No More Barriers

The US Consulate in Jeddah has been attacked today with 12 people killed, 3 of which are the attackers themselves from a group of 5. 2 have been apprehended, although injured presumably by gunfire and are in the hands of the authorities.

Our condolences go to the families of the bereaved.

It is yet another example of the barbarity of the followers of Osama bin Laden. Those who call themselves muslim. To me they continue to be soul-less, irreligious animals hell-bent on not only destruction, but with their ardent fervour want the whole world to go back millennia. I’m not prepared to do that in anyone’s name.

That’s not the topic of my post however, what impressed me is this:

Reader Mohammad Amir said the attack appeared to have been carried out by the main gate on the southern side of the US consulate complex.

“A lot of smoke is still coming out from the complex’s main gate and choppers are hovering over the area,” he wrote.

BBC News Website

This is the first time (as far as I can find out) of people filing reports DIRECTLY from the Kingdom unimpeded by the strict Saudi authorities. They filed their reports complete with pictures taken by their digital cameras and/or cameraphones (which are banned in Saudi) and delivered uncensored to its final destination.

Isn’t this fantastic? I applaud the people who did that, but I also fear for their lives and/or livelihood, because as their names have actually been published with their submitted reports in such a high-profile site, I can guarantee you that the Saudi authorities will deal with them even more harshly than it does with terrorists. They probably regard them as even more dangerous as they have “sullied” the name of the Kingdom abroad.

No matter. This is proof positive that (a) we do not need a Ministry of Information in our countries. It’s main purpose of controlling information flow, and propagating state propaganda has long past, this event alone proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt, and (b) that the internet has changed the balance of thinking of the people as a whole, it is quite apparent that the people who submitted their reports have done so through their regular email accounts providing verifiable names that the BBC can track and attribute. This demonstrates that they feel empowered maybe because of their visits to various websites which could be regarded as anti-government, and more importantly is empowering them to speak without fear even of such an ogre as Saudi.

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97 Comments
  • Bugs
    6 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    well it did’nt take theses fantics a long time to start comming out of there holes, this is the result of how the Saudi style of rule has led to.
    I hope they now understand the result of funding terrorisim, and the orthodox wahabi rule has led to.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    7 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Yes, another terrorist attack by the Saudis, our “allies in the war against terrorism.” I’d be interested to follow the support for these murdering Wahhabi scum to see where it leads, not that we’ll ever know. My guess is that the money which paid for the cars and weapons of this particular band of Wahhabis comes from the clerics and princes, ie the government of Saudi Arabia.

    How I look forward to another press briefing by Saudi Arabia’s oily Adel Al-Jubeir, explaining it all away, and telling us what good pals the Saudis are to America. Perhaps the Saudis will follow up with another slick ad campaign on TV, showing us how Saudi Arabia is a modern country, just like America, not a tyranny run by religious crazies and effete playboy princes, populated by hate-filled Neanderthals who make war on the world.

    I would take comfort in the Saudis inability to control information coming from their kingdom if I thought the Saudi people were an enlightened group seeking freedom. Of course, trying to control information is more and more like fencing out the incoming tide. The flow of information can not be stopped. I doubt the flow of info in to Saudi Arabia will improve the Saudis, who pursue their evil head-cutting Muslim cult. However, it can help us on the outside rebut the lies spewed by the Saudis.

    I don’t believe for a minute this recent attack, no more than the other attacks, represents a deviant group of Saudis. The Saudis have been preaching jihad against the West for decades in their media, indoctrinating their children in their school system to hate non-Wahhabis, and funding murdering Wahhabi scum to butcher innocent people abroad. This attack represents the Saudis hatred for the world, especially America.

    The evil death cult of Wahhabism is a cancer on world civilization and Saudi Arabia is a tumor. Their mindless hatred for America, for any non-Wahhabi, will never end until we end them. They will continue to raid our embassies for infidel heads to cut, our skyscrapers for infidels to crush, our schools for infidel children to shoot in the back. Their enthusiasm for such murder is boundless, limited only by their incompetence.

    The Saudis must be destroyed, their bloody Wahhabi cult made a curse word. I long for the day when I see Saudi cities burning, just like the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the Saudis driven back into the Stone Age where they belong.

    Steve

  • ammarlovegod[deleted]1099322617
    7 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    No…No good news here!
    The MIO is still up and running…BACKWARDS!!

  • 7alaylia
    7 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    This is what the Saudis get. They have purposely smashed all moderate opposition so that they can claim the only people that oppose them are the bin Laden types. You have three types of people in Saudi today, those who support the Saudi family, usually based on the fact that they owe their positions or money to the al-Saud family, the extremists who want to impose their version of Islam on the country, and the moderates who oppose both but are too afraid of either side to speak out.
    Saudi Arabia is just an extreme case of what the whole Middle East is facing. I am an American convert to Islam married to the daughter of a former Saudi diplomat here in the DC area. By in large the people in the Saudi government are corrupt and uncaring for their people. If you try to live a clean life you get nowhere in Saudi society. Everything is “wasta”, connections.
    The country is corrupt from top to bottom and it needs to come to an end, just not by the hands of people like bin Laden. I have seen how this system works first hand and I have suffered at the hands of it, one can only imagine the suffering of those who must submit to it everyday.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed, and the families of those men stupiud enough to think they are doing God’s work by killing.

  • ammarlovegod[deleted]1099322617
    7 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Very true Mahmood.
    Who needs a Ministry of Information? Information cannot be censored anymore and cannot be blocked.
    Look at history. Only dictators like Hitler needed a strong propoganda machine to spread their message among the people!
    Nothing to worry about in the Arab world though. I know someone who always says: The Ministry of Information in Bahrain cannot run a Whore House properly!
    Every RETARD can work in the media. Trust me. I know.
    Let me get ready to go to work!!

  • Steelangel
    7 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Long time reader, first time poster!

    In any case – I doubt that the Saudi princes who fund the Wahabbi terrorists really care too much. This is exactly what they want. Fighting and death in the name of Allah.

    As some helpful jihadi pointed out on another blog: “the world will be a better place when everyone is muslim and we kill all of the non muslims”

    And by ‘non muslim’ they mean secular muslims like Mahmood, who ‘offends Allah’ by putting up a Christmas tree. We can read our Saudi friends’ opinion on Christmas here: http://63.175.194.25/index.php?ln=eng&ds=qa&lv=browse&QR=12777&dgn=4

    *sigh* Keep up the good fight Mahmood. We’ll have a room waiting for you in the West (whatever’s left of it) when your part of the world implodes.

    Ethan

    [Modified by: Ethan (Steelangel) on December 07, 2004 01:05 AM]

  • mahmood
    7 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    You’re welcome either way! I’m glad however that this post pushed a button for you to post! 🙂

  • mahmood
    7 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    HILLARIOUS but true! Have a good day at work today 😉

    There was a rumour that the MoI is going to be disbanded a while ago, but since refuted. I wonder if it’s going to re-surface again soon and be actually put into action. I do hope so, for Bahrain’s sake!

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    7 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    [quote]Wahhabi Headcutter: “the world will be a better place when everyone is muslim and we kill all of the non muslims”[/quote]

    During the fighting in the vast cemetery in Najaf, the US Army took one dead for every twenty dead jihadis. During the fighting in Fallujah, the Marines lost one dead for every thirty dead jihadis. In Afghanistan, the Rangers lose one dead for every eighty Taliban dead.

    If the jihadis keep fighting, the world indeed will become a better place because the jihadis are as incompetent at the arithmetic of battle as they are at fighting. The only thing they are good at shooting off is their mouths.

    And we are bringing only a fraction of our arsenal to bear on them. We were merciful to allow Fallujah to remain intact, rather than reduce it to rubble from the air, burying all the Baathist dead enders and Wahhabi rats within.

    Steve

    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on December 07, 2004 02:19 PM]

    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on December 07, 2004 03:55 PM]

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    7 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Does your wife intend to settle permanently here? If so, what is her view of the US and what problems in adjustment to America has she had? Are there other Saudis who have settled in the US? What support does Bin Laden have among ordinary Saudis? What prejudice against America exists among ordinary Saudis? Have you gone to SA? How were you treated by the Saudis? What discrepancies do Saudis experience when they come to America between what they expect and what they experience? Who do ordinary Saudis believe perpetrated Sep 11? How do the Saudis portray the Sep 11 attack within their country to their own people? When Americans are killed, do Saudis celebrate?

