Anti-Jihad News Bulletin w/c January 15, 2007
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Britains Channel Four is to air a documentary today
that shows clerics at a number of leading British mosques
exhorting followers to prepare for jihad, to hit girls
for not wearing the hijab, and to follow Islamic law over
UK law, The Observer reports.
The documentary, Undercover Mosques, Dispatches, contains
video footage secretly filmed in British mosques over
a period of 12 months.
At the Sparkbrook mosque, run by the UK Islamic Mission
(UKIM), an organisation that maintains 45 mosques in Britain,
a preacher is captured on film praising the Taliban. In
response to the news that a British Muslim solider was
killed fighting the Taliban, the speaker declares: The
hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his
Another speaker says Muslims cannot accept the rule of
non-Muslims. You cannot accept the rule of the kaffir,
Dr Ijaz Mian tells a meeting held within the mosque. We
have to rule ourselves and we have to rule the others.
When contacted by The Observer, UKIM said: We are
a nationwide organisation and hold different programmes
in our mosques. We are very concerned about this. We have
instructed all our branches not to allow any more speakers
with radical or fundamentalist views.
Elsewhere the documentary records the huge popularity
of DVDs and Internet broadcasts produced by extremist
preachers. At the Islamic bookstore at Regents Park
Mosque in central London, DVDs of a preacher called Sheikh
Yasin are sold. In one DVD, Yasin accuses missionaries
from the World Health Organisation and Christian groups
of putting the AIDS virus in the medicine of African people.
Inside the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham, a preacher
is recorded saying: Allah has created the woman
deficient. A satellite broadcast from the Grand
Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, beamed
into the Green Lane mosque suggests that Muslim children
should be hit if they dont pray: When he is
seven, tell him to go and pray, and start hitting them
when they are 10. Another preacher is heard saying
that if a girl doesnt wear hijab, we hit her.
Another preacher says: The time is fast approaching
where the tables are going to turn and the Muslims are
going to be in the position of being uppermost in strength
and, when that happens, people wont get killed -
IN a dilapidated mosque, half a dozen awestruck young
men listen to a preacher spell out his vision for Britain.
'King, Queen, House of Commons... if you accept it, you
are a part of it,' says Dr Ijaz Mian. 'If you don't accept
it, you have to dismantle it.
'So you being a Muslim, you have to fix a target. There
will be no House of Commons. From that White House to
this Black House, we know we have to dismantle it.
'Muslims must grow in strength... then take over.'
A 10-month undercover investigation into home-grown extremism
has revealed hard-line Islamic fundamentalism being preached
in British mosques. Some speakers call for girls to be
hit if they don't wear Islamic dress and say that they
can marry before puberty, others praise the Taliban. Speaking
at the Ahl-e-Hadith mosque, in Derby, Dr Mian tells his
listeners: 'You are in a situation in which you have to
live like a state-within-a-state - until you take over.
'But until this happens, you have to preach, until you
become such a force that the people just submit to you.'
Dr Mian wants to see religious policemen roaming our streets,
modelled on the feared Saudi Arabian force. He says of
their strict implementation of Sharia - or Islamic - law:
'They send the police and they say: 'Well, if you don't
come for prayer, we will arrest you. But if you still
don't, then we have to bring the punishment on you - you
will be killed and nobody will pray for you.''
Dr Mian is just one of many UK preachers who've been taught
the wahhabi branch of Islam in Saudi Arabia, then come
back here to spread the word. The radical ideology, which
is bitterly opposed to multi-culturalism and integration,
is spreading in Britain. And it's coming from clerics
in a country that the British government claims is its
main Middle Eastern ally in the fight against terrorism.
At UKIM's Sparkbrook Islamic Centre, in Birmingham - which
PM Tony Blair has lauded for its multi-cultural activities
- a preacher praised the Taliban. He gloated over the
fate of British Muslim Jabron Hashmi, who joined the British
Army and was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. 'The
hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his
shoulders,' he says.
The probe uncovered British preachers being trained in
Saudi Arabia and mosques taking money from rich sheikhs.
