Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

6 Jan, '06

Although this is not a particular trait of Arabs in general, it is however prevalent within our world; even so called respected journalists make it a norm. Simply because they disagree with ideas proposed, or even more dangerously because those ideas ARE correct but seek to disregard and discredit them as conspiratorial.

I wonder if Mr. Jihad Al-Khazen, former editor of Al-Hayat newspaper has been paid to character assassinate The Religious Policeman (Arabic) specifically, and every dissenting voice who chooses the safety of anonymity to discuss and propagate ideas. After all, “they” have much more freedom to challenge the establishment than Mr. Al-Khazen himself has had as he attests his article in Al-Hayat of the 5th of January 2006, basing his supporting arguments on a disgruntled university student and a zealot who recently converted to Islam as de-facto credible sources to reach his conclusions. And pray how do they reach the conclusion that the Religious Policeman is not authentic? His use of the name “Farah” as a gentleman’s name, and the way that coffee is pronounced in various countries in the Arab world! Mr. Al-Khazen, with all due respect, if these are the sources you use to verify your articles you don’t belong in journalism. And before someone jumps down my throat, let me remind you that there are various names which could be used for either gender: Qamar, Shams and yes, even Farah. Did you not hear of Mohammed Farah Aidid or the poet George Farah and I am sure that given the time, I would find many more references for men whose name is Farah. Oh yes, and that other thing: if you’re an Arab you can’t possibly – or is it shouldn’t – speak English fluently! And that other oft-abused term: patriotism. He is accused of not having any empathy with normal Saudis to which I reply: hogwash. The learned gentleman did not bother to read The Religious Policeman’s posts but depended on pathetic comments which reenforced his own peculiar views on citizen journalism. Jealousy comes to mind!

That doesn’t concern me much actually, Mr. Al-Khazen has got his own opinion which he is entitled to, while I on the other hand, am entitled to completely disregard. What irks me however is this learned gentlemen should know better than to attack all anonymous bloggers and commentors as incredible simply because he doesn’t know their names. What does it matter? Shouldn’t we just concentrate on the idea that person has brought forth and evaluate it on its own merit rather than demand to know who the person is, his lineage and religious and political affiliation before we accept that the idea proposed is acceptable or otherwise? Or even merits discussion? If this is a criteria, then aren’t almost all printed authors, especially first-time published ones, anonymous? Of course they are, but we do read their books and articles and evaluate those ideas on their own merit before we reach our own individual conclusions.

Yes, some anonymity is objectionable; it is objectionable if you do have constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression backed up by society, tradition and unbiased judicial system. In other words if there is no threat to your life and for those who are near and dear to you. It is objectionable if it is used to hide behind while you spread hatred and indulge in personal attacks and “flaming.” In other words, cowardly use of anonymity. The Religious Policemen and others are justified in using anonymity because their lives ARE dependent on hiding their true identity, or are we naive enough to demand full disclosure if that very disclosure is going to end their lives violently and prematurely?

I personally don’t care who The Religious Policeman is in person, and I don’t even care if he is even a born-again zionist zealot. What I do care about however is that he is highlighting aspects of our culture that we generally want to sweep under a carpet and pretend that it just did not happen. I firmly believe that he (or she) is doing us – Arabs and Muslims specifically – a huge favour in unearthing those idiosyncrasies which should be addressed head-on. How else is there going to be any credible change in our societies? How else can we prevent another 15 or 150 girls from dying because they were prevented from receiving help from males simply because they were un-hijabbed? Wouldn’t a father, a husband or a son prefer to keep his female relative alive even if she was rescued completely in the nude? I would.

Hat tip: Haitham Sabbah

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Comments (83)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Three things to point out:

    1- Al Hayat, and most arab media is Saudi owned.. for propaganda and other reasons (Al Arabiya, LBC, MBC, the london newspapers.. etc) So no wonder.. Mr. Khazin is just doing his job.

    2. If the name Farah is stunning, I know an Iraqi man living in Bahrain called Ibtisam. He’s the Manager at Rafidain bank.

    3. Khazen and Al Hayat, either with or without knowing, did this blogger a huge favour. Today he’s much more famous than yesterday.

    The Joker

  2. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    First off, let me say that I enjoy Mahmood’s Den and Religious Policeman emmensely. As a non-arabic reading expat based in Bahrain, it is sometimes hard to get the real scoop of Bahrain and the Arabic world. In my humble opinion, there are many who have a tendency to candy coat certain cultural aspects that we all know are, well, not shining examples of all that is good about our corner of the globe. Yet, RIGHT OR WRONG, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, at least two individuals are willing to voice their opinions in the blogsphere.

    Now, here’s the thing. Since the beggining of time, people dont like to hear things which dont coincide with there view of “reality” For example, if I was an unabashed whoremonger, I wouldnt want to hear anything about fidelity or STD transmission. Hell, I wouldnt want to know about the social consequences of the sexual slavery trade which i was invariably feeding by purchasing “services.” Do you think I would want someone to actually SAY, in public, what I was doing and that it was wrong?

    No.

    However, if you CHOSE to share your opinions of disgust with my behavior, would i have any right to stop you, except for blatant slander?

    No.

    Is this a good thing?

    Yes.

    Open discourse is the only way societies move forward. Each citizen of every country in the world has a solemn duty to do so. For example, if my sports team was blatantly doing something which was costing us victories every week, and I saw the problem, which is worse- pointing it out or remaining silent?

    Im ranting…. anyway, religious policeman is hilarious and at least he has the courage to speak out about the things he disagrees with in his society.

  3. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Character assassination is universal, but there may be something particular about the form it takes. “You are not a [i]real[/i] Saudi / Iraqi / Arab” seems to be a common motif on Saudi / Iraqi / Arab blogs. Perhaps because the poster wishes to establish beyond a doubt his own [i]genuine[/i] pedigree? That would explain why the wannabe-Arab sower of discord joined in the fun.

    Note that an American blogger who wishes to hurt or utterly refute another, would do generally do the opposite, but to the same effect: “You are only pretending to be a foreigner, I bet that you are [i]actually[/i] an American!”

    What they all have in common is a certain self-satisfied falseness and deliberate obtuseness, pretending to look at all of the facts while ignoring much of what is pertinent. So be careful Mahmood, or you may become known as the pseudo-Bahraini who defended banning the hijab in Holland. Your protestations that you never did so and that the hijab is not actually banned in Holland, while factually correct, are obviously insincere 😉

  4. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Even though I am not an admirer of the police man .. at ALL! .. but what was written by Mr. Khazin is real low level and a trial to get harm to the police man with no real strong evidance.

    Couple of things to mention here..

    1) Do we have really many good stuff here in Saudi Arabia so we can talk about ..
    2) When we blog .. we usualy talk about things that bother us .. not many things that we really enjoy !!
    3) What if religuos police man is not Saudi .. is he telling truth? or not?

    Ahmed

  5. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Hi Ahmed, thanks for the comment. I agree with your assessment regarding Mr. Al-Khazin.

    To answer your questions, yes of course there are excellent things happening in Saudi, as there are in Bahrain and every single country in the world, but you know that both Saudi and Bahrain are suffering from various shared things, and it is everyone’s responsibility to highlight them and try to eradicate them.

    I’m sure you can count them off at a drop of a hat: corruption, islamic extremism, wahabism, education system, health services, discrimination, human rights, women’s rights, need I go on?

    Coating these very important issues with sugar won’t make them go away nor make them easier to swallow. The Religious Policeman – more than anyone else – has highlighted these shortcomings in palatable, erudite and humorous ways to the whole world delivering his criticisms in a way that is easily understood by everyone, hence ensuring that his important message reaches its audience, thus, directly contributing to the problems’ solution. He is doing his country AND the whole Arab and Muslim world a huge favour for which he must be thanked.

    Of course it hurts Ahmed! But show me one single post or comment that he has published that is not completely true of both your and my society are not suffering from.

    Hating a person for highlighting wrongs is quite common, but what he’s saying is right, regardless of your or my personal feelings of our perception of him and his origin. That is exactly why he should remain anonymous. The minute he is uncovered he is at best thrown to rot in jail or at worst have his head literally chopped off at a public square somewhere in Saudi.

    Ahmed, I am absolutely sure of this: The Religious Policeman can say things and tackle issues that neither you nor I would be able to because he is anonymous. Can you deny that? Of course you can’t. He is doing good. And if some “chick” is pissed off that he’s “dissing” where she comes from, the hotbed of extremism in the whole world: the Qaseem region, then that’s tough. It is not my problem that she’s living in dreamland and wants to believe against all odds and glaringly obvious facts that everything is hunky-dory and all is okay with Saudi.

    NO, nothing is okay with Saudi. Nothing! The sooner everyone IN SAUDI realises this truth and starts to do something about it by at least growing some balls and acknowledging these issues the better for everyone in Saudi and the area.

    What does it matter if “the person calling himself The Religious Policeman” is Saudi or not? To me I am absolutely convinced that he is. There is no way a foreigner – a non Saudi – knows where it hurts so intimately. If he isn’t Saudi, he should bloody well be, because he IS the zeitgeist Ahmed, much more – and I say this with the utmost respect to you personally, than you.

  6. anonymous says:

    Re(5): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Since when is ‘Sunni Muslim’ a race anyway?

    Muslim is not a ‘race

  7. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Great blog! You have a very balanced viewpoint and are not afraid to tread thoughtfully on difficult controvertial issues plus I detect a generous spirit in your answers to comments, which I must say elevate your blog spot above many others. I will vote you in for best blog!
    You are absolutely correct in your assessement of the ‘fracas’ over the R. P., as a westerner and a woman he intrigues me enormously and to question his identity is besides all points, as you so rightly put it; what matters is his honesty in showing the great faillings and cruelty of KSA’s leadership and clergy, which he does by commenting on media reports. He is not negative across the board about Saudi culture, as many of his previous postings show, to wit the many funny endearing stories about daily life, camels (a big favorite of his), food, shopping, travelling etc….
    All in all I just agree with you that this blogger has wits and courage and, if only for that, should be given the benefit of the doubt.
    A Salaam
    northern shewolf

  8. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Women have been turned away from univeristies and government buildings for wearing the Hijab . Where is the freedom of choice and where is my human rights unnder european human rights law I should be allowed to wear my hijab. I hate the hypocrisy of so called liberals . I am an european revert to Islam.

  9. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I was a contractor in Saudi for several years, and have read Alhamedi’s blog since its beginning. I have also corresponded with him on occasion.
    If he’s not a Saudi, he has spent enough time in the kingdom to know the place and the people like a native. He states that he is now living abroad. For his continued health, he should probably stay away. There are many in the country who do not take criticism gracefully.

  10. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    In case your interested Mahmood the one who is known as “he who shall not be named” on this blog, you know the former poster who you so deservedly drop kicked off, has now taken a pot shot or two at you on his blog over this issue. To top it off he is now MODERATING his comments to the degree that a person has to submit them to him and he will decide if they should be posted. Seems he can’t take the heat. “He who shall not be named” has stirred up a hornets nest and he can’t take getting stung.

  11. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(3): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    If you want to wear your hijab, you can always come to America and hijab yourself crazy. No laws here against religious dress, not like in France. Or Saudi Arabia. Or so many Muslim countries.

    Sorry, I wandered off. We were talking about how evil religious discrimination is in Europe, not the Middle East, right?

    Steve

  12. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    That’s right, Mahmood.

    The only time I have a problem with anonymity in a blog is when someone is presenting what is supposed to be original news. It’s like a newspaper; knowing what paper it comes from affects the credibility you attach to it, and you are a bit more dubious about anonymous sources. But not entirely so; nobody ignored Salaam Pax in the early days of the Iraq war, even though he had a pen name, because what he said just rang true.

    But in the case of most bloggers, they are not [i]reporting [/i]news, they are [i]commenting[/i] on it. And that’s a world of difference. RP doesn’t invent news, he gets it from original sources, provides the link, and then comments on it. And comments you can take at face value; either agree with them, or disagree, or ignore them. But it doesn’t matter who is making the comment, because at the end of the day they are just one person’s comments, not something written on tablets of stone.

    I think these people object to his anonymity because he’s so damn funny, he gets lots of readers, and they choose to feel defensive rather than open to change.