    And anything else you think is important, tell me, please.

    Curious,

    Steve

  • Alireza
    8 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Interesting post Malik particularly your comment about people in Saudi supporting extremists because the government’s closed down all other political space; ergo if the Al Saud’s were to liberalise the politics would become more moderate.

    The lesson from Bahrain is that scenario isn’t necessarily the case. Since opening up in 2001, Bahrain’s politics have moved further rightwards with Islamists in parliament and outside flexing their muscles – and that of their thugs in many instances.

    It also seems that Bahrain’s democratic reforms have encouraged Islamists themselves to adopt more radical positions, which is certainly the case with the Shia Islamists who seem to be in an extremist race with the salafists in parliament – although maybe their right turn also reflects what’s going on internally in Iran too. Either way, since the summer the Islamists have been more confident proposing ideas: witness the recent initiatives for sex segregation at UoB, introduction of vice and virtue squads and the racial segregation of Manama.

    So the case is that even if the Saudis do liberalise there’s no guarantee of this undermining the extremists – in the short term it could make matters worse.

  • Steelangel
    8 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]When you meet Saudis most of them love the west, love America, they just do not like American international policy and American support for people like Prince Bandar here in DC. If you ever travel to the Middle East you will see America has taken hold of every society there to one extent or another, and it isnt these most basic things they have an issue with, it is our policies. As an American who has worked for the US Department of Defense abroad, was born abroad to parents both of whom were officers in the US military, I agree with this commentary on US international affairs. Our whole foreign policy must be reshaped. We cannot continue to support dictators in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and others globally. We must rethink our policies around the world so that when we declare we want democracy in the Middle East we really mean it and follow through with actions that support that. Increased aid to Mubarak and Abd’Allah do not show this. [/quote]

    The US is far from an actively malicious country, despite what Liberal (capital L, aka the we-hate-AmeriKKKa-even-though-our-drivel-would-be-banned-in-the-totalitarian-states-we-support) academics may have you think. America looks out for her own self-interest, same as every other country in the world. Do you think that France was not looking out for her self interest when Chirac opposed the Iraq war? Recent documents about the oil-for-food scandal, as well as the illicit sales of French supplies to Iraq are decidedly an embarrassment to that country.

    Americans don’t want, and I speak for only myself when I say this, to rule the world. That this meme has infected much of the planet is the biggest failing of US foreign policy.

    Why do we support some dictators? Because we fear what could happen if they fall. We saw what happened to the Buddahs in Afghanistan – do you think the Pyramids would fare better under an extremist government? Given the Whabbi predeliction of tearing down even important structures in Medina (Like Mohammed’s house, if I recall correctly) the world cannot simply let that happen.

    What other option do we have? The status quo is better than than the unknown. Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hezbollah have written their charters and ideological screeds for decades. We have a pretty good idea what could happen should groups like that assume power. It sucks to support dictators. I cannot say that I [i]support[/i] the Egyptian government, or the Saudi princes. They are corrupt blights on humanity who need to fall.

    But the US will support anyone in power whom they can work with. Looking at the noisy opposition or governments in many middle eastern nations – it’s clear that they’d prefer to nuke us than talk.

  • Steelangel
    8 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    [quote]The lesson from Bahrain is that scenario isn’t necessarily the case. Since opening up in 2001, Bahrain’s politics have moved further rightwards with Islamists in parliament and outside flexing their muscles – and that of their thugs in many instances.[/quote]

    Sadly, it’s usually the Islamists who can make these inroads because they can always back up their opinions via theological argument and force. A more moderate school of thought usually lacks one of the two, or both.

    An article written by a Kuwaiti progressive noted: all good is in secular thought, and all evil is in religious thought. http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD82304 He makes a very strong point. Across the world, whenever a clerical establishment finds itself in power, the rights of the people get removed very quickly. Especially in the middle east, a lot of those restrictions aren’t even religious – and that makes me even more annoyed.

    Strict segregation of the sexes? Where is that in the Koran/Hadith?
    Even the Hijab isn’t -required-; the injunction is to dress modestly. Modest isn’t a black or blue sack either.

    Unfortunately, the progressive thinkers are always found outside of the religious establishment. Someone needs to nail 95 theses to the Haram’s door, stat! 😀

  • 7alaylia
    8 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    If the USA is going to support dictators, even if it might be in its own best interest, they cannot be surprised when the victims of these dictators respond badly to these policies. I have always said that if Central and South Americans had a history of “martyrdom” like Islam and the Middle East does, the USA would have been a smoking wreck long ago. The millions of people directly affected by the murder of hundreds of thousands of US supported governments and death squads in the area ,living on the border with the USA, would have made life difficult for the US.

    I think the problem is that the US, in its support for these tyrants, is often very short sited. We support the Shah, we supported Saddam Hussein, we support the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians. I think all of this is short sited. Besides, even if you push the “in our best interest” idea, why doesnt the US demand democractic reform for it’s support? Since 9/11, when the US declared that it wants “a democratic Middle East”, these client dictators of the USA have taken away rights, the people have become less free.

    I believe the problem is the US wants a democratic Middle East as long as the people elect the governments the US wants elected. The problem is that the people of the area will always support some sort of Islamic government. Doesnt mean it has to be extreme, but I dont think Americans have come to terms with the fact that in the Middle East religion plays a role in every day life like it hasnt in the west for centuries. That isnt going to change anytime soon.

    I dont think the American government intend to do people hard with their policies, I just think the short term outlook of these policies often does grave harm to the people in the areas. As to the American people, I dont think they know or understand how people can see them as anything other than a people wanting to do good and help everywhere. Most Americans are not aware of the very negative consequences that US policy has had for many people around the world. Post 9/11 America had a great opportunity to look at itself, look at its role in the world and its history and makes some changes. They wasted this opportunity. The government instead chose to strike out, often blindly. Other elements of the US government used 9/11 to pursue long standing goals, such as the invasion of Iraq, instead of going after bin Laden and the people who were behind the 9/11 attrocity. So now the result is the US has Hussein, who never attacked American, and like the leader of Pakistan recently said “the trail of bin Laden” who has attacked America, has gone cold. Aside from the fact that almost every credible intelligence agency has said the war in Iraq has made America LESS safe.

    I have worked for the US government for years, including several overseas stints for the Department of Defense, so I can hardly be accused of being a left leaning liberal. I dont think the author of “Imperial Hubris” can be described as such either. It is clear, from my own personal experience and that of the senior CIA member who wrote the book that America is fighting the wrong war, for the wrong reasons, and has got its response completely wrong. All of this adds up to unending war………at home and abroad.

  • 7alaylia
    8 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Segregation of the sexes is not a religious commandment, neither is women not driving or a whole host of other things in the Middle East masquading as religious teaching. It is cultural nonsense that has nothing to do with religion. I think one of the problem is that no one can even agree with what a religious extremist is or what a moderate it.

    Being a Muslim convert I can avoid all of the cultural rubbish, and it is just that. It would seem that when the west calls for “Moderate Muslims” they reject them when they come. Look at the recent US actions against Tariq Ramadan and Yusuf Islam. Having read most everything either of them has writen it is clear neither one of them is an extremist. Ramadan openly advocates full Muslim participation in local civic and government as well as society.

    When they get what they ask for they turn it down. Then the impression to the whole word is that America didnt really want the moderates, or any Muslim, in the first place.

  • Alireza
    8 December 2004

    Ramadan V Islam

    Tariq Ramadan’s a ‘moderate’? A more accurate discription would be a deeply unpleasant double-talking apologist for mass murder. This shinny suited PR man for the Muslim Brotherhood’s just as risible as his nemisis, French pseud Bernard-Henri Levy. Ramadan’s been found out slickly advocating the benefits of civil society in French (or English) while in Arabic he’s expressing his admiration for Islamist ideologue and evident psycopath, Sudan’s Hassan Turabi.

    Yusuf Islam on the other hand is someone who isn’t trying to pull a fast one and the US had absolutely no reason to ban the guy. In his early days, he was an extremist but he’s held his hands up confessing his faith’s evolving and he is today a leading critic of those Ramadan goes on TV to apologise for. In fact in many ways his spiritual journey offers a model for the millions of other Muslims who in the grip of this backwardness. So it’s no surprise that the British government was super hot when he got pulled off the plane en route to Tennessee or wherever.

    Anyway I kind of like his 1966 track, Matthew and Son.