DVDs and tapes of radical speakers, who are linked to
Saudi, are available. They attack integration, multiculturalism
and even other Muslims who don't follow their extreme
brand of Islam. It's a theology which many moderates are
deeply concerned about, as they see the traditional, more
tolerant beliefs being eroded.
On one DVD, filmed in a mosque run by a national Islamic
charity - which claims to be committed to moderation -
a speaker said girls should be 'forced' to wear the hijab
and, shockingly, adds: 'If she doesn't wear hijab, we
Undercover reporters spent four months filming at Green
Lane mosque, in Birmingham, an enormous place which caters
for thousands of worshippers. One preacher there said
that marrying your daughter off before she reaches puberty
is permissible in Islam. But the main preacher at Green
Lane is Abu Usamah, an American convert who studied at
Medinah University in Saudi Arabia. He rails against non-
Muslims, telling listeners not to believe in the arrests
of alleged terrorists in Britain - as non- Muslims are
Green Lane mosque says it is a centre for 'interfaith
communication and dialogue', welcoming people of all religions
and cultures. But in front of a Muslim-only audience,
Abu Usamah says that Jews and Christians were 'enemies'
to Muslims. He goes on to condemn the kuffaar - infidels
'No one loves the kuffaar, not a single person here loves
the kuffaar,' he rants. 'We hate the kuffaar!'
Although he says he doesn't agree with Osama Bin Laden's
violent actions, he says he prefers him to non-Muslims,
because Bin Laden is a Muslim. 'He's better than a million
George Bushs, he's better than a thousand Tony Blairs.
'Allah has not given those people who are kuffaar a way
over the believer. They shouldn't be in authority over
us,' he tells his listeners. 'Muslims shouldn't be satisfied
with living in anything other than a total Islamic state.'
He urges worshippers to discriminate against homosexuals
but in a way that ensures they don't get caught. 'If I
were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs
who should be murdered, that's my freedom of speech, isn't
it?' he says. 'But they'll say no, I'm not tolerant.'
Women, too, are inferior in Abu Usamah's eyes. He tells
his audience: 'Allah has created the woman - even if she
gets a PhD - deficient. Her intellect is incomplete, deficient.
She may be suffering from hormones that will make her
emotional. It takes two witnesses of a woman to equal
the one witness of the man.'
Abu Usamah says that he condemns terrorism. But he predicts
that an army of Muslims will soon arise to wage jihad
- or war - against non-believers.
'They will fight in the cause of Allah. I encourage all
of you to be from among them, to begin to cultivate ourselves
for the time that is fast approaching - where the tables
are going to turn and the Muslims are going to be in the
position of being uppermost in strength.
'And when that happens, people won't get killed - unjustly,'
Green Lane mosque is the headquarters of the Markazi Jamiat
Ahl-e-Hadith, a registered British charity which runs
more than 40 mosques and branches in the UK.
It's an influential affiliate of the Muslim Council Of
Britain, which has praised it as 'a national body', 'respected
among British Muslims for its educational and outreach
It runs a part-time Islamic school for 200 local children
and the mosque has been praised by Lord Nazir Ahmed, Labour's
first Muslim peer. He sat on a highprofile taskforce -
set up after the 7/7 attacks - to combat extremism in
mosques. He also headed a working group on extremism in
mosques and imams.
In 2003, he said of Green Lane mosque: 'This is the most
amazing place. When I walk in, I feel I am entering the
biggest palace on earth.' Most of the speakers there have
been trained in Saudi universities. And to underline the
point, throughout last year, live satellite links were
set up to broadcast talks from the Grand Mufti of Saudi
Arabia, the country's most senior Islamic cleric. In the
course of one live session, one worshipper asked the cleric,
through a translator, if Muslims should establish good
relations and forgiveness between religions.
The Grand Mufti slapped him down. 'This is not true. Jews
and Christians who do not follow the Prophet Mohammed
are kuffaar. They will go to hell.' For his part, Abu
Usamah later said: 'Islam allows for any Muslim to peacefully
co-exist here in the UK with non-Muslims, even though
the UK is not an Islamic society.'
He said he had made it clear that it is a religious duty
of all Muslims to obey UK law and the carrying out of
Islamic law could only be done in an actual Islamic state.