    BTW Mahmood, your English is very good also. Suspicious, Hmm? 😉

  13. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Isn’t that what you are doing yourself, Mahmood?
    I don’t see you speaking up for the freedom of wearing hijab as a personal choice when it was outlawed in France or Holland. or is freedom selective in your view?

  14. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Isn’t Al Hayat one of the newspapers owned by the Saudi government? If Jihad Al Kazen wants to talk about journalistic ethics he might have mentioned this in his article.

  15. anonymous says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Typical extremist exaggeration. Its never been outlawed in France or Holland. The French government forbade the wearing of these sorts of religious symbols in public schools. Private schools can do what they like.

    So please, lets choose accuracy over self pity – even just this once.

  16. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    “He who shall not be named” even got some pub in the bottom of Khazan’s article, which will only serve to inflate whatever sense of aggrandized self-delusion he may currently be under!

  17. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [i][b]Mahmood: “NO, nothing is okay with Saudi. Nothing! The sooner everyone IN SAUDI realises this truth and starts to do something about it by at least growing some balls and acknowledging these issues the better for everyone in Saudi and the area.”[/b][/i]

    Well said, Brother Mahmood. My sentiments, exactly, although written without expletives.

    I would take Al-Khazin’s remarks as something as an unintended compliment. In the blogosphere, you can not consider yourself effective until the targets of your wrath castigate you unfairly. If you write truthfully about a festering problem, the ad hominem rebuttals will come as sure as thunder follows lightning.

    Steve

  18. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    You’ve been a bad student and have not been paying attention. Go to the back of the class at once! But before you do that, let me educate you on how I view the hijab as I have written in other articles:

    I, on the other hand, question the legitimacy of enshrouding women at our pleasure because they can entice us into sin. So we shift the blame of males inability to control their sexual urges, on women!

    You might also want to peruse the ensuing discussion that generated on both this blog, as well as others.

    Next question. But, let’s keep it on topic shall we?

  19. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    exactly, you said it yourself. it was banned. where is the freedom in that?
    Do you support them or not?

  20. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Mahmood, lets keep this civil.
    You didn’t answer the question, if a women WANTS to wear a hijab, do you thing it is wrong to force her to take it off?

  21. Laura(southernxyl) says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    The problem that Ahmed and Farooha and a whole bunch of other people are going to have when free speech really does come to SA is the same problem we Americans have all the time: You can’t control other people’s speech. You just can’t. You can’t control their attitudes. You can’t direct how they express themselves. For instance, I’d like to kick Pat Robertson’s butt over what he apparently said about Sharon’s stroke being God’s punishment for giving away Gaza. But it’s his constitutional God-given right to make a jackass of himself and he seems to avail himself of that right on a semi-regular basis. Ultimately, you just have to let other people do their thing and remember that you don’t have to take responsibility for it and it doesn’t reflect on you.

    I enjoy reading the Religious Policeman’s site, even though some of the stories he tells make me cry. I thought his children’s story about the driver who married the four schoolteachers was absolutely hilarious. I don’t care whether the RP is a married Saudi Arabian with a wife and children living in the UK, or a gay female Icelander. This is the internet. You take it as you find it.

  22. Pammi says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I don’t mean to interrupt the flow of the thread. I just wanted to say I enjoy The Religious Policeman very much. His insights and humorous ways of bringing issues that effect the islamic world, educate me about muslim life. I also learn allot about myself when I read his blog and blogs like yours Mahmood.

    I say BRAVO to Alhamedi! Blog on.

  23. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    In France they did not only ban the hijab from schools, but also all other religous symbols. So why are only muslims constantly complaining about that decision? Christians and Jews are also affected by this decision, but they are not whining about no longer being allowed to wear their kippa or a cross.

    In many countries (is think also in the UK) children are required to wear school uniforms. They are not allowed to wear the fancy clothing, they are ususally wearing outside school. So is it wrong to force them to wear school uniforms? I don’t think so. I’m a teacher myself. Here in germany we don’t have school uniforms and the hijab is not banned in schools (well, it’s forbidden for female teacher to wear a hijab, but not for pupils). I can see every day the social problems caused by this. Pupils are being picked on and get isolated by their classmates, because they are wearing hijabs or because they can’t afford to but the same fancy and expensive clothing, others are wearing. And unfortunately there is not much we teachers can do about that.
    So in my opinion it’s a good idea to ban hijabs and all other etravagant/unusual clothing in schools.

    Regarding women wearing a hijab voluntarily: I have heard form at least a few of my female pupils, that they are forced to wear the hijab by their parents. Some are actually taking off the hijab in school, when they know, that their parents wont see it. Last year we had a case, where a 14-year old girl attending our school, was beaten up pretty badly by her 17 year old brother (who is also attending our school), because she had taken off the hijab in school…

    Btw: A few years ago in Bavaria a court decided, that it’s not allowed to place christian symbols like the cross in the classrooms of public schools. Though >90% of the bavarian population are christians, I didn’t hear many people complaining about that decision. Wearing the hijab on the ohter hand is not forbidden in bavarian schools, though only ~3% of the bavarian population are muslims.

  24. mahmood says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Of course it is wrong to force a woman who wants to wear a hijab to be prevented from doing so, just as it is absolutely wrong for a woman who wants to sunbathe topless on a beach in Jeddah, Dubai or Bahrain to be prevented from doing so as well.

    It is abhorrent French sensibilities in the first instance, as it is to us in our communities in the second. In both instances however, it is completely a woman’s choice and I support both in their quest for individualism and the observance of their own beliefs.

  25. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I am big believer in KARMA Mahmood and what goes around comes around. This character assassination has become so prevalent in many societies that sadly to more than a few it is considered the norm and in some circles even respectable.

    We must all combat it at its source when possible.

  26. anonymous says:

    Re(3): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I’m glad you cleared that up.
    I enjoy your blog Mahmood, but it irks me that a lot of your posts seem to hint at racism against modorate sunni muslims. Double standards hurt credibility.
    As for the person who called me an extremist, I don’t think he knows what the words means.

    All in all, I wish you well..

  27. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Talking about the “disgruntled university student and a zealot”, if you look at the former’s blog, you will find this comment from the latter.

    [quote]My wife’s family, former diplomats at the Saudi Embassy here in DC, personally knew and interacted with Farah’s family.[i]

    What he didn’t add, although Farah has mentioned this a number of times, was that [i]her[/i] Father was also on the staff of the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

    So instead of “average citizens”, it appears that we have a little cabal of two, both with family connections to the Saudi Diplomatic Service. Not that that is relevant, of course.

  28. mahmood says:

    Re(4): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    it irks me that a lot of your posts seem to hint at racism against modorate sunni muslims.

    Do they really? Thank you for pointing that out. Sincerely. I was not aware of that as it is never my intention to be racist in any way. I shall have to think about this claim seriously and make amends if I do in fact find what you have pointed out. I hope that I have not offended my Sunni brothers and sisters if I have. It was not with malice.

  29. anonymous says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Arguing or trying to have a discussion with Farha is like pissing into the wind. You may get the pressing issue off of you mind but in the end your left with a bigger mess. Farha is a typical collage student. Full of rose colored glasses theory and ideas but little practical experience in the real world.

  30. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I am an Indian Non Muslim living in Bahrain…( well, if my identity makes a difference ) … I have few bookmarked Blogs on my PC from around the globe. The Religious Policeman is one of them. I like his/her blog because it deals with real problems and calls the spade a spade. The blogs of Farooha and Abu Sinan, by any measure, comes nowhere near The RP which is by far the best Saudi blog and one of the best Middle East blog. The real problem with the whole issue doesn’t seems to me as the Identity question and in case of RP. I strongly agree with him being anonymous. Farooha’s “outspoken criticisms about Saudi” are very mild and lack depth in nature. The problem is that the other Saudi bloggers couldn’t match the popularity of the RP.

    [b]Why I Like The Religious Policeman[/b]

    1) It reminds you what tyranny is and how hopelessly gullible the oppressed are.
    2) It preaches the universal secular message.
    3) It reveals the wahabi non tolerant face of Islam which, in my opinion any modern Muslim would reject.
    4) It views the Saudi society from a realistic viewpoint rather than pretending that ‘everything is fine with our family’
    5) It can make a Saudi think and indeed make a difference in that person’s outlook.

    I don’t see the point if it’s really necessary to know who The RP is, or if he/she ever exists. The RP can remain anonymous without stating that he is Saudi or he lives now in London. Does that make a difference? What the hell if he doesn’t know Arabic? Mr. Jihad Al-Khazen’s view that “the language he uses is rather advanced” is the joke of the moment. Is that he doesn’t expect any Saudi to gain “advanced skills”? The whole debate on whether RP is authentic is immaterial because it is not a news channel. It’s one persons view. (or a group of Zionists view, if that’s what you want to establish).

    As for me, I will read on the Religious Policeman and hopes that Saudi Arabia of his/her dreams come true someday.

    Aakash.

  31. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    My comment to Abu Sinan fits you too Farooha, so I’ll copy it here. You are too liberal with your “rash assumptions” about the readers of the Religious Policeman.

    I am an avid reader of the Religious Policeman blog. AND I like Muslims. AND I like Arabs. AND I really like satire, especially satire that targets objectionable human qualities (arrogance, hypocrisy, misplaced pride, ignorance, corruption, intolerance and so on) that we all have to some degree.

    I don’t think less of Muslims and Arabs because of the blog, and if I wanted to get offended, well I could be offended by people who suggest that I am so dimwitted that I will form bad impressions of Islam and Arabs by reading it.

    In fact, the absurdities and cruelities of life in KSA highlighted in the blog make me empathetic with and respectful of what other people manage to live with and rise above. And of course I know there is much more to the KSA than what is satirized on the blog. The Religious Policeman blog is certainly NOT my only source of information and experience about Islam and Arabs.

    As for some Muslims and Arabs who get offended by the blog, I can’t understand it, except to note that there are reasons why ‘pride’ is one of the seven deadly sins.

  32. Ibn says:

    Re(3): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]Women have been turned away from univeristies and government buildings for wearing the Hijab . Where is the freedom of choice and where is my human rights unnder european human rights law I should be allowed to wear my hijab. I hate the hypocrisy of so called liberals . I am an european revert to Islam.
    [/quote]

    Ahh. Dear Madam,

    How did you go from associating us, the Arabs who love liberty, with the French, who pervert liberty?

    I would like to point out to you, that this is an issue of IDEAS, not GEOGRAPHY. The West is successful not because of its GEOGRAPHY, but because of its political IDEAS. Ideas … you know, that thing your brain cooks up when you are free to do so.

    I find that in most debates with fellow Arabs/Muslims regarding the topic of the-Arab-world-needs-freedom, my esteemed debaters are quick to point out the [i]small[/i] violations of liberty in the West, but slow to catch on to the [i]big[/i] violations of liberty in the Arab lands.

    They’re argument goes like this:

    You like liberty.
    The West likes liberty.
    But the West violates liberty here, here and here.
    So liberty violator = evil right?
    So West evil right?
    Since West likes liberty then liberty evil right?
    And since you like liberty then you are evil too.

    Ahh, the sweet smell of strawmen, false associations and other argumentative fallacies.

    Let me summarise this little bit for you M’Lady:

    Liberty in an IDEA. People can choose weather or not to adopt it, for their countries. We DO NOT support the violations of liberty, [i]anywhere[/i].

    So if France is telling you that you cannot walk into a government building with a hijab on based on your religion, then yes, that is a VIOLATION of liberty, and we DO NOT support it. Just as how we do NOT support more drastic violations of liberty in Arabs lands either.

    In short, liberty, in an objective entity, based on human nature, NOT geography.

    -Ibn

  33. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I think you meant to say ‘college’ . . . or are you saying she’s an art student?

  34. Ibn says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]Women have been turned away from univeristies and government buildings for wearing the Hijab . Where is the freedom of choice and where is my human rights unnder european human rights law I should be allowed to wear my hijab. I hate the hypocrisy of so called liberals . I am an european revert to Islam.
    [/quote]

    Ahh. Dear Madam,

    How did you go from associating us, the Arabs who love liberty, with the French, who pervert liberty?

    I would like to point out to you, that this is an issue of IDEAS, not GEOGRAPHY. The West is successful not because of its GEOGRAPHY, but because of its political IDEAS. Ideas … you know, that thing your brain cooks up when you are free to do so.