  • Steelangel
    8 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]If the USA is going to support dictators, even if it might be in its own best interest, they cannot be surprised when the victims of these dictators respond badly to these policies. I have always said that if Central and South Americans had a history of “martyrdom” like Islam and the Middle East does, the USA would have been a smoking wreck long ago. [/quote]

    I apologise for the following remark beforehand in case it offends! I don’t want to be lumped into a box with Steve as a Américain provocateur – I only call it how my research has lead me.

    Central America had the ‘jihad’ beat out of them by the Spanish during the conquistador era. Coupled with conversion to Christian beliefs, which promote suffering for God over resistance for God, it turns out that there is little worry about massive armed uprising against the US in the Americas.

    Problem is that the Muslim (and particularly the Qubtist/Jihadi) world doesn’t have that particular mindset. Islam is triumphalist – and even though their last major triumph as a society/religion was the sacking of Constantinople in the 1400’s, they remain immune to that reality. Like the Christian ‘end times’ philosophy, which roots itself in fatalism, the modern Jihadists are also fatalistic, but in the other direction. They don’t wait for God’s arrival.

    It’s not the fault of Israel, or America. Those are excuses to mask the ideology. Abu Hamza in Britan summed it up quite nicely when he said that we don’t hate them for us, we hate them for God. God.. Allah.. hates the infidels. That is why the Quranic text is rife with terms relating to burning or hellfire. It is better to punish the infidels here on Earth (by killing them) and send them directly to God. How caring of them, yes?

    The government of Sudan uses the term Jihad to describe their war against Darfur. The Muslims in Nigeria use the term Jihad when they were fighting the Biafrans in the 1960’s. And the cries of Jihad rang out when the Hagia Sophia was desecrated by the Ottomans. None of these had anything to do with American or Israeli policy.

    Mark my words. If American policy were to change instantly, America would still not be safe. Ask the Persians about their experiences. 🙂

  • Steelangel
    8 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]Ramadan openly advocates full Muslim participation in local civic and government as well as society. [/quote]

    I have to agree with Scorpio here. Ramadan is all for involvement in civic affairs. A burgeoning population involved in civic affairs will lead toward control of government. And once the Muslim Brotherhood is in control of a nation – welcome to non-mulsim women forced into Burqas for their own ‘protection’ – because some seventh century nutcase is offended by seeing beauty.

  • 7alaylia
    8 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    My wife has been here since she was five. Her father worked as a diplomat here for the Saudi Embassy for 25 years. After he retired he made a choice to stay in the US. She views America in a good light. Like many Muslims here, she views the USA as the most Islamic nation on earth, in its basic rules, rights, and domestic policies. The only issues she, and I for that matter, have with the US is it’s international policy. We wish that the US would advocate for others around the globe what it advocates for its own citizens here.

    As a Saudi she is well aware that it is US support for the corrupt al-Saud family that helps keep them in place as well as many other dictators in the area. There are large Saudi communities in the USA, especially here in the DC area, California and Florida. As to support for bin Laden, I don’t think there is much. What support bin Laden does have is related to his opposition to the al-Saud family. The issue really is that Saudis want a moderate opposition, but the royal family has made it so that this cannot exist, making the only effective opposition to the royal family al-Queda and their likes. What support al-Queda has would swiftly fall if Saudis had the ability to support an open and moderate opposition. The trial of the moderates currently shows us they have no intention of doing so. They, the Saudi government, love to be able to say that the only opposition to them is from extremists, makes it much easier to explain why they do not want to give into reform, and all of their statements about having to “move slow�

    I think, and this is my opinion, that Saudis, and Middle Easterners in general, have a pretty good idea about what America is about and how things work here. I have spent a lot of time in the Middle East and as a whole they have much more knowledge about our system and way of life here than Americans do of theirs. It is interesting to go to tea shops and the like and see people sitting and watching C-Span and discussing American politics with a depth of knowledge that most Americans lack. Why such interest? Because they know that American politics are really international politics. Anything that happens in the USA will affect the whole world, especially the Midde East because of American support for many of their tyranical regimes, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia to name a few.

    Most Saudis, again my experience here, have to come to realize the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks. This doesn’t mean there are not the odd Saudi who think it was a “Jewish conspiracy� and such. I think there are also many theories running around, the most common is that the Israelis knew the attack was coming and did nothing so as to garner more support from the US for its own policies. This belief gained wide circulation after 4 Israelis were arrested after they set up a camera to film the trade towers right before the attacks. They were seen celebrating the attack and one even held up a lighter to mock the burning towers. The FBI arrested them and found Israeli intelligence connections.

    The Saudis portray the 9/11 attacks in a very negative light. Even the al-Saud representatives call the attackers and their supporters “deviants�. Is there support in Saudi Arabia for bin Laden? Certainly! But we cannot mistake hatred for American policy as support for bin Laden. If this was the case bin Laden would have wide support the world over, including from the majority of Europe, including the UK, one of our closest allies.

    I would say some Saudis celebrate when Americans are killed, but I guess you must qualify what Americans. There are certainly people in Saudi, and around the world for that matter, that celebrate when American soldiers and government personel are killed, but I would say the vast majority of that dries up when it comes to innocent civilians. Representatives of governments and military and security forces face this threat as a basic part of their job, innocents do not.

    My wife’s father worked for the Saudis here in the DC area for 25 years. My wife’s uncle is a general in the Saudi military. I can tell you that amoungst her and her Saudi friends here there is a rage against the al-Saudi family, its corruption and their murderous and greedy policies. There is an anger that the only opposition that they have allowed has been a militant extremist group rather than allowing moderate opposition. The choice in Saudi at the moment is support the militants, support the royal family, or shut up. They reject these choices and want something different. I don’t think any Saudi we know wants bin Laden to take over the country. A recent poll showed only 5% of Saudis would support him and their leader.

    When you meet Saudis most of them love the west, love America, they just do not like American international policy and American support for people like Prince Bandar here in DC. If you ever travel to the Middle East you will see America has taken hold of every society there to one extent or another, and it isnt these most basic things they have an issue with, it is our policies. As an American who has worked for the US Department of Defense abroad, was born abroad to parents both of whom were officers in the US military, I agree with this commentary on US international affairs. Our whole foreign policy must be reshaped. We cannot continue to support dictators in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and others globally. We must rethink our policies around the world so that when we declare we want democracy in the Middle East we really mean it and follow through with actions that support that. Increased aid to Mubarak and Abd’Allah do not show this.

    It is also important to note that Saudis are not a monolithic people, they and their attitudes vary based on where they come from. Hijazis, like my wife’s family, are a different lot from the Bedu from up north. Hijazis, open to the world because of the Hajj tend to be more open and accepting of differences of ideas and peoples. The people up north less so, and there is a gulf between the peoples there. My sister in law, who is a principle at a girls school in Jeddah, was once called “Hijazi vomit� when visiting the capital. Far too often Americans, because of lack of knowledge of the area, want to simplify things and too much gets lost in the mix.

    My personal opinion about the Saudi royal family and government is that the sooner they are overthrown the better. I hate their greed, I hate the system of “wasta� (connections) that runs the Middle East and especially Saudi, I hate the corruption. All of these feelings are based on my own personal dealings with the Saudi government, as well my my wife’s family’s dealings with them.

    Malik

  • 7alaylia
    9 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Where to start? I think many of the people here posting fall into the same trap many orientalists do. They want to think that there is one giant monolithic “Islamic world” out there. This type of thinking has no basis in reality. They idea that Muslims in Saudi Arabia think and feel the same way that Muslims in Malaysia think and feel is nonsense. You cannot make one wide and broad statement and try to say that this is what Islam really thinks. Everytime that is done it is wrong. A bit of good reading on that subject would be two books by the Palestinian Christian, Edward Said, “Orientalism” and “Covering Islam”. As a Christian he can hardly be called a Muslim apologist.

    The idea of Iraqi ties to al-Queda based on the Prague meeting have been rubbished by all intelligence services, not even Rumsfeld or Cheney try to throw that one out anymore. As to Iraq firing anti aircraft missles at US war planes dropping bombs on their country, they have every right to. We cannot expect to tell a country that they cannot use their own airspace while we use it to bomb them and not expect a response. The fact is and remains we supported Saddam Hussein with massive amounts of money, arms and intelligence for years. Why? Because, at the time, we felt him to be a bigger threat than Iran. We have a long history of supporting one dictator over another, at the expense of the locals, and it often turns out to be the wrong choice.