He added: 'Homosexuality is an abomination against Allah
and all mankind, and I will never condone it. Even though
this is the case, I do not believe in disobeying the law
when it comes to the way people deal with homosexuals.'
Lord Ahmed told us that Green Lane mosque was one of many
mosques he visited. 'It would be ludicrous to suggest
that by visiting an institution I become responsible for,
or aware of, every word spoken at that establishment.'
The Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith told us that it was 'committed
to promoting inter-faith dialogue and political harmony
in our society'.
It said that scholars from many different backgrounds
spoke at its mosque and that we had quoted many out of
context. It had not known what each speaker would say
beforehand and did not necessarily agree with everything
that may have been said. It said the word kuffaar was
a neutral term, and added: 'We reject the assertion...
that we are influenced by and teach an extreme version
'We have no desire or intention to seize power or discriminate
against others. We accept the rule of law and we treat
our non-Muslim neighbours with respect.'
Finally, Dr Mian said that he did not advocate that Islam
would be forced upon anyone and said we had not quoted
his many speeches condemning terrorism and the killing
of innocent people.
Indicating that the U.K. has learned little from the 7/7
London bombings and the increasing militancy of its Muslim
population, construction plans continue unabated on the
largest mosque outside of the Arab world, a huge 17 acre
complex in East London that will accommodate 70,000.
The group behind the mosque is Tablighi Jamaat [TJ] meaning
'proselytizing group' an association of Islamic fundamentalists
whose aim is to spread their creed throughout the world.
Middle east scholar Alex Alexiev calls TJ 'wolves in sheep's
clothing' quoting the FBI's Deputy Chief of International
Terrorism who said there is 'a significant presence of
Tablighi Jamaat in the United States
and we have
found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in
the past.' [source Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005
According to Alexiev, Tablighi [also Tabligh] Jamaat which
originated in India but is active in Pakistan 'have long
been involved in terrorism' and have created spin off
organizations including Harakat ul-Jihad-i Islami and
Harakat ul-Mujahideen. which has conducted airline hijackings
and mass murders.
It is believed that London bombing kingpin Mohammad Sidique
Khan, leader of the July 7 might have been associated
with Tablighi Jamaat.
Quoting from an investigative piece by MSNB:
'If al-Qaida needed a fresh set of bodies in order to
pull an operation, one of the places that they would go
to for that fresh set of bodies would be Tablighi Jamaat,
whether it's in the United States or not,' says former
FBI agent Steve Denny, who has investigated members of
This makes it all the more surprising that the Blair government
would be so tolerant of such a huge potential terror risk.
Not only are American security officials highly suspicious
of the group behind the new mosque, but so are members
of London's Muslim community:
Dr Irfan al-Alawi, Chairman of the Muslim Heritage Foundation
opposes the building of the mosque, saying it is an obvious
'I think, yes. Once the youth have been brainwashed, and
been captured by the satanic ideology of the Tablighis,
yes, it will come as a very hard-hitting movement
person who is really behind it is Ken Livingstone,' al-Alawi
said.' (source: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/83805.aspx)
Livingstone is the notorious 'Red Ken' the anti-Semitic
mayor of London and his support of this monstrosity is
indicative of the still growing unholy alliance between
the left and the Islamists.
As many as 250 million Christians worldwide will face
persecution and repression in 2007, just for following
Jesus Christ, according to the latest roundup of the worlds
persecution hot spots by Release International.
Inspire Magazine (www.inspiremagazine.org.uk/news.aspx
?action=view&id=716) reported that Release, a voice
for the persecuted hurch, has found that most persecution
takes place in four distinct 'zones ;' those of Islam,
Communism, Hinduism and Buddhism. But persecution is growing
fastest of all in the Islamic world.
Governments in even moderate Muslim countries often fail
to safeguard the rights of their Christian minorities.
According to Release, abuses suffered by Christians include
kidnapping, forced conversion, imprisonment, church destruction,
torture, rape and execution.
One of the worlds worst abusers of religious freedom
is Saudi Arabia, guardian of Islams holiest sites
Mecca and Medina. A Muslim found 'guilty' of converting
to Christianity could face the death sentence for apostasy.