    I find that in most debates with fellow Arabs/Muslims regarding the topic of the-Arab-world-needs-freedom, my esteemed debaters are quick to point out the [i]small[/i] violations of liberty in the West, but slow to catch on to the [i]big[/i] violations of liberty in the Arab lands.

    They’re argument goes like this:

    You like liberty.
    The West likes liberty.
    But the West violates liberty here, here and here.
    So liberty violator = evil right?
    So West evil right?
    Since West likes liberty then liberty evil right?
    And since you like liberty then you are evil too.

    Ahh, the sweet smell of strawmen, false associations and other argumentative fallacies.

    Let me summarise this little bit for you M’Lady:

    Liberty in an IDEA. People can choose weather or not to adopt it, for their countries. We DO NOT support the violations of liberty, [i]anywhere[/i].

    So if France is telling you that you cannot walk into a government building with a hijab on based on your religion, then yes, that is a VIOLATION of liberty, and we DO NOT support it. Just as how we do NOT support more drastic violations of liberty in Arabs lands either.

    In short, liberty, in an objective entity, based on human nature, NOT geography.

    -Ibn

  35. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    A few of these phrases made me smile, by smile I mean that somewhat disturbing muscle contraction you get when you’re not sure if you should pity loathe or just ridicule a person or situation. Now to analyse Mr Khaizan’s words:

    “Jihaz Tashweesh 3ala baladen ma”- A system or apparatus that acts to disrupt a country: yup its “Themâ€? they’re at it again who am I referring to? God knows! It’s just a generic term we use for the guys we shift the blame to for our own problems.

    “Al-Ghalbiya al 3uthma min al blogs min al wilayat(…..)masee7iya sahyoonia(…)yameeniya”- Most blogs from the US are Christian- right -fundamental -Zionist : Sunshine, Where did you get that gem from? Let me guess you were in a coffee shop with the “lads” and Karim the self-appointed know it all and gossiper extraordinaire, mentioned- and this is from a reliable source -that his mum’s cousin’s husband’s friend works in IT and said that “Rightist Christian Fundamental Zionist no less, has taken control the blogosphere…” well here’s a titbit I got from blogpulse.com

    http://www.blogpulse.com/trend?query1=liberal&label1=Liberal&query2=conservative&label2=Conservative&query3=&label3=&days=180&x=34&y=9

    (btw will someone please teach me how to consolidate links into a few words, I am hopeless at these sort of things)

    Now if I’ve read the graph correctly 35%of the posts are liberal leaning compared to oh I’d say 32% now add that to the sports business entertainment and technology blogs …face it Mr Khaizan maybe a “majority� was a slight exaggeration

    “3uthma min al mumariseen min al shabab”- The majority of the bloggers are youths: hmm well I wouldn’t dispute that and I would have commended you for your astute power of observation until you blurted out: Aara’ahum la te3kes al wath3 al 3arabi al 3am – their view do no reflect the general Arab opinion .. I daresay they do buddy. According to The World Economic Forum;
    http://www.weforum.org/site/homepublic.nsf/Content/Competitiveness+and+reform+top+Arab+Business+Council+meeting+agenda

    Arab youths constitute OVER 60% of the Arab population … you were saying Mr Khaizan??

    “Mutadarifeen 3arab wa munathamat irhabiya”- Arab Extremist and terrorist organisation -Now this is when our friend has shown that his spine has long ago emigrated to terra incognita and in the process has proving why The Religious Policeman SHOULD remain anonymous. You see he mention those fellas above as a threat but prudently(self-preservinly?) quickly moves on to the real culprit, public enemy number one; and the scourge of our nation – yes its Ahmedi a man who adores kittens passionately follows cricket and listens to choral music in his free time…. HORROR OF HORRORS!! Compared to him our gun touting ;explosive wearing; throut slitting; run of the mill terrorist are mere amateurs …

    “Al-Musha3with”- Oooohh now he’s turning hysterical-musha3with= a practitioner of the dark arts, a sorcerer or warlock, why don’t you add leprechaun pixie and Yeti to the list? Mr Khaizan I’d advise you at this stage to wipe the disconcertingly white foamy liquid that’s gathering in the side of your mouth.

    I think it’s Voltaire who said: “I might not always agree with what you say but I’ll die fighting for your right to say it.� I find myself in that category I thing the Religious Policeman has done wonders to open our eyes to the sordid condition my country has sunk to. My only concern is that he rarely offers an alternative or solution; I admire him immensely for highlighting these issues which is a step in the right direction the problem is although a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, it shouldn’t end there. We need to follow up the criticisms with action for example what about Gandhi’s method of non violent resistance or “Satyagraha�? It not only lead to India’s independence but also heavily influenced Martin Luther’s civil rights movement. I believe this method would be especially potent with the plight of women in my country. Imagine our teachers, nurses, businesswomen and doctors(and of course in many other fields) deciding that the “Second Slavery� as Gandhi called the oppression of women must end this instance. Let men see how well they can manage on their own …Oh I’d give us Saudi men about 48hrs till we crawl on our knees begging them to reconsider. As long as the means is non-violent I’m open to suggestions.

    A Saudi

  36. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    My, my… some’ve decided to use fighting words, I see.. that’s ok, I’m pretty much used to this from both sides..

    Ok, where do I start… oh yes:
    “And if some “chick” is pissed off that he’s “dissing” where she comes from, the hotbed of extremism in the whole world: the Qaseem region, then that’s tough.”

    A) this “chick” (remind me to never kid with you folk, you seem to not have a sense of humour, by the way) is only “pissed off” because he does not have valid information on what he says. The hotbed of extremism in the whole world is not Qaseem and ANYBODY who has taken SAUDI curricula (read: SPOON-FED TO ALL SAUDIS NO MATTER WHERE IN THE WORLD, UNLESS NOT DIPLOMATS AND LET’S FACE IT WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD SAUDIS- WHO HAVE KIDS- BE ABROAD FOR ANY OTHER REASON?) would know that the “hotbed” of extremism is Uyaynah. If he’s mistaken Unayzah for Uyaynah, what does that tell you about the validity of everything he says to you? Wahabism’s hot-bed is in fact Riyadh and neighboring towns (i.e Uyaynah). You want to know why? Because Wahabism was BORN with the FORMATION of a SAUDI STATE- i.e with the infamous Ibn-Saud/Ibn Abdul Wahhab pact- Where was the Saudi state first born? What town did the Al-Sauds conquer first? Qaseem? Uh-uh. Exactly.. you don’t know. Neither does The religious police man when he made that brain-fart of an assumption. You know why? Because you guys weren’t spoon fed it. That doesn’t mean you both aren’t great men. Just that I wouldn’t exactly go to you for valid, real information on the current state and happenings in Saudi Arabia. Anyhow we resolved the gaseem issue, and I cleared it up with him, so I don’t want to turn this into a post about how Qaseem is in fact amongst the rare enlightened provinces in the desert area of Najd (Yes, Mahmood, catch up on your reading,try books by modern day Orientalists like Donald Cole, or orientalists from the 19th century like Chareles Doughty or even curious searchers of other interests like Paul Majkut.)Anyhow, the said religious policeman admitted that he doesn’t know much about Saudi history or Saudi pop-culture, and we called it a day. Funny you should drag the Gaseem deal back, even though it is not of relevence Mahmood, but whatever, to each his own.
    Anyhoo, you two are both a real hoot. I, too, laugh at the things you both write. He’s ONE funny guy and I have even blogged about how wonderful his writing is once or twice. He *just* isn’t not too knowledgeable in some departments. He might know more than your average every-day Westerner.. but when was that ever an amazement? Bahrain, as I recall, is just as expat-filled as Saudi, yes? He’s not the first nor the last expat to have visited the magical kingdom and write a tell-all expose about it. Susan Mackey and a list of MANY, MANY more did it before him. Many write, act, and even sing out their experiences in the Middle East. And I actually ENJOY their views on MANY things. I laugh at the tiny errors they may make, nevertheless find it adorable,and giggle whilst I admire their inquisitiveness. I know that should it be the other way around, I would never really be THAT interested in the locals. See that “Stan of Arabia” thing that’s getting everybody upset? I can swear to you that I NEVER laughed as hard as I did while watching it.( I even recorded the song the mom of the show sings about her Saudi experience and guess what, it’s MY RINGTONE. I’ll soon be blogging about it too!) You see my blog? It says [b]the everyday natterings of a bored and repressed Saudi (YES) chick[/b]. I called Riyadh the city of lovers, when we all know the one thing you’ll get for love out of wedlock in Riyadh is some serious ass-whoopin’. You see, I [b]LOVE[/b] finding comic relief in situations. I believe that we’re all ok as long as we can laugh.
    However, what bothers, rather “pisses” this Saudi “chick” off is that he claims that he does this for reform.
    Ok. This is where I know he’s either sugar-coating what it is he does (which more or less is stand up comedy) or outright clueless of the implications of his writings on THE ACTUAL PEOPLE HE WRITES ABOUT.
    Educated Saudis out there, don’t we ALL KNOW what the majority of Saudis are like? I WANT A SAUDI TO RESPOND. Do you think that making Saudis the laughing stock AMONG FOREIGNERS ONLY, will change anything? I love his writing and it’s pleasing if he really is Saudi.. HOWEVER, do you think that upon setting eyes on the comments he gets (Complete with the “Omar,” “Abdul” and “Rich Saudi” tags that all Saudis are under the threat of being oversimplified with) do you think that ANY normal Saudi, let alone the untravelled, not too light-hearted majority,would stand up and clap? Of course not. Do you not remember what happened when Karen Hughes made her way to Jeddah? Pride, my dear, we are a people of pride. We, Saudis ALL know that we got issues. We ALL know that we are knee-steep in corruption. We ALL kid about it. But to have a WHOLE gang of people who do NOT even have the slightest CLUE about WHY it is they do what they do, due to lack of knowledge and cultural understanding on THEIR parts, ALL laugh and laugh and laugh makes one feel all too inferior -yes Mahmood, even the non-saudis of us would not enjoy this.

    In fact, were it not for the comments he gets, were it not for his ever present pessimistic assertions,and were it not for his ever trusty entourage of seemingly VERY ill-behaved westerners (who we all know do not give a tiny rat’s ass about Saudi Arabia or reform here); then I doubt you and I would even be having this discussion.
    I hope that clears things up.

    Oh yes and..
    B)”It is not my problem that she’s living in dreamland and wants to believe against all odds and glaringly obvious facts that everything is hunky-dory and all is okay with Saudi”

    Heh. I strongly wish to be living in this “hunky-dory” land you describe. Perhaps a taste of it would stop the tears (yes it has gone as far as TEARS) I get over the current state of my homeland. And one look through out my blog will show you that I know that Saudi is VERY far from perfect; I know this for a fact. But the difference between me and Muttawa is that I make jokes about it with the world, cry about it when alone and DISCUSS IT with my brethren, because, dear Sir, one hand does NOT clap alone.
    I, myself, have been bothered CONSTANTLY over what it is I write. I am putting MY FAMILY and myself in danger. In VARIOUS occasions at school I’ve been a target of some VERY harsh words.I hate to be a drama-queen, else I’d blog about it. [i](people, think MEAN GIRLS sans the mini skirts and with more kohl). [/i] But you know what I do in response to that? I don’t wait for my Western entourage to kick their asses back. I take the girl aside and ask her what it was that bothered her. I engage her in a fruitful discussion, sans the name-calling that is usually a result of deep, deep cultural misunderstandings.
    In various occasions I’ve been attacked on my own blog and on other Saudi blogs. (I think Im the most bashed Saudi blog there is out there) And people repeatedly tell me to ignore it, but of what use would that be? Why ignore the majority of the land I WANT to change so badly? Why? I wouldn’t get what I so deeply wish for. Ignore my peeps? why? What good would it be to get a whole bunch of angry, unwilling-to-cooperate people? If anything that’ll only get them to cling on to the cushion of their taliban-like regimes, God knows the government is treating them MUCH better than, for example, the commenters at Muttawa’s blog. So instead, I ask them what bothers them in what I write, hold long discussions, make compromises and search for a middle-ground so that the majority of our views and directions can peacefully co-exist whilst we all -TOGETHER- rally to the upper authorities for a change.
    That is how one would go about change, dear sir. Certainly NOT the way our friendly neighborhood religious policeman is. Right now all I pray is that the majority of Saudis don’t ever stumble upon his blog. If they do, they’d surely report it (knowing my people, YES, they would) and the ISU would block all of blogspot. All blogs like his will do is, unfortunately, spoil this blogging thing for the rest of us Saudi bloggers out there, the ones who are SERIOUSLY reaching out to the youth and not just entertaining bored Americans who live in their parent’s basements.