    Some interesting quotes “Coupled with conversion to Christian beliefs, which promote suffering for God over resistance for God, it turns out that there is little worry about massive armed uprising against the US in the Americas. ”

    Christianity promotes suffering for God over resistance? Exactly how were the locals of Central and South America converted? Were they converted by Christian missionaries promoting the “suffering for God” ethos or by armed Europeans who forced them to convert and slaughtered them in their millions. Like with Islam there is a large gulf between what the religion teaches and how its followers behave. Christianity is a religion that has a long and brutal history of mass murder, forced conversion, expansion by conquest, and many other things. This is not a slam on the religion itself, rather the history of many of its followers.

    “Problem is that the Muslim (and particularly the Qubtist/Jihadi) world doesn’t have that particular mindset. Islam is triumphalist – and even though their last major triumph as a society/religion was the sacking of Constantinople in the 1400’s, they remain immune to that reality. Like the Christian ‘end times’ philosophy, which roots itself in fatalism, the modern Jihadists are also fatalistic, but in the other direction. They don’t wait for God’s arrival. ”

    Again, like I stated before, you will always go wrong when you try to lump up the Muslim world into one paragraph. The above might describe one small section of some Muslims around the world, but hardly addresses the vast majority of Muslims, especially outside the Muslim world. As a Muslim I can tell you the vast majority of Muslim would be hard pressed to even tell you who Sayid Qutb was, let alone have read any of his works. I suggest you know much more about him than 99.99% of the Muslim world.

    “It’s not the fault of Israel, or America. Those are excuses to mask the ideology. Abu Hamza in Britan summed it up quite nicely when he said that we don’t hate them for us, we hate them for God. God.. Allah.. hates the infidels. That is why the Quranic text is rife with terms relating to burning or hellfire. It is better to punish the infidels here on Earth (by killing them) and send them directly to God. How caring of them, yes? ”

    Once again you are trying to lump all of Islam together! You are using one fanatic in the UK to try and make a point about a population of over one billion Muslims around the world? Really? I guess I could say all Christians in the US think that America deserved 9/11 because some very notable Christian leaders in the US made these claims. Keep in mind as well that these leaders have access to the highest reaches of power in the USA, a claim that cannot be made about Hamza.

    Steve writes “Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, public supported the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie for writing a book Khomeini didn’t like. Yusuf Islam agreed that all Muslims should kill Rushdie on sight for blasphemy.

    Malik, why don’t you find that to be extremist? Is that what you call a moderate Muslim?

    Yusuf Islam has also associated and given money to people and organizations who support terror. That also is not moderate.”

    Again, you want to see things in black and white. The world isnt like that. When you pursue this “black and white” mentality you are acting just like the Islamic extremists. Nothing is black and white, sorry to spoil your game. As a Muslim, I support the complete implimentation of Islamic law, but as there is no Islamic government in the world today, all punishment based on Islamic law, I believe, would have to be put aside until such a state is established.

    As to Yusuf Islam supporting charity that have links to terrorism, again this is a situation that is not black and white. Take Hamas for example. When it was founded it was nothing more than a charitable organization. It had no military wing. It is also interesting to note that Israel funded some of the early years of Hamas as they hoped it would counteract the PLO and its offshoots. Hamas only formed a military wing after some of the worse excesses of Israeli actions in Palestine. To this day Hamas builds schools, schools, and feeds tens of thousands of Palestinian families, so like I said, not so black and white. If Israel were to fulfill their obligation as an occupying power under international law and build enough school, hospitals and the like, maybe Hamas wouldn’t have filled that void.

    Another conspiracy theory is born: “I have to agree with Scorpio here. Ramadan is all for involvement in civic affairs. A burgeoning population involved in civic affairs will lead toward control of government. And once the Muslim Brotherhood is in control of a nation – welcome to non-mulsim women forced into Burqas for their own ‘protection’ – because some seventh century nutcase is offended by seeing beauty.â€?

    Nothing in Islam requires women to wear the burqa, it is actually a cultural tradition taken from the Greeks, as is the idea of the Harem. Basically what this person is saying is that all Muslims are bad, and even when you think they are trying to integrate, they are really a secret fifth column, kind of like what the Nazis felt about the Jews. They can never really be a part of society. Funny, when Muslims are asked to join society, question why they keep themselves apart, when they try to do just what they are asked to do and integrate, then it becomes some big plot to rule the rule. Again………traces of the old claims about Jews wanting to rule the world.

    Another :â€? Tariq Ramadan’s a ‘moderate’? A more accurate discription would be a deeply unpleasant double-talking apologist for mass murder. This shinny suited PR man for the Muslim Brotherhood’s just as risible as his nemisis, French pseud Bernard-Henri Levy. Ramadan’s been found out slickly advocating the benefits of civil society in French (or English) while in Arabic he’s expressing his admiration for Islamist ideologue and evident psycopath, Sudan’s Hassan Turabi.â€?

    Care to give any quotes from his written work or interviews that suppor the above? It is really easy to make wide ranging claims yet give nothing to support your assertions. Let me tell you how the people around me and I view the Tariq Ramadan incident. Here is a man that is a moderate, so moderate that Catholic Notre Dame wants him to teach there, yet the government denies him the visa. What those shows us is another example of the above. They ask for “moderate Muslims� because they think they will never get them. When they do, they refuse them. I think what I think is they want a Muslim who denies his faith, who says everything in the west is superior to Islam. That is the only thing that will make these people happy.

    More from Steve “
    # Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden unit in the CIA, is a smart guy, a good guy. He has a lot of good and interesting things to say. However, if all you study is Bin Laden, then you come to think that everything is about Bin Laden just like a boy with a hammer thinks everything needs hammering.

    I think the war is right. It sends the message to evil dictators that provoking America has bad consequences. It has already changed the behavior of several evil regimes for the better. It also directly challenges the Wahhabis and gives us a venue to kill them by the hundreds. When enough die from their foolish war againt the world, the Wahhabis will reconsider sending their sons off to die for their death cult.�

    I know Michael Scheur, and it would seem you have not read his books. He actually down plays the role of bin Laden, other than in the infancy of al-Queda. He makes it very clear that the problems we are facing now will live long past bin Laden.
    As to the US war on Iraq showing “evil dictators� anything, it shows them to continue to take the US money, continue to take their arms, and continue to kill everyone they ask you to. The US needs to stop supporting these types of people and needs to put a bit of morals in its international policy. We cannot continue to support despots and right wing death squads around the world and not expect there to be a reaction. But, It would seem to me Steve that you have a serious issue with Islam all together. I think there are many people out there, and maybe you are one of them, that thinks all Muslims should be killed, except for maybe those that deny their religion and offer to live as slaves of the Americans.
    I love it when I meet people and they see me, tall, blond haired, blue eyed, work for the federal government, then they find out I am a Muslim. It shatters all of their long held beliefs. It leaves them very confused. Good, often long held beliefs like people have about Islam are rubbish.
    Islam is not the problem. The problem is people like bin Laden don’t follow Islam enough. During the heighth of Islamic power Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peace all over the Islamic world. When Muslims were pushed out of Spain one of the first thing the Christians did was to slaughter or try to forceably convert the Jews and Muslims. Jews, by the tens of thousands, fled Christian Europe for Muslim lands. That is what Islam is all about. Time to get back to that, you’re your vision of the world, or bin Laden’s, which remarkably, are very similar. Black and white, kill them all.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    9 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Thanks, Malik. That was a very rich post.

    Let me pick some nits. The FBI did indeed pick up five Israelis after Sep 11 but they were cleared. They had no Israeli intelligence connections. They were movers who climbed to the rooftop of a building to watch the Towers burn on Sep 11, along with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. They took pictures of it. In some of the pictures, they posed with the towers burning in the background. One of them said that now America knows what we experience.

    The Americans who reported this to the police did not know they were Israelis. They thought they were Arabs. They thought that the remark about America understanding what they experienced was a celebration rather than commiseration. Passions were running high that day. We didn’t know who was attacking us.

    The police found thousands of bucks of cash and box cutters on the guys when they pulled them over. That fit the profile of skyjackers, but it’s also common for movers to have box cutters and wads of cash on them. The police quizzed them for the better part of a day. The FBI took a sharp interest in them, questioning them and searching their apartments, questioning their bosses and associates. They found nothing with respect to Sep 11. They had visa problems (they had overstayed them) and were taken into custody by the INS. It looks like they were deported.