And anyone who leads a Muslim to Christ faces jail, expulsion
'Theres a conspiracy of silence around Saudi,' said
Release Internationals CEO Andy Dipper, 'probably
because the West wants their oil and their money. But
this is a government that hands out the death sentence
for its own citizens who want nothing more than the freedom
to choose their own faith. And while Saudi bans all Christian
literature, it spends billions of dollars each year propagating
Islam around the world.'
But some of the most violent persecution in the Islamic
world is beyond government control, Inspire reported Release
commented. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 2001,
the world has been made dramatically aware of Islamist
global networks. Although the best known is Al Qaeda,
there are others who exploit religious tensions for their
own political ends.
A rising number of extremists interpret the call to jihad
as a call to violence, Release commented. The organization
added that extremists apparently regard it as their religious
duty to force Christians and non-Muslims to convert to
Islam. Those who refuse must be driven out or killed.
There is a growing movement to impose Islamic (Sharia)
law, Inspire reported Release stated, which results in
increased pressure on Christians. In Nigeria, militants
have driven Christians from their homes to remove political
opposition and pave the way for Sharia law.
Despite the collapse of Communism in Europe, persecution
of Christians continues in China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam
and North Korea.
Communist governments remain ideologically opposed to
Christianity and have pursued systematic programs to weaken
and destroy the Church, Release commented. Some persecution
also continues under the 'old guard' in the former Soviet
Union, and China - which Release commented for all its
economic openness - continues to drive Christians underground.
'As China prepares for the Olympic Games western governments
would do well to remember that China detains more Christians
than any other country,' Inspire reported Dipper commented.
'Believers and leaders who want nothing more than to worship
freely face imprisonment, torture and even death.'
In the Hindu world Christians face persecution in India
and Nepal, Release stated. The Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), one of Indias largest political parties,
is associated with militant Hindu nationalist groups.
Extremists have been involved in a growing number of attacks
against both Christians and Muslims.
Several Indian states have introduced laws against forced
conversion, but these are wide open to abuse, Inspire
reported Release commented. Christians face most pressure
in rural areas, where militants have destroyed churches
and threatened, attacked and killed church leaders.
In the Buddhist world, Christians face persecution in
Bhutan, Burma and Sri Lanka. Release reported that Buddhist
militants regard Christianity as a threat to their national
identity and unity. They have stirred up harassment and
violence against Christians in Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
Back in 1966 Burma expelled most of its Christian missions.
Today the repressive military regime still maintains controls
over religious activity. There have been many cases of
forced conversion to Buddhism as well as violence against
Christians, Inspire reported Release stated.
Through its partners in 30 countries, Release International
supports Christians imprisoned for their faith and their
families. Release supplies Bibles and Christian literature,
gives medical aid and welfare, provides legal aid and
sanctuary, and supports church workers.
For more information about release go to www.releaseinternational.org/pages/what-we-do.php
The director-general of the security service MI5 told
senior MPs there was no imminent terrorist threat to London
or the rest of the country less than 24 hours before the
July 7 suicide bombings.
Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller gave the assurance at a private
meeting of Labour whips at the Commons on the morning
of July 6 2005, the Guardian has learned from a number
of those present.
The whips are said to have been confident, on leaving
the meeting, that they could brief fellow MPs that the
security situation was under control, and are said to
have been deeply alarmed by the following day's events.
Last month Dame Eliza announced that she is to retire
in April. That announcement came weeks before details
are expected to be made public of an MI5 operation which
saw two of the July 7 bombers kept under surveillance,
but not arrested.
It is now known that officers had trailed the bombers'
leader, Mohammed Siddique Khan, more than a year before
the attacks, and had listened as he spoke of his plans
for waging jihad. They had also photographed him, yet
had not been able to identify him.
Security sources denied that Dame Eliza's decision to
retire was in any way connected to the briefing given
to the Labour whips, or to any aspect of MI5's performance
before the July 7 bombings. They said she had made her
plans clear in early 2005 to Charles Clarke, then home
secretary, before the bombs went off.
This would suggest that just two and a half years into
her tenure, she was able to give a leaving date more than
two years in advance.