    The pissed off Giseemy chick has spoken, I hope that clears things up.
    -Farooha

    ps: my father grew up on some farm in Gaseem, and I’m of a family the Riyadhite elite would consider “low-class” and would smirk at. Is it my fault that my father built his own self and got his ass to the states because he deserves it (at a time where most Saudis only cared to pass, my father graduated with the top grades and was the best in ALL of the kingdom, “Al awal 3ala al mamlaka” so yes he may be “garawee” as people will call him here but everything is rightfully deserved) There is justice in the world, afterall. Please do not make such rash assumptions about my family. Any Saudi (one in touch with Saudi pop-culture) would laugh at the idea of a gaseemi being of the elite, so quit it, you’re only making fools of yourselves.

  37. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Farooha,

    The more you dissect what a person says (or writes), the more you show that you really have a lot of spare time on your hands, which, in my personal opinion, is one of the biggest problems saudi arabians are facing today (carpe diem, along with everything else over there, is haram).

    Your ‘rant’ on whoever said Qassim is a hotbead of extremism and not Uyaynah is boring and weak. Whenever I enter Saudi, whether its Jiddah, Riyadh, or Khobar, I know I’m in the most unwelcoming place in the world. The phrase ‘Hotbeads of extremism’ should not be used for places in Saudi because, in my opionion, ALL OF SAUDI is a king sized bunk-bed with a double mattress of vile extremism. Yeah, yeah, some Saudis say “Well, Jeddah ain’t that bad.” BullSh*t. Some act like its Disney World or something. I have the upmost respect for RP, regardless if its a man, woman, robot, or a kitchen utensil. What’s written on that site has humor (and you should look into that because you lack some) and points to the truth.

    Grow the f up.

  38. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Yes you are correct on the collage vs college point! My brain often moves faster than my fingers do when typing. I should have used the term University and avoided any chance of confusion.

  39. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Educated Saudis out there, don’t we ALL KNOW what the majority of Saudis are like? I WANT A SAUDI TO RESPOND. Do you think that making Saudis the laughing stock AMONG FOREIGNERS ONLY, will change anything? I love his writing and it’s pleasing if he really is Saudi.. HOWEVER, do you think that upon setting eyes on the comments he gets (Complete with the “Omar,” “Abdul” and “Rich Saudi” tags that all Saudis are under the threat of being oversimplified with) do you think that ANY normal Saudi, let alone the untravelled, not too light-hearted majority,would stand up and clap? Of course not. Do you not remember what happened when Karen Hughes made her way to Jeddah? Pride, my dear, we are a people of pride. We, Saudis ALL know that we got issues. We ALL know that we are knee-steep in corruption. We ALL kid about it. But to have a WHOLE gang of people who do NOT even have the slightest CLUE about WHY it is they do what they do, due to lack of knowledge and cultural understanding on THEIR parts, ALL laugh and laugh and laugh makes one feel all too inferior -yes Mahmood, even the non-saudis of us would not enjoy this.

    Dear Farooha,

    I thought it was you after reading about the 3rd line down, still the firebrand eh? First of all I’d like to say that after finishing up my comment I was about to hit the sack (it’s pretty late here in Eire) but when you threw the gauntlet it was just too of much a temptation for me to resist. I’ll hope you don’t mind if my reply seems somewhat incomplete but I’m just about ready to sleep on rocks. Moving on, well I can’t vouch for my education but I do consider myself a man of the world and here’s my take on the questions you pose:

    Don’t we ALL KNOW what the majority of Saudis are like?

    Well in my personal opinion most Saudis suffer from a form of cultural schizophrenia and in varying degrees. We were in a time capsule for such a long time that when the modern world caught up with us we simply didn’t have time to consolidate our religious beliefs and traditions with the new facts on the ground. I think you might appreciate this example since I believe your background is in medicine, now the human mind is an amazingly adaptable organ; it creates mechanisms to deal with the stresses of life, lets take a person who for some reason or the other loses their vision, the occipital lobe area of the brain which controls that function amazingly starts handling some of the “workload” of the temporal lobe (hearing among other senses), this doesn’t quite make a person hear better but it does improve his power of cognition or rather listening. Now with schizophrenia it’s an extreme case of this “migration” of will. We as a people seem to have been thrust into a situation where the only form of adaptation we can manage that can lead us to live our lives without being stunted is to create an alter ego. We seem to have a personality for every occasion:- In the mosque? The pious devotee. With the tribe? a loyal member. In a foreign country? a liberal apologetic, and so on and so forth. We have foolishly let aspects of our mentality e.g. The religious, to influence how we are governed or the tribal to influence how we allocate positions and dispense special favours, and when we are abroad ,well, I’m sure you know what happens there. What I’m trying to illustrate is that although schizophrenics can live their lives without being emotionally paralysed, it is still a serious disorder that must be dealt with. Why you ask? Because we deserve better, not because of the privilege of being Saudi but by that of being a member of the human race. Lets rejoin that society.

    Do you think that making Saudis the laughing stock AMONG FOREIGNERS ONLY, will change anything?

    Not for the better at least. But is that really what he’s doing? I’ve noticed a marked difference between his earlier posting and the one after his sabbatical, it seems to me that he’s had one to many disappointments and now needs to vent his spleen. Can we blame him? He’s obviously gone thru a lot of anguish courtesy of the regime and let’s not forget his dedication, the first thing we see on his site:

    In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

    I hope to see those words one day etched on a memorial built for those poor souls and let it always remind us that we, yes we, let our society reach such a state where the lives of 15 innocent girls are horribly wasted for the sake of a piece of cloth. May God and those 15 angels forgive us…

    I’m sorry Farooha but I’ll have to answer those other questions tomorrow, I’m a morning person myself and I can just about keep my eyelids open. Till then, all the best!

    A Saudi

  40. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I support Alhamedi in his righteous stand against the false muttawa 100%.

    In Canada, awhile back we had to ban the wearing of religious daggers in schools by the members of an Indian sect because it was dangerous to have 14 year olds carrying knives. BUT if you are Indian and want to be an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police you may ware a turban while you hunt down the religious terrorist/bigots.

    Augurwell
    ******@********.**

    (The address was withheld to protect the innocent)

  41. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Ok thats it one last comment before I collapse:

    Mahmood: “NO, nothing is okay with Saudi. Nothing! The sooner everyone IN SAUDI realises this truth and starts to do something about it by at least growing some balls and acknowledging these issues the better for everyone in Saudi and the area.”

    Well said, Brother Mahmood. My sentiments, exactly, although written without expletives.

    I would take Al-Khazin’s remarks as something as an unintended compliment. In the blogosphere, you can not consider yourself effective until the targets of your wrath castigate you unfairly. If you write truthfully about a festering problem, the ad hominem rebuttals will come as sure as thunder follows lightning.

    Steve

    Sigh, Steve. Very clever aren’t we at cherry-picking? I’m sure you came across this paragraph-

    To answer your questions, yes of course there are excellent things happening in Saudi, as there are in Bahrain and every single country in the world, but you know that both Saudi and Bahrain are suffering from various shared things, and it is everyone’s responsibility to highlight them and try to eradicate them.

    Now for the love of god can you please stop peddling sophistry that’d make Gorgias proud. If you want to prove that Saudi Arabia is the root of all evil in this world and the cause of milk souring then be my guest but do it without empty rhetoric and please try to be objective.

    Peace,

    A Saudi

    P.s Hope you have a Happy new year and enjoyed a lovely Christmas. Sincerely.

  42. kabourmi says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    FOR ******’s Sake!! see this is what happens when you post comments while sleep deprived- not only did I forget to log in I posted a draft alongside my intended reply to farooha , anyway read on from the SECOND dear farooha please.

    Apologies!

    A Saudi

    P.s Any chance this could be patched Mahmood?

  43. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    There is alot of disco dancing around the issue at hand- FREE SPEECH.

    Even if RP was a green midget with three legs from neptune… Doesn’t he have the right to express his viewpoints?

    yes.

  44. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Hehehe, a Saudi. I hate to admit it, but I’ve long suffered of the mentioned cultural schizophrenia as well. Heh, except i like to soften it a bit. Let’s just call it cultural adaptation for now, yes? 😉 After all, when in Rome, dear, when in Rome…er..yes. hehe wallah that comment cracked me up so bad!
    So true, I’m the prude to my father and the whole loving Gaseemi clan back home in Unaizah. I’m the fun-loving person that I am (damn it, I am, whether you people like it or not) with friends and/or non-judgemental ones. I’m the little muttuwa3a with my aunt and her troupe. I’m the girl who’s never had ANY sexual instances with the potential Saudi boy toy, oye the list could go on and on and on. Ah, the many variables one must adhere to as a result of hailing back to the great desert dunes of Najd. It should serve as an incredible anthropological study… (Calling all anthropology junkies out there… I’d gladly be your subject)

    Anyway, I await your reply, “A Saudi” 🙂
    -PO-ed Gismanjyah chick. (this nickname’s starting to grow on me, by the way. Official name-change in order)

    (oh yes and the little encounter you had with Steve is just one of the many hate-ridden assertions you’d expect to find on the said Religious police…. um… man(?) blog’s comment section. e.g.: comments to thread titled “getting to know you”)

  45. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Well said and researched I might add!

    As to those long urls, what you can do is use the bbcode notation, ie:
    [ url = http : / / url link here ]somewords[ /url ]

    without spaces of course anywhere withtin the brackets and you’re ok.

  46. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Farah, okay, so you don’t want your dirty laundry out in the open, but rather try to fix things internally. That’s a “hello kitty” kind of logic in this day and age, my daughter.

    Nothing is going to change in this area of the world without sincere and exerted efforts from us all, and even with the help of international pressure. That is happening already as we have experienced recently with the emphasis that the American administration as well as the EU is exerting on our governments all the way from Morocco to Afghanistan.

    I care deeply about what is happening in Saudi because anything that happens there will affect me, my children, my family and my country drastically. I feel that what the Religious Policeman is doing is correct. You might disagree simply because you feel “ashamed” of the topics he discusses and comments on in his own particular way, but the situation is much grater that your hurt feelings.

    There are 300 million Arabs waiting for a resolution of the Saudi situation, not a just a remote village. So your opposition to the Religious Policeman is without any logical basis. You have taken things personally and you shouldn’t have.

    If you do care deeply about your country, and from various writings you do, then work with him and others who are leading the reforms, rather than against them simply because, in your words, you feel that he is “making Saudis the laughing stock AMONG FOREIGNERS ONLY, will change anything?

    Yes my dear, what he is doing WILL change things to the better, as his writing – and I say this with deep respect for you – has much more impact than yours.

  47. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Poor dear lady Farooha! All that pent-up rage and resentment must be truly indestigible, the result of too much time on her hands and so very little she can actually decide for herself. Reading her postings, I have acquired great sympathy for her plight: a brilliant young girl with real ‘moxie’ caught like a butterfly in a very tight net she cannot escape from. It is truly very sad, since everyone knows what kind of future awaits her…
    That she cannot see the point (free speach), made over and over again by almost everyone, is not so surprising considering that she is being herself deprived of it in her own life: she probably has no conception of what that really is. Even though she seems to believe that all western commentators on R.P. ‘s blog are virulently anti-arab, (which by the way I could find very insulting if I were as prideful and sensitive as she) she goes on adding fuel to the fire, blissfully unaware of the pity she generates in some of us.
    Her youth makes her intolerant and she lack in critical judgement like most teenagers the world over, to wit the very condescending tone she took with Mahmood and the sleepy saudi gentleman (sorry that’s all I had to go by). I wish her peace and real freedom as I have enjoyed in my own Canadian world, which is truly paradise on earth compared with the magic kingdom she has to make do with.
    A Salaam
    northern shewolf

  48. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    no problem, done!

