on it.

Ultimately, this development may have dire consequences not just for the Middle East, but the entire planet.  Given the instability brought about by the misnamed “Arab Spring” a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East is potentially disastrous.  As such weaponry begins to proliferate within the region there is absolutely no telling whose hands they might end up in. Imagine the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with nuclear weaponry.