    The story was reported by the Ha’aretz on September 17, 2001. It appears then that Al Manar TV, a Hezbollah propaganda organ, then manufactured the story about the five Israelis being spies. Basically, they took a story that was true about Israelis arrested after Sep 11, added some lies, and distributed it. From there, it was picked up by the irresponsible Arab media, which was seeking to save face and indulge their bias by shifting the blame from Arab Muslim terrorists to Israelis.

    I’d also like to point out that not only are American citizens innocent when killed by Muslim terrorists but also those American government officials and soldiers when killed by Muslim terrorists. For example, those US government workers and Marine guards working in the African embassies when Al Qaeda bombed them were innocent of any wrongdoing. There is no justification for their murder.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    9 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Malik,

    [quote]If the USA is going to support dictators, even if it might be in its own best interest, they cannot be surprised when the victims of these dictators respond badly to these policies. I have always said that if Central and South Americans had a history of “martyrdom” like Islam and the Middle East does, the USA would have been a smoking wreck long ago. The millions of people directly affected by the murder of hundreds of thousands of US supported governments and death squads in the area ,living on the border with the USA, would have made life difficult for the US.[/quote]

    Malik, you are falling for rhetoric that insidiously passes the blame for home grown dictatorships to America. We have to deal with the world as it is. We can not change every country to suit ourselves. And if we tried, you’d likely be among the first to criticize America for interfering in their affairs. Ignorant, illiterate people erect dictatorships because that’s all they understand. If a strong man puts himself in power in some South American state and we buy bananas from him, that doesn’t mean we support him. If some South American wild man goes on a murderous rampage, killing his own people, it doesn’t follow that he’s acting on instructions from Washington. This may seem like a radical notion but you may consider the possibility that the South Americans who kill South Americans may be responsible for their own crimes, not America. America is not responsible for the evil everyone does in the world.

    [quote]Other elements of the US government used 9/11 to pursue long standing goals, such as the invasion of Iraq, instead of going after bin Laden and the people who were behind the 9/11 attrocity. [/quote]

    Malik, we are doing both. It is not an either or proposition to chase Bin Laden and invade Iraq. Chasing Bin Laden is a relatively small proposition requiring largely intelligence and police resources. Invading Iraq is largely a military proposition. America can do both at once.

    Invading Iraq is not a long standing goal of the US. If it was, we would have done it in the first Gulf War. We also would not have had to come up with a new plan for invasion if it was a long standing goal, as we did.

    [quote]So now the result is the US has Hussein, who never attacked American, …[/quote]

    Malik, Malik, Malik,

    Iraq fired two Exocet missiles at the USS Stark during the Iran-Iraq War, killing 37 US sailors, wounding 21. That was an attack.

    Iraq tried to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait in an attempt to kill its nemesis and intimidate the sitting president. That was an attack.

    Iraq fired a thousand surface to air missiles at US aircraft patrolling the no fly zones in more than six hundred different attacks. When you fire missiles at American pilots, those are attacks.

    And there is the matter of Iraq’s relationship with Al Qaeda, specifically the suspicious contacts it had with the Sep 11 skyjacking team in Prague and Indonesia. There is still a good case to be made of Saddam’s complicity in Sep 11.

    [quote]Aside from the fact that almost every credible intelligence agency has said the war in Iraq has made America LESS safe.[/quote]

    If we are less safe due to the invasion of Iraq, why have we suffered no terrorist attacks at home? If anything, our occupation of Iraq acts like a giant bug zapper, attracting every dimwitted Muslim terrorist in the Middle East and inviting him to throw himself at our armed and capable military. Furthermore, we can simply kill them as they come in Iraq without worrying about their Miranda rights as we would had we caught them in America. It is much better to fight the terrorists in their turf with our full military might than to wait until after they strike in America. We have changed the battlefield for the Wahhabi war from America to the Middle East. That makes America safer.

    [quote]I dont think the author of “Imperial Hubris” can be described as such either. It is clear, from my own personal experience and that of the senior CIA member who wrote the book that America is fighting the wrong war, for the wrong reasons, and has got its response completely wrong. All of this adds up to unending war………at home and abroad. [/quote]

    Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden unit in the CIA, is a smart guy, a good guy. He has a lot of good and interesting things to say. However, if all you study is Bin Laden, then you come to think that everything is about Bin Laden just like a boy with a hammer thinks everything needs hammering.

    I think the war is right. It sends the message to evil dictators that provoking America has bad consequences. It has already changed the behavior of several evil regimes for the better. It also directly challenges the Wahhabis and gives us a venue to kill them by the hundreds. When enough die from their foolish war againt the world, the Wahhabis will reconsider sending their sons off to die for their death cult.

    Steve

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    9 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, public supported the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie for writing a book Khomeini didn’t like. Yusuf Islam agreed that all Muslims should kill Rushdie on sight for blasphemy.

    Malik, why don’t you find that to be extremist? Is that what you call a moderate Muslim?

    Yusuf Islam has also associated and given money to people and organizations who support terror. That also is not moderate.

    Steve

  • fekete
    10 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Great post Malik. Great articulation and insight. You made me think. One question I have for you. Knowing what you know both intuitively and historically about the Gulf and the US, what are your 5 year predictions for the area?

    I myself don’t know whether to be optimistic or pessimistic. Saudi needed the last attack on the US consulate in Jeddah like it needed a hole in the head. And, given Bahrain’s dependence on the Saudi economy, the more instability there, the more instability will spill over to our shores. It looks like Qatar will be immune from anything for a while (God bless the North Dome and LNG contracts), ditto for Abu Dhabi. Not sure about Kuwait.

    It seems like the US is sitting back on its laurels and just waiting for Saudi to blow up internally. I dont know what low oil prices will to do to our (the GCC) ability to maintain checkbook diplomacy. And I dont know whether our leadership will be sufficiently 2 steps ahead in the game to be able to manage that process. Effective opposition here seems to be the clergy, and they wont really solve any of our underlying problems (Iran as an example).

    So, I am confused, and sometimes I wonder whether the light at the end of the tunnel just my wishful thinking because in reality it is really an incoming train ..

    (Oh – and don’t mind Steve. His pet peeve is Saudi Arabia and Islam. And he will, like any good student of history, selectively reinterpret facts to support his position …)

  • [deleted]0.79047900 1099323505.715
    10 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]The Saudis must be destroyed, their bloody Wahhabi cult made a curse word. I long for the day when I see Saudi cities burning, just like the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the Saudis driven back into the Stone Age where they belong. [/quote]

    Geez, I don’t see why you and the terrorists can’t be friends. You say the same kinds of things about them as they say about us.

    Truly you are brothers under the skin.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    10 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    That’s a rather simple-minded criticism, don’t you think, Joan? I am against any nation that makes war on the United States and seeks to kill its men, women, and children. Why aren’t you? What course of action short of bringing their jihad back to them will be effective, in your opinion? Do you think we can talk the Wahhabis out of it?

    And you’re completely wrong that we are alike. When the Saudis break off their attack on America and make reparations for the evil they have done, I will be satisfied and be happy to live in peace with them. The Saudis, on the other hand, subscribe to the Wahhabi view that all non-Muslims must be enslaved or killed under their religious empire. Bin Laden is merely acting on that approved Saudi religious view. He vows unending war upon us no matter what we do. We’re infidels to him.

    Isn’t it odd that an East Coast liberal like you does not stand up against a murderously intolerant culture that opposes everything you believe in and frankly condemns you to death for paying taxes to America? And your children, too. And they act on that belief to murder thousands of Americans. Why doesn’t that arouse your objection? Why is it that you object to forcefully stopping their reign of terror?

    Steve

  • Steelangel
    12 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]They want to think that there is one giant monolithic “Islamic world” out there. This type of thinking has no basis in reality. They idea that Muslims in Saudi Arabia think and feel the same way that Muslims in Malaysia think and feel is nonsense.[/quote]

    Why not? Islam promotes the individual’s efforts to learn Islam, but there is the overarching concept of the Ummah – the Muslim world – that transcends boundaries. Using this concept, the radicals can draw muslims from Saudi or Afghanistan to defend Muslim blood in Serbia or Indonesia – even though those battles do not in any way concern individuals in Saudi or Afghanistan.