  49. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    For the grammarians: Oops I goofed! read indigestible.

    northern shewolf

  50. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Well, you know what’s right and what’s wrong. If you don’t, you use things like ‘Circular Logic’ (a.k.a. Bullshit) to prop up your delusions.

    Let us disregard everything that the R.P. has written and focus on the opening paragraph of his blog… the facts that the school girls burned to a horrible death because of the false religious stooges’ ridiculous notions and their hypocrisy is reason enough for me to say ‘Praise God and pass the ammunition.’

    Ghandi’s method of non-violent resistance works if your advisory is civilised, it does not work if you are being farked down by Wabbling Nazism etc.

    Augurwell
    Chesshire by Severn
    Canada
    aegisi@sympatico.ca
    (The address is found here because we are free and protected by ‘The Untouchables’ (FBI etc.) That’s right fark with us and you’ll get leprosy.)

    PS If God doesn’t have a sense of humour you wouldn’t have one either.

    There are no problems only solutions.
    .

  51. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Go easy on Farah, people. Remember that she’s a female writer from one of the hottest spots around. You don’t want to lose a voice like her’s.

    The Joker

  52. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    i love the religious policeman. he is a great writer and has been a catalyst for my laughter at the saudi’s backward ass views on politics, religion and society. i read him religiously. of course after i’m done reading yours mahmood. if any one doesn’t like it then they can kiss where the sun don’t shine.
    your humble reader

  53. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    It’s funny how you ignored most of what I wrote and chose to address… well none of the things I brought up. I trully applaud that. Bravo, bravo, sir.

    [quote]Farah, okay, so you don’t want your dirty laundry out in the open, but rather try to fix things internally. That’s a “hello kitty” kind of logic in this day and age, my daughter.[/quote]

    Ok where did I say that? Hello? I [b]translate[/b] the dirty laundry. The English stuff RP blogs about is already out in the open, or would be something he’d [b]TAKE[/b] from me. I translate assorted pieces of filth and take my camera-phone with me to college and snap pictures of whatever I may not like. Last I check that could get me expelled. Humour me, sir, where in God’s name was it that I even mentioned Saudi Arabia’s image or whatnot? Heh. Your argument smacks of weakness and clicheness.

    [quote]Nothing is going to change in this area of the world without sincere and exerted efforts from us all, and even with the help of international pressure.[/quote]

    And, I agree.

    [quote]I care deeply about what is happening in Saudi because anything that happens there will affect me, my children, my family and my country drastically. I feel that what the Religious Policeman is doing is correct. You might disagree simply because you feel “ashamed” of the topics he discusses and comments on in his own particular way, but the situation is much grater that your hurt feelings.[/quote]

    Kind sir, I hate to say this to a man the age of my father, but you are once again beating around the bush. Firstly by digressing via professing your love and affection for Saudi (which was uncalled for, by the way, as I cannot care less). Then secondly by again falsely accusing me of feeling ashamed. Where does it ever say that I’m “ashamed”? If such was the case, sir, then why was I not ashamed when it comes to other blogs and venues harshly critical of Saudi Arabia? Why was I not ashamed of Jo’s “A thought in the Kingdom of Lunacy”? Why was I not ashamed when it came to the Stan of Arabia episode of American dad? Why was I not ashamed of Ghaida’s ” Yommeyat Mudeerah fee al mamlaka al 3arabiyah al Junoonyah”? Why was I not ashamed of Uber Girl’s everyday rants, mostly about “Saudi Fucking Arabia” (her words)?
    Please, do tell me, sir.

    [quote]So your opposition to the Religious Policeman is without any logical basis. You have taken things personally and you shouldn’t have.[/quote]
    It is funny how even the most liberal and (self-proclaimed) educated Arab males can deem a girl’s argument illogical, and surely a result of anger and emotions. There I was thinking I was being respected here, despite my sex and age. I knew it was too good to be true…

    [quote]If you do care deeply about your country, and from various writings you do, then work with him and others who are leading the reforms[/quote]
    If you go through out the blog, and I’d gladly reveal to you our correspondences too, the religious police man and I, you’d see that I have tried on various occasions to make his blog work [b]for[/b] Saudi (as a country and a people and not the government) and [b]not against [/b]it. But alas, it was of no use. Knowing the Saudi mentality quite well, it wholly saddens me, that his blog is actually counter productive. As I said before, knowing my people, I’m just glad they don’t frequent it. Else, boy would we have [b]alot[/b] of work to do.

    [quote]Yes my dear, what he is doing WILL change things to the better, as his writing – and I say this with deep respect for you – has much more impact than yours[/quote]
    It’s funny how you chose to end your literary tour de forces to both me and Ahmed with this line. I don’t get it? Was I supposed to feel insulted? Frankly, I can’t care less, so I’ll ignore that.(ps: [i]what a way to encourage the up and comin’ youngons, aye Mahmood? Bravo, once again for “caring” for the Saudi youth)[/i]
    I will comment on your belief that his blog will change things for the better, you know why? Because you are yet again proving my point that you have no idea what kind of society it is you’re dealing with. That’s why. When you meet a prototype of a Saudi person (and not a liberal Shiite from the Eastern province, or a disgruntled University chick) then we’ll see what you have to say, kind sir.

    Heh. Also, honestly, only when you choose to directly address every point I’d made in the previous comment, is when I’ll be able to take your retorts seriously.

    – PO-ed Gaseemyah/disgruntled Uni chick. (both of which I’m loving, ps! So thanks ;))

  54. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    I agree and I hope Farah you don’t become too disheartened by these tirades (including the one I wrote) take it in your stride and live to fight another day eh? And try to be more careful when deciding to take an unwavering position.

    sleepy saudi gentlemen huh? It might just stick! Well I’m glad to tell you its around 8:45 pm over here and I’m already getting ready to go to bed, so from now on its the bright-eyes and bushy-tailed saudi gentlemen 🙂

    A Saudi

    P.s Beautiful place Canada, I’d love to see Banff National Park.

  55. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Calm down habibti, this is getting tiresome. I don’t want to go through everything you have written, maybe some day, but just answer me this: Do you believe in freedom of speech?

  56. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Excuse me miss Farah, I can’t help but notice that RP’s issue always gets sidetracked down the same alley… One of the comments said RP didn’t pinpoint the exact village Mo abdulwahab started from.. I mean who gives a flying Banana if he was supposed to mention Uyeyna rather than Qaseem, like Unaizah and Braidah are totally different galaxies? My family is from Qaseem and I used to go to Braida every eid (not for a while though), and I have never seen such a homogenous society like saudi… so I really don’t know where you’re coming from when “Mahmood proves your point that he doesnt know the saudi society” which is similar to the rebuttal technique Al Hayat used against RP which is you’re not really Saudi so you can’t comment.

    Excuse me for saying this, but you dis-associate people that criticize Saudi.

    The Joker

  57. anonymous says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    To format text in your answers, you can go to the HTML cheat sheet in Webmonkey, and look under “Links.” You want to use the first one, “Creates a hyperlink”. Just copy and paste the code, then copy and paste your link over the “URL”. Then insert the text you want hyperlinked between the >< characters. You can check to see if it looks right by clicking on the "Preview" button below the Comment entry field you are typing in.You might check out the bold and italic tags under the "Text Tags" section. They come in handy, too.Once you have a taste for it, go enroll in a simple website class. You'll be surprised at how easy all of this stuff is.Steve

  58. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Mahmood

    Thanks for your support, and bringing some intelligent comment to a subject that is otherwise in dire need.

    Alhamedi
    The Religious Policeman

  59. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Farooha,

    That was a very interesting, juicy, and satisfying rant. And all delivered in American idiom, which surprises me when delivered by a chick in Riyadh. What exactly is the name of and link to your website? I’m a bored Westerner, though not living in my parent’s basement. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind me dropping by your website. Everybody here in Mahmood’s Den love it when I drop in.

    Curious,

    Steve

  60. kabourmi says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Much obliged Mahmood!

    ………………………………………

    Gandhi’s’ method of non-violent resistance works if your advisory is civilized, it does not work if you are being farked down by Wabbling Nazism etc.

    Augerwell-

    I agree, an oft-mentioned truism is that under Stalin or Mao non-violent resistance would be near impossible- take Tiananmen Square for example. In fairness though the British rule Gandhi had to deal with wasn’t always benign and kiddie gloves were not always used, the Armistar Massacre where 400 men women and children were killed is a case in point. Thankfully in Saudi we have yet to have a “cultural revolutionâ€? that wipes out 5 % of our population nor are there gulags set up to imprison our intelligentsia. Its still grim-but not totalitarian dictatorship grim, more over one of the strongest reasons why non-violent resistance works is that it shames the regime into reawakening its conscience and these days the way the media can take hold of a story and cover all its angles, well I’m sure we can nudge our ruler’s troubled minds in the right direction.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………

    Now Farooha after getting a few hours of sleep back in me I think I can pick up my rapier and continue our little bout.

    HOWEVER, do you think that upon setting eyes on the comments he gets (Complete with the Omar,” “Abdul” and “Rich Saudi” tags that all Saudis are under the threat of being oversimplified with) do you think that ANY normal Saudi, let alone the untravelled, not too light-hearted majority,would stand up and clap? Of course not.

    I’ll assume for a second that this wasn’t a rhetorical question. Now I sincerely believe that satirists have an important role to play in every society. In different circumstances Al-Ahmdei could have been the Scott Adams of Saudi Arabia- I can just see him lampooning the “pointy-haired� monarch! Would any Saudi stand up and clap? Mmm maybe a few, maybe none but I think you’re missing the point. The day us Saudis can swallow his sort of humour with its large portion of bitter cod liver oil, is a day we can be proud of. Only that we can say, yes, we’ve matured as a society to the point where we are self-confident enough to take criticism in our stride and maybe even laugh at our own idiosyncrasies. As is stand sadly we can do neither. Any voices of dissent are swiftly and harshly dealt with and not just by the authorities but by our own self-censorship.

    Do you not remember what happened when Karen Hughes made her way to Jeddah? Pride, my dear, we are a people of pride

    Well I remember hearing about it thru your site no less, I’ve just googled it and have gone thru the [url=http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0510/S00251.htm]transcript[/url] .

    America is trying to force its own opinion on us; the change will come from us,” Assassa added. Chamane Rahim, a French-educated social sciences professor, explained that the students don’t cover their heads in class “as we’re all women.” True, Saudi women still can’t drive “but it will come soon, Insha-Allah (God willing)”, she said. Aljazeera

    Touché Madam Rahim it should come from us and it would be our own “internal problem.� trouble is we’ve somehow contracted the nasty habit of exporting terrorists. Suddenly it isn’t just our problem anymore, the whole world is involved – no man is in island entire in itself, and neither is our country. Do I think that the American foreign policy towards us is dictated by the goodness of their hearts??? Are there intentions solely altruistic?? In my opinion: Not a chance! But in Fairness who’s ever are? Instead of moaning about how biased they are how their media is always skewed against us why not take what they have to offer (a functioning model of a liberal democracy) and then build on it? Add a dash of cumin powder, a few bay leaves, some coriander a drop of “shutta� and voila! We’ve turned it to something our culture can stomach!

    Well gotta run, little Amé needs to take her walk and I’ve yet to teach her how to hold her lead in her mouth or use a pooper-scooper �

    Salam!

    A Saudi

  61. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    You’re more than welcome.

  62. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Another very interesting and insightful post.

    [quote]A Saudi: Well in my personal opinion most Saudis suffer from a form of cultural schizophrenia and in varying degrees. We were in a time capsule for such a long time that when the modern world caught up with us we simply didn’t have time to consolidate our religious beliefs and traditions with the new facts on the ground.[/quote]

    While I agree with your interpretation, I don’t agree that this was the only course of action. The Japanese were caught in their own time capsule when the US opened relations with them. When they realized how far behind the modern world they were, the Japanese decided to rapidly adapt and incorporate as much of modernity into their culture as they could stand. The Saudis, on the other, decided to minimize their accommodation to the modern world and isolate those areas where accommodation was unavoidable.

    Ridiculing Saudi culture serves a good purpose by prodding Saudis to change. If Saudis face contempt for their many flaws when they interact with the civilized world, it will prompt them to make changes to gain respect. America has tried the other course of carefully respecting Saudi culture which has proven to be catastrophic. Left to themselves, the Saudis will never change.