However, the disclosure that MI5 had been so completely
taken by surprise on July 7 will fuel calls for a public
or independent inquiry into the events leading up to the
suicide bomb attacks that claimed 52 lives and injured
Grahame Russell, whose son Philip, 29, died in the Tavistock
Square bus bombing, said: 'Unless we have a public inquiry
where witnesses can be called and questioned, we will
never get the truthful answers about what happened before,
during and after July 7 2005.'
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, repeated his demands
for an independent rather than public inquiry, along the
lines of the Franks committee, which examined the causes
of the Falklands war.
'Reports like this, and the Metropolitan police commissioner
saying hours before the bombings that London had a 'gold
standard' of counterterrorism policing, can only reinforce
the absolute need for an independent inquiry, along the
lines of the Franks inquiry.
'It is absolutely necessary for the continued security
of the British public that we know precisely if, when
and how security failures have occurred, and for action
to be taken to minimise the risk of it happening again.'
The government argues that such an inquiry would be an
expensive and time-consuming diversion for the police
and the security service.
MI5 says it has identified 30 major terrorist plots in
Britain and is targeting more than 1,600 individuals actively
engaged in promoting attacks, here and abroad.
A dozen Labour whips were addressed by Dame Eliza about
the terrorist threat to the UK the day before the bombings,
at a meeting called by Hilary Armstrong, then the government
chief whip. Such meetings have been held on an irregular
basis since the attacks of September 11, although they
are usually given by a senior MI5 officer rather than
the director general.
Sources have told the Guardian that Dame Eliza told them
that there was 'no imminent threat to London or the country'
from a terrorist attack.
They also say she appeared rather detached from the detail
of security operations that must have been taking place
at the time.
It was already known that the Joint Terrorism Analysis
Centre, a government body based at the headquarters of
MI5, had reduced its assessment of the threat to Britain
from level 2, or 'severe-general' to level 3, or 'substantial',
six weeks before the July 7 bombings.
Whitehall is now trawling for candidates to replace Dame
Eliza. The clear favourite is Jonathan Evans, her respected
deputy, who has led MI5's al-Qaida-related counterterrorist
As part of a decision to make the terrorist warning system
more transparent, from today anyone who registers their
email on MI5's website will be told when the threat level
changes as well as about any other new information placed
on the site.
The current assessment is at level 2, now known as 'severe',
meaning an attack is highly likely. The highest threat
level is 'critical', meaning that an attack is expected
This old article is being included, in the light of the
ongoing BAE scandal, to make clear to our readers just
what an evil and insane society Saudi Arabia is, despite
its pretentions to be our ally against terrorism.
Austere mosques, women relegated to the background and
a puritanical faith that rejects change. A brand of Islam
that drives the Taliban and influenced the young American
who fought by their side has taken root in the Mecca of
modernism, America. The mosques and women in question
are in Dearborn, Michigan, the fruits of Americas
'special relationship' with the most rigid totalitarian
dictatorship in the world. Welcome to the Saudi connection,
one of the best-kept secrets inside the Beltway.
The moving spirit behind the project is in Muhammads
homeland, and the fuel that makes it possible is oil.
The Muslim World League was founded in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
in 1962, and a decade later the Organization of the Islamic
Conference, with its headquarters in the Saudi city of
Jeddah. Both organizations, and a myriad of ostensibly
private charities devoted to Islamic proselytism, are
richly endowed by petrodollars from Saudi Arabias
narrow, ultra-rich ruling kleptocracy. Its members provide
aid to countries willing to follow the path of Islamization,
and build mosques wherever they can. They send missionaries,
provide literature, and run electronic media. The MWL
runs the worlds largest printing presses, producing
tens of millions of copies of the Koran every year for
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic
regime in the world. The practice of any religion besides
Islam is as strictly prohibited now as it was in Muhammads
lifetime. Even the Taliban allowed more latitude to religious
minorities. While the Saudis continue to build mosques
all over the world, thousands of Christians among the
hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from India, Europe,
America, and the Philippines must worship in secret and
in fear. They are arrested, lashed or deported for public
display of their beliefs.
Because Saudi money helps spread Islamist government to
other nations which repress Christianity, like Sudan,
Saudi Arabia is now the most powerful and explicit anti-Christian
nation on the face of the earth. It is waging a world-wide
proxy war against Christianity and, to be fair,
other religions that Islam comes into contact with, like
Judaism in Israel, Hinduism in India, animism in Africa,
Bahai in Iran, and Buddhism in Southeast Asia not
matched in intensity since the days when the Communists
were serious about atheism.