    [quote]Keep in mind as well that these leaders have access to the highest reaches of power in the USA, a claim that cannot be made about Hamza. [/quote]

    Hamza supports killing innocent people. Even Jerry Fallwell, who is decidedly a nutcase, does not support that.

    [quote]Nothing in Islam requires women to wear the burqa, it is actually a cultural tradition taken from the Greeks, as is the idea of the Harem.[/quote]

    Woah woah woah. The all-encompassing blue garb worn by Afghan women is in no way a Greek invention. And the idea of a harem is not uniquely Greek either. The Persians, Indians and Egyptians and even the Chinese had them. The Koran states that God says that they are legal – true for all times and all places. (Women whom your right hand posess are legal to you i.e. captives and slaves 23:5-6)

    [quote]Care to give any quotes from his [Tariq Ramadan’s] written work or interviews that support the above? [/quote]

    Of course. Tariq supports the Islamicisation of western culture – a process that offends me personally, since I am a staunch Apathetic Agnostic, and do not believe in the ‘last day’. (and thus, deserve to die)

    “Today the Muslims who live in the West must unite themselves to the revolution of the anti-establishment groups from the moment when the neoliberal capitalist system becomes, for Islam, a theater of war,” – Capitalism will come to war with Islam?

    [quote]Islam is not the problem. The problem is people like bin Laden don’t follow Islam enough. During the heighth of Islamic power Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peace all over the Islamic world.[/quote]

    Incorrect. I suggest that you read up on a few histories of Andalucia, specifically during Berber rule. Also, you may want to check up on the concept of Jizyah, and the history of the Copts of Egypt, or even perhaps the Jews in the Hijaz. Or the Persians. Or the rapes on the altar of the Hagia Sophia. There were periods of peace, but even then, it was not because of the theocratic government, but despite it.

    In any case, I’ll fight tooth and nail against any sect that tried to get me to pay a special tax to maintain my beliefs so that I may feel humiliated.

  • Steelangel
    12 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]I myself don’t know whether to be optimistic or pessimistic. Saudi needed the last attack on the US consulate in Jeddah like it needed a hole in the head. And, given Bahrain’s dependence on the Saudi economy, the more instability there, the more instability will spill over to our shores.[/quote]

    It seems that is exactly the aim of these groups. Iraq is already unstable, and that is causing massive political strain on the surrounding areas (barring Iran, who seems to be pulling some strings). Saudi isn’t exactly very sturdy to begin with, either. What happens if Saudi Arabia falls?

    I fear that the ensuing melee will spill over. The UAE, Qatar and Bahrain would be stuck between Iran and a crazed anarchy in the peninsula. Realistically, and with Mahmood’s posts about the crazies in government over there, I don’t have much hope that a major collapse wouldn’t lead to something -bad-. Steve has the wrong idea, you can’t just wish for a country’s destruction without knowing something to -put- there instead, you know?

    Ethan

  • anonymous
    13 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    Ethan,

    My comment with respect to trading burning American buildings for burning Saudi cities was to establish a negative result for Saudi attacks on America, not to destroy the country. As long as Saudis can strike America with no negative consequence, they will. They have been indoctrinated to hate America. Nothing short of brute force will dissuade them. If their terror attacks on America bring American bombs to their doorsteps, they will reconsider their campaign of terror and break it off. Waging war on the infidels would become very unpopular for Saudis when the blood flows on their own streets.

    However, if the Wahhabi crazies overthrow the Saudi tyrants, which seems likely sooner or later, then my guess is that US troops will indeed invade and occupy the oil fields in eastern Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the Shias there might enjoy their own oil-rich state while the Wahhabis keep Mecca and Medina and are slowly starved of the oil bucks they use now to wage their terror campaign. Heck, maybe eastern Saudi Arabia can be incorporated into a Greater Bahrain where oil profits could fund a moderate Islamic state. Then the US can retreat and let more sensible Arab Muslims prosper.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    13 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]But, It would seem to me Steve that you have a serious issue with Islam all together. I think there are many people out there, and maybe you are one of them, that thinks all Muslims should be killed, except for maybe those that deny their religion and offer to live as slaves of the Americans. [/quote]

    Malik, we do agree on something. I do have a serious issue with Islam. It started at 8:46:40 AM, Tuesday, September 11, 2001 when Mohammed Atta flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center in an insane crusade to create a Muslim empire, a Second Caliphate that rules the world. My issue with Islam got bigger when I saw Muslims around the world celebrate the deaths of those 2917 dead Americans, dancing in the streets, handing out candy, bragging about it, saying they deserved it. Most of all, my respect for Islam plummeted when not one Muslim leader, not one, stood up publicly and forthrightly condemned this mass murder in the name of Islam. That was the most powerful lesson I have learned about Islam. I’ll never forget it. Never.

    No, I don’t think that all Muslims should be killed or enslaved. Only Muslims kill and enslave people for their religion. I’m an American, who thinks that every religion should be tolerated, unlike Muslims who outlaw other religions, kill worshippers of other faiths, and enslave them. Example: the Sudan. That American religious tolerance is superior to the dominant Muslim view of intolerance and far superior to the Wahhabi view of murderous intolerance. It is the Muslim enthusiasm for murder to advance their religion which inspires my rightful contempt.

    I am little impressed by your attempt to equate those, like me, who demand a strong defense against the murderous Muslim crusade against America, and Bin Laden, who perpetrate that crusade. It is an oily attempt to make the criminal and victim morally equivalent. It is false. Bin Laden forthrightly states that every American who pays taxes is a fair target for his terror. I am content to go after those Muslims who intend to carry out those attacks to preempt them, a completely reasonable position. I have no intention of doing harm to Americans who happen to be Muslim nor would I accept such violence by anyone. That is another difference between me and Bin Laden who is perfectly willing to kill infidels anywhere. That is also a difference between me and many Muslims in the Middle East, who are indifferent to the murder of non-Muslims.

    It’s true that European Christians of five centuries ago were murderously intolerant of Jews and Muslims. They had some cause to be intolerant of the Muslim crusaders who invaded and occupied their land but they could have lived and let live once Muslim rule was defeated. They had no cause to persecute the Jews, who had done them no harm and much good.

    It is true that these Jews found haven in the Muslim world, but it came at a price. The Jews were second class citizens, taxed for their religious views and inferior persons in Islamic courts of law. They could not even raise their hand legally against a Muslim attacker. It was hardly a relationship on equal terms. The Muslims always insisted on dominance.

    That carries through to this day. Radical Muslims refuse to deal with non-Muslims as equals. The source of the current crisis is Muslim refusal to accept and respect beliefs other than their own on equal terms. Once the Muslims accept the modern world and pluralism, when they abandon the promotion of their religion through depraved violence and seek to advance it through good deeds instead, then they will receive the respect of people like me.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    13 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    I am sad to say I agree. US troops will be stationed in large numbers in the Middle East for the next century. There is a significant chance of minor war in Saudi Arabia and a major war in Iran.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    13 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]I will not sit here and debate Islam with people who it is clear have a hatred of the faith and it’s followers. Nothing I can say will change their minds. They have their opinions and never let facts get in the way of that, so why should I try? Like Muslims says “Do not argue with them except in the best of ways” and when this is impossible, do not argue at all. So, as a Muslim, I will keep this sage advice. I will no more argue with them than I will argue with Islamic extremists or members of the KKK, they are all of the same ilk. [/quote]

    Or you could do your best to stop Muslims from butchering infidels for Islam, encourage Muslims to build schools and hospitals instead of terror cells, to embrace free speech and abandon snuff videos, and maybe, just maybe, you would be welcomed by the civilized world rather than reviled by it.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    13 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]I dont see American troops in Saudi Arabia, in a combatant manner, as being productive. The Muslim “world” has never really been united, but if you see American troops in Mecca and Medina mowing down wedding parties like they have done in Iraq, this could change.[/quote]

    US troops will never go to Mecca nor Medina. They have no significance for us. I’m sure lots of Muslims are convinced that Americans intend to conquer Mecca but out here in the real world we infidels just don’t care about the Ka’aba. What exactly would we win if we captured it? Nothing.

    It doesn’t really matter if US troops killed innocent people or not. Al Jazeera will still say we did no matter what the truth is and the ignorant Arab masses will eat it up.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    13 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]My wife has been here since she was five. Her father worked as a diplomat here for the Saudi Embassy for 25 years. After he retired he made a choice to stay in the US.[/quote]

    Why did he do that, Malik? I would have expected him to rejoin family in SA.