    So the Religious Policeman should proceed apace to publicize the flaws of Saudi Arabia. My hope is that he inspires other Saudis to emulate him to create a reform movement.

    Steve

  63. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    A Saudi,

    I’m very happy to hear that there are excellent things happenning in Saudi Arabia though I am at a loss to know what they possibly could be.

    What I do know is that Saudi Arabia is engaged in a covert war against America in which they preach hatred for America, encourage their young men to kill Americans, fund their jihad against America, and kill thousands of Americans. While the Saudi government protests association with the Wahhabi jihad against America in English, they endorse it in Arabic all around the world and even in the US. The Saudis send hate literature to mosques across the US, preach hate against the US in Saudi-funded madrassas right here in Washington, and even have their embassy hand out pamphlets in Arabic to Muslim tourists reminding them of their religious duty to hate America and Americans.

    It is very clear that Saudi Arabia is an enemy of America. It is also clear that Saudi Arabia is conducting a foreign policy of murderous religious imperialism around the world. In all too many bomb blasts and beheadings around the world, there is Saudi patronage. This is not sophistry, but reality.

    Saudis have declared themselves the enemy of America and all that it stands for. I am being objective to clearly acknowledge it.

    Steve

  64. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]A Saudi: “Do I think that the American foreign policy towards us is dictated by the goodness of their hearts??? Are there intentions solely altruistic?? In my opinion: Not a chance! But in Fairness who’s ever are?”[/quote]

    You must admit that American policy toward Saudi Arabia has been enlightened. We did not conquer Saudi Arabia once Americans found oil there and make Saudis into slaves like the Belgians did in the Congo. Saudi Arabia was not made into an American colony. We accepted your culture, though repellent to us, and operated so as to respect and preserve it. President Roosevelt came to negotiate with Abdul Aziz as his equal, not an inferior. That’s quite different than the British treatment of Indian monarchs. We made a fair business deal with the Saudis where basically we did all the work and they reaped the bulk of the profits from their oil.

    Now sit back and ask yourself, when has a world power ever treated a small, weak nation so generously? Any other nation would have stolen the oil and tossed the Saudis scraps.

    Had the Saudis been wise and had normal human instincts, they would have used their relationship with America to leap into the modern world, not just physically but culturally. In a country with no natural resources other than oil, it is obvious that an economy must be developed that adds value to imported raw materials, as Japan has done. A desert nation’s best bet is to become a information economy, processing data into knowledge. That requires a massive investment in developing human capital. The KSA had the petrobucks to make it happen.

    Instead, most of the wealth was squandered satsifying the rulers’ venal desires and indulging the clergy’s worst instincts. The university system was wasted producing Islamic studies degrees, a degree worse than worthless, poisoning the human capital. The Saudi culture resisted knowledge from the outside, which dooms them when the oil runs out. Worst of all, the Saudis hate most their most generous benefactor and defender, making war on the country which placed them in luxury. It would be difficult to find a baser act of ingratitude in human history.

    That said, it seems safer to trust yourself to American intentions than Saudi intentions. There is altruism in American intentions. Saudi intentions are ultimately treacherous. Americans believe in win-win relationships. Saudis only believe in win-lose.

    Steve

  65. kabourmi says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    First of all thanks Steve for the info! They’re starting a beginners web-design class at the Dublin Business School in the evenings at the end of this month and I’ve already made enquiries, hopefully it will turn out to be useful.

    Now I still stand with what I’ve said [quote] are their intentions solely altruistic?? [/quote]

    Well is it? Please answer this, is it SOLELY altruistic? And I stress the first word. In my opinion it isn’t nor of course is it hell bent on destroying us either. The US is a country that looks out for its own interest like any other- No surprise there.

    [quote] Now sit back and ask yourself, when has a world power ever treated a small, weak nation so generously? Any other nation would have stolen the oil and tossed the Saudis scraps. [/quote]

    I hate to be stickler and it doesn’t really matter but get your facts straight, its the size of Western Europe and a bit more than a fifth of the size of the US it ranks number 15 in area. If you meant that the population was small I concede your point.

    Now the potential of Saudi oil was only really assessed in the late 30’s and after WWII most colonial countries lost their taste in conquest anyway. I think neither the US nor any other country would have:
    [quote] stolen the oil and tossed the Saudis scraps.[/quote]

    It would have been an absolute PR disaster, invading a sovereign country that was a founding member of the United Nations? And which happens to hold the holiest sites of a major world religion? Not a pretty Headline.

    [quote] Had the Saudis been wise and had normal human instincts, they would have used their relationship with America to leap into the modern world, not just physically but culturally. [/quote]

    Did we squander a huge amount of money that we will one day regret?? Of course we have! We already are regretting it. But in fairness we could have done worse, 2 years ago I was talking to a gentleman from Nigeria – a graduate from the London school of Economics- and he heaped praise on how astute we were with our oil money compared to his compatriots, I was personally caught by surprised, I had always thought that the whole world saw us as the biggest money wasters in god’s green earth but there you have it.

    [quote] Worst of all, the Saudis hate most their most generous benefactor and defender [/quote]

    Defender I agree. But benefactor??

    benefactor [bénni faktər]
    (plural benefactors)
    noun
    financial supporter: somebody who aids a cause, institution, or individual, especially with a gift of money

    Funny I thought the when we sold a valuable commodity-our oil- at reasonable prices and got hard currency in return its called ” TRADE” not “AID”. During the Cold War Saudi was the United States personal petty cash box. I remember reading of an instance where a phone call to Riyadh quickly lead to Saudi Arabia Buying 100s of tons of Polish Ham and donating it to (I think) Czechoslovakia, a bit ironic eh? I hate to mention this but since you brought it up, do you have any idea how mach aid Saudi gave to the victims of Katrina? [url=http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3241]100,000,000 Dollars [/url]
    . Again I hate to rub salt into this but who’s the [url=http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=4302068] benefactor [/url] now??

    Am I grateful for what the US has done to my country in the past?? You Bet! Even within my own family; my mom, dad and brother were all educated there. My dad never stops speaking about the great time he had at Berkley and how nice the people were to him. But does that make me a Vassal to your country? Here’s my reply- A loud and defiant “NO”. I hope that one day we can help assist building your country as you did ours (although god knows we invest a helluva a lot in the states- circa. $ [url=http://www.saudi-american-forum.org/Newsletters/SAF_Essay_22.htm] 420 BILLION [/url] in the US in 2003- that’s a lot of jobs. )but I’m sure we can do more. In the other hand we all are “treacherous” and “ungracious” so I’m obviously making all this up. What do you think?

    A Saudi

    P.s I just noticed another comment you wrote:

    [quote] I’m very happy to hear that there are excellent things happenning in Saudi Arabia though I am at a loss to know what they possibly could be. [/quote]

    Well the election of 2 women in the Jeddah board of Commerce and also that of a woman in the union of Saudi Engineers. A lot of reformers have also been released since Abdullah took power, granted they’re baby steps but it is good news nonetheless, and as a Saudi it gives me hope.

  66. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    A Saudi and Joker:
    I have nothing against the man personally. Must I scream this out? Whether he is Saudi or not, whether he likes Qaseem or not, all of which were [b]never[/b] the issue. The one thing I’ve been ranting on about is that it is the likes of such a blog that will sooner or later get us little struggling ones blocked and will hence hinder any real reform, it would be such a shame. We’re getting so close. Let me highlite a previous experience that has taught me my lesson on dealing with our society.
    [i]A Saudi with all due respect to you, you’re no average Saudi, I really wish the Saudi prototype to elevate one day so that it reflects gentlemen like yourself but, alas reality has it that it will not in a long, long while, sigh.[/i]

    [i]A joker, the debate was not about Gaseem to begin with it was the kind author of this blog who brougt it back in[/i]

    Ok the story, and then I’m off, (long road trip ahead of me)
    I got in big trouble last year and almost failed a class for merely discussing (and questioning) our need for the mandatory Islamic “Salam 101″ classes in a debate. I found the material taught to be too politically-oriented (deeply appreciative of the Ikhwan movement for example) and outright intolerant (this I’m sure, is not news to many) and I used Dr. Hamza Al Muzaini’s articles as references -among many more. The lecturer had asked for something controversial.. [i]heh so much for that.[/i] I wasn’t spoken to after the debate, by any of my class-mates for the rest of that semester, besides one girl who happened to be an Egyptian-Saudi (mitjansah) and another who was a shiite and who couldn’t care less because she didnt even believe in half the stuff she was forced to learn. The rest, nah.. Many kind and charitable do-gooders even went as far as asking the teacher not to give me the grade at all, because that would after all be haram. I remember a girl sobbingly calling me and telling me that,” if you pass now, the money you make with this degree would be haram, do you want to be making haram money, Farah?” It was not a good experience for me, esp since this was the young, the hip of the nation. And plus, that grade was one I needed very badly in order to maintain my gpa, hell, in order to pass. I ended up giving another presentation, one explaining that I was merely acting; and that I would never really say anything so horrid, just doing it for the grade. The teacher asked me to do this so she could give me the grade with “an eased conscience”.
    I remember my instinct telling me to “stick to what I believe in, no matter what society may think, we must face the truth sooner or later,how long will we live in this bubble?I will speak my mind, how will we ever progress, otherwise?” and whatever else of such naive and cliche bits. But my father gave me words of wisdom, I’ll never forget. He said:
    “Well, habeebti, then you’d only be a failed languages student with no friends. What good to society would that be?” He said that right now, things will not go your way, and the majority will not listen to you. And it is the majority that has the power. You must then, appeal to the majority not repel them, from your friends to even your teachers. Appeal to them so that they trust you and so that anything said by you in the future would be taken into consideration. Easy does it. You may have to lie, you may have to connive, but who was ever honest? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Soon, it will not only be you. Soon it’ll be you and many many more.
    Alhamedi in some ways reminds me of myself that year, he is only lucky enough to not be in a class filled with angry Saudi girls…. I fear the day the angry saudis of his story find their way to his blog though (and not the one or two token “saudis” in the current situation)… I fear the day that the right to express myself will be taken away from me just as quickly as it was given to me.

    Shewolf, I don’t need your sympathy. But I’m a polite person, so I will thank you.

    -Disgruntled Uni Chick, Farah.

  67. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Farah, this is so illogical that I don’t know where to begin. I suggest you re-evaluate your own beliefs, because what you said in your comment is an invitation to disaster, rather than progress.

    Have a lovely Eid.

  68. kabourmi says:

    Re(1): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]While I agree with your interpretation, I don’t agree that this was the only course of action.[/quote]

    Nor do I, there are myriads of ways of how a group of people react to extraordinary social pressures. I’m not quite sure why you used the Japanese as an example it’s a case of apples and oranges;

    Saudi Arabia never had that defining moment when Commodore Perry steamed into Edo harbour, instead we were courted by the different powers which further compounded the idea that we were a “special” nation and hence a “special” case. Nor did we have an enemy like Russia next door to contend with, the spheres of power around us were either too small to matter or too formidable (e.g. the Brits) to even dream of attacking.

    We lacked Japan’s centralized leadership-at a whim the Meiji regime decided to turn an agrarian society to an industrial one in a few decades, and even then it caused a lot of upheaval. Last but not least I’m surprised you didn’t see how you set yourself up for a huge blunder:- After all’s been said about Japan’s miraculous entry into the modern world what pray I ask did it also lead to? 10,000,000 deaths, after the U.S.S.R, China, and Nazi Germany, Japan has killed the largest number of people using there shiny new modern weapons at any one time period. Steve I would rather have us wallow in mud slinging shite at each other than be the cause of death and destruction for so many people.

    In an earlier post you a asked me to admit if the U.S policy towards us had been enlightened. I don’t have to admit that, I know it for a fact and for that I am grateful. What I am worried about is it’s present and future policies.

    A Saudi

    [Modified by: A Saudi (kabourmi) on January 08, 2006 11:02 AM]

  69. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]A Saudi: I’m not quite sure why you used the Japanese as an example it’s a case of apples and oranges; ….[/quote]

    Both Saudi Arabia and Japan voluntarily chose isolation from the world, particularly the West, as part of a supremacist philosophy until it became unavoidable to deal with Westerners.