Saudi Arabia doesnt only disregard the rights of
its own people, it tramples on those of Americans, too.
In Saudi Arabia, American citizens can be detained indefinitely
at the pleasure of a Saudi Muslim father who kidnapped
them from their American mother. This has happened to
Patricia Roush, whose daughters Alia and Aisha are now
clad from head to toe in the black abaya. Alia has been
married off to one of her fathers cousins, and Aisha
is the next on whom the purdah will fall. The State Department
directed the U.S. embassy in Riyadh to remain 'impartial.'
Ray Mabus, ex-U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, explains
that diplomats feel they should be working on the 'big
Western politicians lie about Saudi Arabia all the time.
'Saudi Arabia is a good and dependable friend to the civilized
world,' Britains Tony Blair declared during a tour
of the Middle East in 2001. 'Civilization' is a relative
term to a high priest of post-modernism like Mr. Blair,
but his enthusiasm for the House of Saud may be easier
to understand if we consider that Britains arms
merchants have their most lucrative buyer in the desert
kingdom. And we are as glued to the same teat as the British:
in only six years (1991-1997) there were $23 billion worth
of arms agreements between the United States and Saudi
Arabia. This means jobs, and congressmen, in places where
defense plants are located.
The dirty little secret is that large sections of the
American and European elites are being deliberately fed
Saudi money, directly and indirectly, to bribe them to
exert pressures at home favorable to Saudi Arabia. The
Carlyle Group, for example, is a Washington D.C. investment
bank that specializes in investing Saudi royal wealth
abroad. It also has a convenient habit of employing people
close to the Bush administration. Shades of Clintonesque
corruption? To be fair, the smoking gun is not in view,
but as citizens, we are entitled to wonder about what
are politely called 'conflicts of interest.' Does anyone
look at this and not 'get' how the game is obviously played?
Saudi Arabias 'royal' kleptocracy (a dynasty of
antiquity inferior to most decent brands of whisky) owns
huge parts of major American corporations, and that is
the 'big stuff.' Suffice to say that the present U.S.
Ambassador there is Dallas attorney Robert Jordan, a man
with no diplomatic experience, but also the lawyer who
defended George W. Bush in a probe of insider trading
allegations in 1990. Jordan comes from the Dallas office
of Houston law firm Baker & Botts, which has an office
in Riyadh and whose client list includes The Carlyle Group.
One of the Groups directors is former President
George Bush Sr., while James A. Baker III is the current
Baker in Baker Botts. Baker was a classmate of Donald
H. Rumsfeld at Princeton. Rumsfeld, the current Secretary
of Defense, was the roommate of Frank C. Carlucci. Carlucci,
who was head of the National Security Council under President
Ronald Reagan, is currently chairman of The Carlyle Group.
At least $2 million of Carlyle funding has come from the
bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia.
The focus on the 'big stuff' also allowed thousands of
young Saudis easy access to American visas under various
pretexts, many of them hell-bent on waging jihad against
the unbelievers. The Saudi authorities issued them exit
visas in the full knowledge what they were up to. At least
they were keen to get rid of the potentially troublesome
hotheads who could stir up trouble at home. Worse still,
they may have considered the resulting mayhem, exemplified
in the predominantly Saudi suicide teams of September
11, as not necessarily wrong or undesirable. Rather than
prevent young Saudis from enlisting in military ventures
abroad or silence the sheiks encouraging them, some officials
say Saudi Arabia has mostly tried to deflect the problem
outside its borders.
On September 12, 2001, Crown Prince Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz,
the Saudi leader, and his oil minister Ali Nuaimi decided
to break a recent promise to other OPEC nations to cut
oil production. They arranged for quick delivery of additional
nine million barrels of oil to the United States instead,
which helped reduce the price from almost $30 a barrel
before 9-11 to under $20 only weeks later. This was a
preemptive gesture by people with a guilty conscience.