    [quote]Our whole foreign policy must be reshaped. We cannot continue to support dictators in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and others globally. We must rethink our policies around the world so that when we declare we want democracy in the Middle East we really mean it and follow through with actions that support that. Increased aid to Mubarak and Abd’Allah do not show this. [/quote]

    Malik, where is there a democracy in the Middle East that we can support?

    Steve

  • anonymous
    13 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Ethan ..

    Then the wild card becomes what the US government will do! If there is a crazy state of anarchy in saudi and around 8-9 Million barrels of oil a day are being de facto controlled by a militant force – do you really think that the US will step back and let this happen? Specially if it is going to have repercussions on the UAE (3-4 Million barrels of oil a day?), amd Qatar (gazillion amounts of LNG?)

    I dunno mate. I think we are going to see US troops in this area for a very long time.

    Jsara Jedi

  • anonymous
    13 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    I will not sit here and debate Islam with people who it is clear have a hatred of the faith and it’s followers. Nothing I can say will change their minds. They have their opinions and never let facts get in the way of that, so why should I try? Like Muslims says “Do not argue with them except in the best of ways” and when this is impossible, do not argue at all. So, as a Muslim, I will keep this sage advice. I will no more argue with them than I will argue with Islamic extremists or members of the KKK, they are all of the same ilk.

    As to where I see Saudi Arabia in five years? I think more of the same really. I do not see Saudi as being ripe for revolution as Iran was before the fall of the Shah. I wait, and I pray, for the demise of the al-Saud family and their strangle-hold over the people of the country, but I fear what the replacement might be. Which is worse, corrupt and unIslamic members of the al-Saud family, or Taliban like extremists who want to push their unIslamic ideas about Islam on a nation that do not what them? Either way, you get a leadership that doesnt care for the people.

    I dont see American troops in Saudi Arabia, in a combatant manner, as being productive. The Muslim “world” has never really been united, but if you see American troops in Mecca and Medina mowing down wedding parties like they have done in Iraq, this could change.

    Moderate Saudis aborad need to do more to promote change. Problem is many Saudis abroad are abroad working for the government or for companies that rely on Saudi connections. Wasta-Connections, it is what it is all about.

    My wife and I are considering starting a web site for moderate Saudi opposition. I think there are more Saudis abroad and in the Kingdom that would support such a group than people think. It is a big choice, once we do this it would probably mean my wife and I would never be allowed back into the country to visit family or for religious reasons.

  • Steelangel
    14 December 2004

    Re(2): No More Barriers

    The US’s best bet in the Middle East is to support the Shia population of Iran, as well as the Shia across the ME. Since Shi’ism has a tradition of major religious monoloithism (as opposed to ‘anyone can be a cleric’) we can identify possibly helpful mullahs, (Sistani) and work with them.

    For all of Iran’s bluster, Shi’ites are the ‘best bet’ branch of Islam, as I see it.

  • Steelangel
    14 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]Once again Steve seems to think the people who behead prisoners are representative of Islam. They are not representative of Muslims, not even a small percentage of them.[/quote]

    Alright. This argument is a non-starter, and it really serves to say nothing of import. 🙂 You claim that these things are not representative of Islam, and Muslims, but…

    First of all, I would like to ask this: Why do arabic-language channels incessantly play beheading videos, or run programs in which clerics extol the virtues of Jihad? On many call-in programs, especially on Al-Jazeera, there is much support for the cleric du jour’s warmongering statements. (for example, read http://www.memri.org)

    If beheading is not representative of Islam, why does God say ‘smite the necks’ of the infidels?

    Did not Mohammed (as told in Bukhari) order the beheading of captured Quraishi tribesmen?

    If the Jihadis are emulating Mohammed, do you think that they are doing a good job?

    Remember, Malik, I’m not here to receve Dawa. I’m not here to change the faith that you converted to. I’m only here to pose challenging questions. I’m not Christian, but it is possible for me to answer any faith-questions you pose. Can you do the same for me?

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]The idea of Iraqi ties to al-Queda based on the Prague meeting have been rubbished by all intelligence services, not even Rumsfeld or Cheney try to throw that one out anymore. [/quote]

    False. I read the news very closely and have yet to see any intelligence agency even take a position on the Prague Connection, let alone debunk it. I challenge you to produce a link citing any intelligence agency anywhere debunking Atta’s trip to Prague. Those feeble attempts to debunk it by the news media have been quickly and easily disproven. Neither Rumsfeld nor Cheney have ever publicly made the case for the Prague connection that I recall. Perhaps you could refresh my memory with a cite for that as well.

    Here are the facts:
    An agent of the BIS, the Czech counterintelligence service, who was assigned to watch Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Consul and Second Secretary at Iraq’s Czech embassy and suspected agent of Iraqi intelligence, observed him meet with a young Arab man in a restaurant in a discreet Prague suburb on April 8, 2001. The BIS thought they were planning to bomb the Radio Free Europe headquarters in Praque. When Mohamed Atta’s photo was published after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the BIS agent identified him as the young Arab man al-Ani met. BIS has found al-Ani’s appointment calendar with the notation “Hamburg student” marked on April 8th. Atta identified himself as a “Hamburg student” on his visa. Atta opened a SunTrust bank account within two weeks of April 8, then used it to receive $100,000 from an anonymous source through a money changer in the Emirate of Shirzah. One likely scenario was that Atta, the team leader, reported his progress to his handler, al-Ani, in Prague who then released the money to fund the next phase of the preparations for the attack.

    The FBI has no information about Atta’s whereabouts from April 4, 2001, when he departed Virginia Beach’s Diplomat Inn and cashed a SunTrust check for $8,000, until April 11. It’s possible he left the country on a false passport given to him by Spanish members of Al Qaeda, who have been arrested for doing so. We also know that Atta made other trips to Prague on urgent business, once taking pains to apparently meet with someone out of view of airport security cameras. It’s obvious that he was regularly meeting somebody there.

    The FBI told the media that it had records of Atta travelling between Virginia Beach and Florida in early April. The FBI reported that Atta was in Virginia Beach on April 8 and had hotel and car rental receipts. This was not true. In fact, it was impossible. Atta had no legitimate driver’s license in his name in his possession. He did not get a Florida driver’s license until after April and his international driver’s license was at his home in Cairo. Some especially dimwitted liberals have argued that since the FBI has no evidence that Atta left the country, then that is proof he did not leave the country. Obviously false.

    The New York Times reported on October 21, 2002 that the Czech president, Vaclav Havel, told President Bush that Atta did not meet with al-Ani in Prague. Havel refuted that false report within a few hours. The Czechs confirmed the meeting and continue to stand by it.
    There are also reports of Al-Ani meeting a second hijacker, Khalid Almihdar, though no evidence has been made public.

    Many liberals who have not done the required reading to know this topic have fallen for the false stories from the New York Times and other liberal media and claim, in error, that the Prague connection between the September 11 suicide skyjackers and Saddam have been debunked. They have not. In fact, there are plenty of Saddam’s fingerprints on Sep 11.

    For a more detailed presentation of the case for Saddam’s patronage of the Sep 11 attacks, you can read The Connection : How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America, by Stephen F. Hayes.

    It appears to me that many liberals attempted to cast doubt on the Prague Connection through fallacious argument in order to delegitimize the war in Iraq. They placed partisanship first, ahead of the facts. The bottom line is that there is a fair amount of evidence indicating Saddam’s patronage of the Sep 11 attacks, but no definitive proof yet.

    Steve

    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on December 14, 2004 02:40 PM]

    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on December 14, 2004 03:01 PM]

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re: and who will foot the bill?

    It’s not the war that’s expensive, it’s the occupation. We paid for a world war, we can pay to take down Iran. But I’d rather let the Iranians do it themselves. You’ll have a better democracy if you fight for it yourself. That’s the problem with Iraq: We are doing all the fighting for a Iraqi democracy while the Iraqis pretty much sit it out and see who wins. Only 1% of the Iraqis have even registered to vote.

    Steve

  • mahmood
    14 December 2004

    Re(1): No More Barriers

    I firmly believe that the reason that local Arab channels play (if they do that is, I haven’t seen them do it so far) beheading videos is the very reason people produce horror movies.. a call for ratings.