    [quote]A Saudi: Saudi Arabia never had that defining moment when Commodore Perry steamed into Edo harbour, instead we were courted by the different powers which further compounded the idea that we were a “special” nation and hence a “special” case. [/quote]

    It’s true that Perry introduced America to Japan with the implicit military threat of steam-powered warships presented within the velvet glove of diplomacy. America’s introduction to the Saudis was far more benign, presented in the form of medical power, and proceded in smaller, polite steps. It is well worth dwelling on your observation that the Saudis were courted, not conquered.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Nor did we have an enemy like Russia next door to contend with, the spheres of power around us were either too small to matter or too formidable (e.g. the Brits) to even dream of attacking.”[/quote]

    While it seems like picking nits, the Saudis did rub up against the Ottoman Empire, often violently with the help of T.E. Lawrence et al.

    [quote]A Saudi: We lacked Japan’s centralized leadership-at a whim the Meiji regime decided to turn an agrarian society to an industrial one in a few decades, and even then it caused a lot of upheaval. [/quote]

    Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud’s word seemed to be enough to provide safe passage of oil exploring infidels to pass safely through the most hostile parts of Arabia, which implies centralized power. His successors seem to have been able to push progress forward when they felt like it. For example, finding ways to evade Koranic injunctions against human imagery when bringing television to the kingdom.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Last but not least I’m surprised you didn’t see how you set yourself up for a huge blunder:- After all’s been said about Japan’s miraculous entry into the modern world what pray I ask did it also lead to? 10,000,000 deaths, after the U.S.S.R, China, and Nazi Germany, Japan has killed the largest number of people using there shiny new modern weapons at any one time period. Steve I would rather have us wallow in mud slinging shite at each other than be the cause of death and destruction for so many people.”[/quote]

    Japan’s aggression was Japan’s mistake, not America’s. Technology is morally neutral. It is your use of it which makes it moral or immoral. The US relationship with Japan progressed normally for seventy year’s after Perry’s trip to Edo. Japan was an ally in WWI and seemed headed toward democracy in the 1920s, when its military began taking over the government and steering it to catastrophe. It was unforseeable in 1853 that Japanese yet unborn would attack American territory not yet acquired with machines not yet imagined nearly a century later.

    I don’t see where bringing isolated countries into the modern world is a blunder. What is the alternative? As technology improves the lines of communication, it is impossible to remain isolated. It is impossible for modernity not to propagate itself. No nation can remain an island.

    [quote]A Saudi: “In an earlier post you a asked me to admit if the U.S policy towards us had been enlightened. I don’t have to admit that, I know it for a fact and for that I am grateful.”[/quote]

    What a pity that you are in such a minority among your people. What a shame that such enlightenment was not reciprocated.

    [quote]A Saudi: “What I am worried about is it’s present and future policies.”[/quote]

    It is a legitimate worry now that the Sep 11 attacks have revealed the illegitimate Saudi hostility to America. I doubt Saudi Arabia will ever enjoy a more positive relationship with the US than it did before it dispatched fifteen people to murder three thousand of our people. Were it not for that, the Saudis would have eluded the close scrutiny of the American people and much of the worst of its culture and religion would have gone unnoticed. Now, all of that is being uncovered and presented to its detriment. The years since Sep 11 have been shocking in its revelations of the depth of the hate of Wahhabis for the world and America in particular, the degree to which this has been institutionalized and supported by the Saudi government, the distance which this religious hate has been projected around the world, and the amount of Wahhabi penetration into the US. It seems sure that the relationship of America to the Saudi Arabia can only decline from this point forward and rightfully so.

    Sep 11 and all its subsequent revelations have convinced me that Saudi Arabia and most Saudis are enemies of America, and of the world. I’m convinced that Wahhabism is a cancer on humankind and Saudi Arabia a tumor on the global body politic. Neither can be reformed. They must be extirpated. I hope that America and its allies turn their foreign policy toward the dismantling of the corrupt Saudi regime and the extermination of the leadership of the Wahhabi clergy so as to end their religious war on the world. I’d like to see the “Saudi” separated from the “Arabia” and the Wahhabis sent back to the desert where they can preach their hate to the sand flies. Perhaps Saudi Arabia would be better governed as a province of Jordan.

    I would be unhappy if US policy in the future did not cause Saudis to worry.

    Steve

  70. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Steve, your sunk mate.

  71. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Mohammed!!

    U made me laugh…
    coz I felt like you were trying to teach me some stuff about Saudi Arabia while the points I raised were only to question the intentions of Mr Khazin article.

    When I talked about liking mr religous policeman .. I think I have the right to either like him or not ..
    Yet.. that doesn’t say anything about agreeing with what he said ..
    For me .. the 2 are not 1!.

    My answers to my own earlier raised questions are:

    1) I somewhat disagree with u that nothing good is happening in Saudi Arabia .. but yet .. I think if we want to change we got to talk about it.. get our very dirty laundry out .. and yet .. start doing something about it .. coz otherwise… yes it will be painful .. but will keep being so .. unless we put a solution to each single problem we face!.

    2)I blog myself.. and I usually don’t write about the best things happening either to me .. or in the world !!
    I usually .. right or wrong .. not sure.. write about things that bother me ..

    3) I, personally, don’t give a damn about if he is a Saudi or not !!
    If he is making things up .. then he shall be corrected ..
    if he is saying the truth .. and nothing but the truth .. then we.. as a society and people.. got to work on these things .. fix them .. and.. end of story!
    If he is mixing some of this.. and some of that..
    well.. we got to have the same above mix .. and go on!

    I don’t wanna get into this Qaseemi thing discussion .. but it is not fair to just point out that one area is the reason for all evil!.. coz it is not!. I am not from there.. I almost never been there.. but it is part of my country .. and as it might gave us bad stuff.. I am sure it gave us some pretty good stuff.. and will keep so.. just like any other area .. any other place!.

    One more point about the religuos police man blog .. and here I am only raising some questions ..
    Do we .. Saudi Arabia.. need change that a)comes from outside … b)forced by outside or some of a&b??
    Do we .. Saudi Arabia … need to create the change without our youth .. which mostly doesn’t speak much of English .. and will have hard time reading the police man blog .. and after that have some questions up their heads afterwards.. so in case they really care .. they will try to carry on the change and make 2moro better!!

    I have an exam in couple of hours.. so guess that is enough 🙂

    Happy Eid 4 ALL.
    Ahmed

  72. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(2): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]A Saudi: “First of all thanks Steve for the info! They’re starting a beginners web-design class at the Dublin Business School in the evenings at the end of this month and I’ve already made enquiries, hopefully it will turn out to be useful.”[/quote]

    You’re welcome. A class makes it easier but my prediction is that at the end of it you will feel, as I did, that it was so easy that you could have picked up a book and taught yourself, if only you’d known what book to pick up. Good luck.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Well is it? Please answer this, is it SOLELY altruistic? And I stress the first word. In my opinion it isn’t nor of course is it hell bent on destroying us either. The US is a country that looks out for its own interest like any other- No surprise there.”[/quote]

    Nice try to trap me, but I won’t endorse an absolute statement. What Americans know, and Saudis have not learned, is that relationships are best not pursued as a zero sum game, where we can win only if you lose. Relationships of every kind are optimized when both parties allow the other to benefit. Distrust imposes costs in information and predictability. The best relationships require a certain amount of altruism on both sides.

    [quote]A Saudi: “It would have been an absolute PR disaster, invading a sovereign country that was a founding member of the United Nations? And which happens to hold the holiest sites of a major world religion? Not a pretty Headline.”[/quote]

    These are all manageable problems for a ruthless imperialist power.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Did we squander a huge amount of money that we will one day regret?? Of course we have! We already are regretting it. But in fairness we could have done worse, 2 years ago I was talking to a gentleman from Nigeria – a graduate from the London school of Economics- and he heaped praise on how astute we were with our oil money compared to his compatriots, I was personally caught by surprised, I had always thought that the whole world saw us as the biggest money wasters in god’s green earth but there you have it.”[/quote]

    You’re setting the bar awfully low.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Funny I thought the when we sold a valuable commodity-our oil- at reasonable prices and got hard currency in return its called ” TRADE” not “AID”. During the Cold War Saudi was the United States personal petty cash box. … do you have any idea how mach aid Saudi gave to the victims of Katrina? 100,000,000 Dollars. Again I hate to rub salt into this but who’s the benefactor now??”[/quote]

    America was a benefactor to Saudi Arabia by transferring knowledge to it. For example, by teaching them how to run all that technology we sold them. We taught you how to run an airline and even how to control your money with modern financial controls. Whenever the Saudis demanded that the Americans set up a school or build a road or electrify a city or string phone lines, they cheerfully did so. If we wanted to suck all the capital we could out of the KSA, we would have held on to those utilities as monopolies and kept the Saudis ignorant and dependent so they could not run their own affairs. We chose the more enlightened course.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Am I grateful for what the US has done to my country in the past?? You Bet! Even within my own family; my mom, dad and brother were all educated there. My dad never stops speaking about the great time he had at Berkley ….”[/quote]

    Berkeley! I suspect that’s the root of the problem. He’s not wearing a tie-dyed dishdasha around the house, is he?

    [quote]A Saudi: “… and how nice the people were to him. But does that make me a Vassal to your country? Here’s my reply- A loud and defiant “NO”.”[/quote]

    Nobody demanded Saudis become American vassals, Mr. Hyperventilator. What I expect is that when we do Saudis right they do not reciprocate by doing us wrong. The humans in most of the world repay kindness with kindness rather than with murder. The Saudis would do well to return the good will America has extended to it rather than snuff it out with treachery.

    [quote]A Saudi: “I hope that one day we can help assist building your country as you did ours (although god knows we invest a helluva a lot in the states- circa. $ 420 BILLION in the US in 2003- that’s a lot of jobs. )but I’m sure we can do more. In the other hand we all are “treacherous” and “ungracious” so I’m obviously making all this up. What do you think?[/quote]

    The Saudis invest so much in America because it is the best and safest investment, just like investors from Japan and England. Many Saudis also invest in America so that they will have a refuge outside the KSA come the Wahhabi revolution. Even the PLO invests its money in America and they don’t seem pro-American at all. So I’m not persuaded that Saudis invest in America for reasons beyond self interest.

    What you should work for is a day when all that Saudi money can be invested in Saudi Arabia because it features an entrepreneurial environment that encourages private initiative and a legal system that protects private investment. I’d work on whipping KSA into shape first. We’ll let you know if we need any help from Saudi Arabia.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Well the election of 2 women in the Jeddah board of Commerce and also that of a woman in the union of Saudi Engineers. A lot of reformers have also been released since Abdullah took power, granted they’re baby steps but it is good news nonetheless, and as a Saudi it gives me hope.”[/quote]

    You’re more of an optimist than me. It looks like Abdullah trying to ingratiate himself with the people as he formally assumes the throne. The elected women appear to be tokens to appease Western critics and internal reformers.

    Steve

  73. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]A Saudi: “P.s Beautiful place Canada, I’d love to see Banff National Park.”[/quote]

    Make sure you take some No Doz with you.

    Steve

  74. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]-PO-ed Gismanjyah chick: “(oh yes and the little encounter you had with Steve is just one of the many hate-ridden assertions you’d expect to find on the said Religious police…. um… man(?) blog’s comment section. e.g.: comments to thread titled “getting to know you”)”[/quote]

    My dear, when Saudis kill three thousand innocent people in America for their contemptible religion and their government endorses a continuation of this religious war against America to the entire Muslim world, that inspires bad feelings. Saudi Arabia and Saudis would make a better impression on Americans if they did not call for our deaths and the destruction of our country. That seems a fairly reasonable request, wouldn’t you agree?

    Steve

  75. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]A Saudi: “Hahaha god I haven’t laughed so hard in a while, Tie-dyed dishdasha !? (We call them thoub) Brilliant! There was actually a very popular Ramadhan sketch show that introduced the concept a while back. I’m sure the “gulfersâ€? reading this would recognize “tash ma tashâ€?. In fairness now he was there in the 50’s so I’m not sure how liberal leaning it was back then.”[/quote]

    Well, if he was there in the 50s he may have avoided the major contamination of the 60s, though he may bear watching. I’d check his desk drawers for love beads just to make sure.

    I’ve seen snippets of “tash ma tash” on a Tom Friedman documentary.