They knew that someone, somewhere in the United States
would put two and two together: that whenever there are
Islamic terrorists bringing death, destruction, and havoc
to the non-Muslim world, there are some Saudis lurking
in the background, either as masterminds, or direct participants,
or as bankrollers.
All along, the Islamic 'charities' that financed terrorists
included prominent members of the royal family on their
boards. Since 1992, one Saudi charity, the Al Haramin
Foundation, has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars,
with money often ending up in extremist coffers.
The United States is still reluctant to read the riot
act to the Saudis. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld,
normally not a mealy-mouthed man, on a visit to Saudi
Arabia in the aftermath of terrorist attacks appeared
strangely evasive on the issue of Saudi funds for Islamic
terror, and admitted that he had not asked the Saudis
to freeze the assets of people and groups linked to Mr.
bin Laden, even though the United States had asked all
countries to do so.
Saudi Arabia is an economically and socially dysfunctional
society. It has 18 million citizens (and 6 million foreign
workers), growing at over 4 percent a year from 1980 to
1998. The average Saudi family now has between six and
seven children. Per-capita income has collapsed from a
peak of $19,000 in 1981 to $7,300 in 1997. Unemployment
is rampant, but young people dont want the lower-paying
jobs held by foreigners. The government can no longer
support the generous social welfare system it created
at the height of the oil boom. From a peak of $227 billion
in 1981 oil revenue is down to under $50 billion. The
money earned during the boom was squandered on palaces,
corruption, armaments, and foreign laborers who just sent
it back to their own countries. The fabulous flow of wealth
was not used to create a serious industrial base, despite
laughable gestures in this direction. The only expanding
industry is that of Islamic extremism.
The Saudi system is not just tyrannical, it borders on
comedy at times. In 1966, the Vice-President of the Islamic
University of Medina complained that Copernican theory
was being taught at Riyadh University. Three hundred years
after the Christian theologians had to concede that the
Earth went around the Sun the geocentric theory was reaffirmed
in the centers of Saudi learning. In 1967 segregation
of the sexes at schools was set at age nine, which was
the age for girls to start to wear the veil. The King
was forced to sack the Minister of Information for 'offensive'
TV programs: apparently a cartoon passed the censors in
which Mickey Mouse gave Minnie a little peck. This is
a country where sexual slaves are routinely purchased
for harems by the very rich, who have no qualms about
jetting off to Paris (the once-delightful and more convenient
Beirut having been ruined by civil war) for weekends of
recreation they would be beheaded for at home.
The ability of the inherently fanatical and mendacious
(as well as profligate and corrupt) rulers of the desert
kingdom to square any circles at all is entirely due to
its oil reserves, which account for up to one-fifth of
all U.S. imports. The Saudis are perfectly aware that
this is their only, albeit enormously powerful trump card,
and soon embarked on a multimillion-dollar public relations
campaign to try to restore confidence in the Saudi-American
'special relationship.' They see America a country
in which the rich generally work in real jobs, mind you
as decadent and dependent on their precious black
goo for its consumer lifestyle. They see our own corruption
as the perfect guarantee that they will never have to
pay the price for their own.
For the time being the Saudis and their co-religionists
have no reason to doubt that the talk about promoting
democracy is propaganda for internal consumption and that
the US prefers to deal with autocratic rulers, who are
much easier to bribe. The end result, for now, favors
an oppressive plutocracy without elected representative
bodies, light-years and worlds apart from all that America
and the rest of the Western world hold near and dear.
America and the rest of the West urgently need to set
themselves free from the need to pander to Saudi whims,
including the non-existent and unreciprocated 'right'
of its government to bankroll thousands of mosques and
Islamic 'cultural centers' around the world that teach
hate and provide the logistic infrastructure to Islamic
Their ability to break free from the Saudi connection
is predicated upon their liberation from Middle Eastern
oil imports. That liberation is possible and necessary.
It only requires political will and monetary investment
into the development of new technologies. This is, and
has always been, the crucial prerequisite to the development
of a meaningful anti-terrorist strategy. To plan on any
other strategy is to imagine, with the kind of deal-with-the-devil
cynicism that is always too clever for its own good, that
America can find its own long-term good in propping up
fundamentally evil people who hate us just because they
are corrupt enough to satisfy our short-term desires.