    [quote]A Saudi: “I had to google that term- “No Doz” it sounds lethal! I assume you meant so I avoid veering off a ledge? Well I’ll tell you what I was in the Grand Tetons and Lake Tahoe last summer and there were some hairy moments up there. One particular gap even lacked side railings, the logic behind that was there wasn’t enough purchase for them to be staked in the ground so why create a false sense of security… scary or what?”[/quote]

    No Doz is an over the counter medication you take to stay awake, caffeine pills. Very popular with students and truck drivers. You’ll need it in Canada because it’s such a boring country unless you want to trap fur, hang out with lumberjacks, or touch a moose. I believe that “Canada” in the original Indian language means “the land that snores.”

    If you want to do something scary, try driving down the river ravine road to Sacramento late at night after playing blackjack at Lake Tahoe. It gets pretty sporty when you hit the fog of the valley.

    Steve

  76. kabourmi says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Hahaha god I haven’t laughed so hard in a while, Tie-dyed dishdasha !? (We call them thoub) Brilliant! There was actually a very popular Ramadhan sketch show that introduced the concept a while back. I’m sure the “gulfers� reading this would recognize “tash ma tash�. In fairness now he was there in the 50’s so I’m not sure how liberal leaning it was back then.

    I had to google that term- “No Doz” it sounds lethal! I assume you meant so I avoid veering off a ledge? Well I’ll tell you what I was in the Grand Tetons and Lake Tahoe last summer and there were some hairy moments up there. One particular gap even lacked side railings, the logic behind that was there wasn’t enough purchase for them to be staked in the ground so why create a false sense of security… scary or what?

    [quote] Both Saudi Arabia and Japan voluntarily chose isolation from the world, particularly the West, as part of a supremacist philosophy until it became unavoidable to deal with Westerners. [/quote]

    I would disagree even with that point. Japan has been distinctly independent for well over 1200 years, while the Arabian Peninsula was ruled from Damascus, Baghdad, and Istanbul for about as long. The choice of being isolationist or having any kind of independent philosophy was moot.

    [quote] While it seems like picking nits, the Saudis did rub up against the Ottoman Empire, often violently with the help of T.E. Lawrence et al. [/quote]

    Well actually I believe those were the Hashamites who later settled in Iraq and Jordan, but yes the Sauds did wrest the Al-Ah’asa region from there grip. Unlike the situation with Japan and Russia it wasn’t a match between equals that could cause an arm race and as a by-product rapid modernization. No, it was more like a war of attrition where the objective was to simply show the Ottomans that the Arabian Peninsula was more hassle than it was worth, the same could be said with Khedivi-Egypt’s attempt to re-conquer Arabia for the Turks.

    [quote] Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud’s word seemed to be enough to provide safe passage of oil exploring infidels to pass safely through the most hostile parts of Arabia, which implies centralized power. [/quote]

    I still think that it doesn’t compare with the Japanese situation, I mean for the love of God with them it went to the extent where the main religion centred on the belief that the Emperor was a deity. While in the other hand Ibn Saud had to contend with provinces that had only recently been amalgamated or annexed. Its also noteworthy to point out that even till now in many places tribal loyalty comes above anything even the country, you can just imagine what the situation was like 70 years ago.

    [quote] Japan’s aggression was Japan’s mistake, not America’s. (…..)I don’t see where bringing isolated countries into the modern world is a blunder. What is the alternative?[/quote]

    Of course it was Japan’s mistake but you used that country as model of successful modernization and so invited criticism. And as to your second point it seems to me that whenever an isolated society is force fed modernity- be it Native Americans, Aborigines or the Kalahari Bushmen; the results are deplorable. Its just human nature, it takes time to adapt and incorporate the old with the new. I’m not arguing against bringing those societies into the modern world but rather the method.

    [quote] What a pity that you are in such a minority among your people. What a shame that such enlightenment was not reciprocated.[/quote]

    Thank you for the backhanded compliment (forgive me if I’m cynical) but I can assure you although we might be a minority It’s a growing and sizable one that is exerting more and more influence every day.

    [quote] The Saudis invest so much in America because it is the best and safest investment…. [/quote]

    Ok let’s put the investment aside from now but what about the 100,000,000 in cash and the free oil for the victims of Hurricane Katrina? What’s your opinion concerning that? I know there were obviously ulterior motives but it was a fine gesture nonetheless.

    [quote] America was a benefactor to Saudi Arabia by transferring knowledge to it. For example, by teaching them how to run all that technology we sold them (…) They cheerfully did so [/quote]

    Ah so that’s what you meant, well yes then I completely agree with you. Very early on Aramco set up schools, housing, hospitals in the Eastern province and started training Saudis and sending them abroad but as you referred to Game Theory earlier there were ulterior motives besides the philanthropic; it was a great way to keep nationalization at bay and a healthy well educated workforce is a productive one I refer to “Inside the Mirageâ€? by Lippman page 139 “It [The Ford Foundation] first considered working in Saudi Arabia in response to a proposal from Aramco in the early 1950’s. Aramco was under pressure to provide schools for Arab children, and as usual, was reluctant to take responsibilities unrelated to the oil businessâ€? it doesn’t quite paint the picture of the ever willing and “cheerfulâ€? philanthropist. The Ford foundation-a charitable one- by the way did a magnificent job in putting our finances in order and providing us with a working bureaucracy. As to teaching the Saudis how to use the technology we bought for the US, well isn’t that the job of any good vendor? Imagine handing a customer a shiny new gizmo without the instruction manual, they’ll quickly get frustrated by it and simply avoid your next product. It just good business sense making sure that the customer can successfully operate the product and hence happy with it. Anyway I’m pretty sure we paid for that service a lot of the times.

    Now we come to the less savoury aspect of this transfer of knowledge. OPM-SANG or the Program Manager-Saudi Arabian National Guard, I quote Lippman again, page 286 “The National Guard is an internal paramilitary security force, created in 1956 and commanded since 1962 by Prince Abdullah (…) There has been surprisingly little debate in Washington ,considering the National Guard’s role as a domestic enforcer of a regime often described as autocratic and corrupt.� Why is that Steve? Why? The US Material Army Command built the guard ground up practically from scratch and this is the same National Guard that crushed one Shiite uprising after the other. Lest you accuse me of being biased I was raised up a Sunni but that’s immaterial. I don’t think there’s anything concerning the US foreign policy towards my country that saddens me more than this. How can a freedom loving people export such a repressive tool to a regime that it knows will be used to stifle the freedom of others.

    [quote] You’re more of an optimist than me. It looks like Abdullah trying to ingratiate himself with the people as he formally assumes the throne. [/quote]

    Believe me I’m not at all razzled-dazzled by our new beloved king… If Abdullah wanted to impress me he’d abdicate tomorrow and call general election, or at least declare Saudi Arabia a constitutional monarchy, consolidating the sprawling royal family to his immediate one in the process and then withdrawing to a purely ceremonial role. I personally think this is the only choice he has if he wants to ensure the ultimate continuity of the Saudi monarchy.

    A Saudi

  77. mahmood says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    at least declare Saudi Arabia a constitutional monarchy, consolidating the sprawling royal family to his immediate one in the process and then withdrawing to a purely ceremonial role. I personally think this is the only choice he has if he wants to ensure the ultimate continuity of the Saudi monarchy.

    Well said, again, and this is very true also of all monarchist regimes in the whole region and the Arab world. We have a start with Morocco, and stuttering start in Jordan. Bahrain would like to consider itself so, but we have a long way to go before we can be regarded as such.

  78. anonymous says:

    Re(3): Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]America’s introduction to the Saudis was far more benign, presented in the form of medical power[/quote]

    To clarify this introduction was done by private Americans with no Government support.

  79. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Hi,
    I never looked at Religious Policeman until this post, which kind of supports Joker’s argument that the criticisms will actually help the blog. I found the site to be very interesting and well-written, but I just want to say this in support of the critics of the site:
    Yes, of course, it’s wrong to blast the messenger instead of the message because that is an ad hominem argument and therefore inherintly illogical. BUT, if the person claims to be something that he/she is not and there is sufficient evidence to prove this, then it is not illogical to try to discredit him. I’m not making any judgements about Religious Policeman (and in fact, some arguments against him are very illogical, such as his perfect English; I am also like a native-speaker, as are many other people I know) but if it is somehow proven that he was lying about his identity, then that calls into question his credibility.

    Tariq Khonji
    http://www.tariqkhonji.com

  80. anonymous says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Tariq

    I know more than one person who is a citizen of say country X who does not speak or speaks very little of his native language and at the same time speaks PERFECT English. Despite being born and lived there for a good many years. I also know more than one Bahraini who speaks English so well that is you didn’t know they where Bahraini you would swear they had grown up and liven in the US or the UK. One of these Bahraini’s is fluent in Arabic and the other isn’t at all. This despite being born and raised in Bahrain. So I don’t find that arguement logical myself.

  81. anonymous says:

    Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    “So I don’t find that arguement logical myself.”

    Excuse me, were you trying to argue the point with me or were you agreeing with me? Because that is exactly what I said.

    Tariq

  82. anonymous says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    Agreeing with you Tariq!! Sorry if it sounded a bit confusing. I am not a professional writer like yourself!

  83. anonymous says:

    Re: Don’t like the idea? Hell, assassinate the person!

    [quote]A Saudi: “Ok let’s put the investment aside from now but what about the 100,000,000 in cash and the free oil for the victims of Hurricane Katrina? What’s your opinion concerning that? I know there were obviously ulterior motives but it was a fine gesture nonetheless.”[/quote]

    It is astounding.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Aramco was under pressure to provide schools for Arab children, and as usual, was reluctant to take responsibilities unrelated to the oil businessâ€? it doesn’t quite paint the picture of the ever willing and “cheerfulâ€? philanthropist. The Ford foundation-a charitable one- by the way did a magnificent job in putting our finances in order and providing us with a working bureaucracy. As to teaching the Saudis how to use the technology we bought for the US, well isn’t that the job of any good vendor? Imagine handing a customer a shiny new gizmo without the instruction manual, they’ll quickly get frustrated by it and simply avoid your next product. It just good business sense making sure that the customer can successfully operate the product and hence happy with it. Anyway I’m pretty sure we paid for that service a lot of the times.”[/quote]

    I’ll agree that Aramco was not in the business of philanthropy but maintain my position that they were enlightened in their dealings with the Saudis. Naturally, the Saudis continued requesting extraneous favors. If Aramco did not draw the line somewhere, they would be doing nothing but servicing Saudi wish lists. After all, there is infinite demand for free stuff.

    As for good vendors, well, there are plenty of vendors in the IT business who are purposely fuzzy about explaining their products in order to milk the maintenance contracts. Some vendors take pride in not documenting anything they do. That makes it difficult to take over their work. It’s a common practice for vendors to keep their customers in the dark to keep them dependent.

    When the Americans configured the relationship with Saudi Arabia so as to serve the Saudis best interests, it was more than just a sum of business deals.

    [quote]A Saudi: “Now we come to the less savoury aspect of this transfer of knowledge. OPM-SANG or the Program Manager-Saudi Arabian National Guard, I quote Lippman again, page 286 “The National Guard is an internal paramilitary security force, created in 1956 and commanded since 1962 by Prince Abdullah (…) There has been surprisingly little debate in Washington ,considering the National Guard’s role as a domestic enforcer of a regime often described as autocratic and corrupt.â€? Why is that Steve? Why? The US Material Army Command built the guard ground up practically from scratch and this is the same National Guard that crushed one Shiite uprising after the other. Lest you accuse me of being biased I was raised up a Sunni but that’s immaterial. I don’t think there’s anything concerning the US foreign policy towards my country that saddens me more than this. How can a freedom loving people export such a repressive tool to a regime that it knows will be used to stifle the freedom of others.”[/quote]

    My speculation, with only superficial knowledge of the National Guard, is that the US leaders did a cold analysis of the situation and judged it the least of evils. It’s a given that Saudi Arabia is not going to feature democratic institutions and that we won’t impose our own way on them. If we don’t train their NG, somebody else will with worse results. If we train them, we will maintain contacts with their leadership and have some marginal influence on them. If somebody else trains the National Guard, like the Soviets, they have a lever in a future coup.

    That’s more pragmatic than principled, but there are limits to American influence and sometimes the menu contains only lousy choices. In the end, the Saudis are responsible for their government, not the US.

    Steve

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