    Do you really thing that Jazeera, Arabiya, Ikhbaria, and any other (so called) news channel care about these things other than stealing the little pool of watchers that the other channel has? Do really think that ethics actually play a role in the decision to air morbit videos? No. It’s purely business. But business in this case is PR to the host country! Ironic and weird I know, but believe me that the powers that be that run ANY of the television channels have nothing to do with the host country other than receiving their salaries from them. If it were up to me, I would nuke ALL television channels in the area, but why bother, NO ONE in this are actually watches them other than the foreigners and the BBC spy service!

    As to Memri, I would use them as a reference, they have proved themselves to be a once-sided organisation and hence lost credibility a long time ago.

    The more I think of this beheading thing, the more I detest the people carrying it out in MY name. What is it other than inhumane killing? But hang on a second, is there such a thing as “inhumane” about killing? Killing is killing, whether that is by a truck driving over you, a bullet to the back of you head or a knife that severs your head. So do you think these animals who do sever heads are more inhuman than a person pressing a trigger to deliver a bulltet to the back of a head? It is a matter of degrees only surely. Death is death.

    Maybe if we just recognise them as killers and not glorify them they would go away to the whole they belong to? or that tube that you can flush?

    In any case, Islam (me certainly) have disavawed them from my mind. They do not occupy even one iota of my mind, why should they of anyone else. Just regard them as the criminals they are – disregarting their creed, conviction or religion. Criminals. Just that.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Malik,

    Your post is full of wrong assumptions. First, I flew F-4 Phantoms as a navigator/WSO in the USAF, so your assumption that I am an armchair warrior who never joined the military is wrong. Your depiction of me as a Nazi is also very tiresome. Liberals always accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being a Nazi. It is a charge which represents sloppy and desperate thinking. I would also challenge you to cite a quote where I wanted to kill all the Muslims. It is a hysterical lie, which everyone can plainly see.

    Yes, the Muslims who terrorize and kill people do represent Islam, however much it pains you. This depraved violence against infidels is endorsed by fatwas from Islamic religious authorities, is celebrated in the Arab media, is funded by pious Muslims, and is widely supported by Arab Muslims. Only grudgingly have some Muslim clerics spoke out against it. This idea of bloody jihad against the House of Infidels is a moral defect in Islam, which casts it into rightful disrepute. Muslims need to reject this concept as part of a larger reform of Islam that embraces the modern world and peaceful relations with non-Muslims.

    Malik, the Muslim head-cutters are the Nazis here, not people like me who oppose them. You need to splash some cold water on your face and get the good guys and bad guys straight. It’s also obvious that the violent Muslim radicals are far too heavily indoctrinated for reason to persuade them to give up their jihad against civilization. For them, the only solution is to crush them like bugs.

    However, if you have some non-violent solution to deal with the Wahhabi Terror, I’d be happy to read it right here. Perhaps you think we can send the jihadis a nice fruit basket and they’ll turn into nice guys.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re(2): No More Barriers

    Mahmood,

    If the Arab channels are only playing the bloodiest footage to gain audience market share, why do they prefer to play that footage which supports the Muslim fundamentalists? They air footage of Iraqis dead and wounded in the war, always implying that the Americans were the ones to fire on them, but what footage is played of the insurgents’ violence against Iraqis? Why didn’t Al Jazeera play the tape of Margaret Hassan being executed while playing the tapes of Iraqi casualties in Fallujah?

    It’s pretty obvious that Arab media like Al Jazeera are not reporting the news but rather promoting a particular point of view and pandering to the prejudices of their audience.

    Steve

  • mahmood
    14 December 2004

    Re(3): No More Barriers

    Steve as much as I hate it, I do agree with you. But disagree completely with your description that these facilitators of airwaves would actually be called news channels.

    I firmly believe that they have no editorial policy.

    I firmly belive that they (especially Jazeera) are there solely to promote Qatar no matter what they broadcast. The essence is to show that Qatar (pronounced catarrh) is a leader in democratic reform in this area of the world electronically but none physically.

    Rest assured my friend that Jazeera, Arabia, Ikhbaria do NOT represent me and my ilk on the street; rather just a few people who think that it might do good to the monarchies of the day, rather than further the goals and aspirations of the Gulf Arab.

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    Another Chalabi in the making ??

    And we all know how ‘authentic’ dissident groups have when based in the west and how much street credibility they have when push comes to shove ..

    When will the US governmen learn???

    JJ

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    Re: Another Chalabi in the making ??

    Jasra

    One could ARGUE when will Arab governments learn to stop repressing their people??? Then these “authentic dissident groups” would never have any credibility. Don’t know about you but I will take Chalabi and the IRC over Saddam’s goon squad ANY DAY of the week.

    Ciao
    Bonsaimark

    ps Mahmood I am having major problems loging in..

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re(4): No More Barriers

    Mahmoodski,

    Was it THAT hard to agree with me?

    The most confusing thing here is how to pronounce Qatar. I’ve “guitar” and “gutter” and “ka-TAR”.

    The good thing about Al Jazeera (I’m gritting my teeth here) is that they are broadcasting independently of a government, I think. Once that principle is established, better broadcasters are possible. And it’s good for the Al Jazeera stories to be out on the table, in the sunlight, where they can be contested for accuracy.

    Steve

    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on December 15, 2004 03:08 PM]

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re: Another Chalabi in the making ??

    Jasra,

    The problem is that repression works, at least in the medium term. A repressive government can successfully eradicate dissident groups for a long time. The Nazis executed the White Rose and the Kreisau Circle to eradicate their dissidents. Stalin suffered no dissidents. Saddam and Prince Abdullah have brooked no dissent, either.

    If you are seeking a haven for dissent, you come to America. Perhaps one day when Arab governments learn that dissent is healthy for the nation, dissenters will not need to flee for their lives to the US. The fact that any of their citizens must flee to voice their opinions should be shameful to a nation.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    14 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]I think the problem is that the US, in its support for these tyrants, is often very short sited. We support the Shah, we supported Saddam Hussein, we support the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians. I think all of this is short sited. Besides, even if you push the “in our best interest” idea, why doesnt the US demand democractic reform for it’s support? Since 9/11, when the US declared that it wants “a democratic Middle East”, these client dictators of the USA have taken away rights, the people have become less free.[/quote]

    Malik, do you really think we can just buy democracy in the Middle East? Do you think that any of those dictators would give up their power and turn into democrats if we just paid them enough? Look at Iraq. We’re not only pouring in billions but have an army of occupation there and still the Arabs fight the imposition of democracy to the cheers of the Arab world. If democracy doesn’t come easy in a country where we have all the cards, why do you think it would work in countries where we have only slight influence?

    The impulse toward democracy is weak in the Arab world while the impulse to tyranny is strong. You don’t have thug rule in the Middle East because America likes it, but because Arabs like it. That is the preferred mode of government by most Arabs. When Arab Muslims set up a new country, they don’t take the US Constitution with them as a reference. When the Russians left Afghanistan, the Taliban didn’t say, “Hey, here’s our chance to set up a democracy!” When the Saudis took over Arabia, they didn’t say, “Hey, finally we can establish a government of the people, for the people, by the people!” People in the Middle East, when left to their own devices, form either secular tyrannies or religious tyrannies or some combination of the two.

    The reason we don’t demand democratic reform in Arab countries is that it has little appeal for most and no chance of success. The best we can do is maintain relations and keep a flow of their young circulating through our universities, bringing dangerous democratic ideas back to their homes, ideas that will grow and bear fruit in the future.

    Steve

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    and who will foot the bill?

    can the us economy pay for a war in iran??

  • Steelangel
    14 December 2004

    Re(2): No More Barriers

    [quote]Do really think that ethics actually play a role in the decision to air morbit videos? [/quote]

    Certainly not, considering that they refused to play Margaret Hassan’s murder by a bunch of thugs, but supposedly incessantly played the ‘Marine shoots wounded Iraqi out of fear that he could be a suicide trap’ video.

    Double standards? Of course, they are everywhere. But they are a heck of a lot more noticable on Jazeera and Arabya.

    [quote]As to Memri, I would use them as a reference, they have proved themselves to be a once-sided organisation and hence lost credibility a long time ago. [/quote]

    I’m actually quite surprised to hear them called one-sided. They do selectively quote different sources, but they also provide commentary from both progressives and radicals. I do suppose that they do paint a negative picture of the Middle East as a whole, but that can be balanced by reading Arab News, or other English langauge sources. I am, however, always interested in reading some of the drivel that crosses the newspapers over there, and since I cannot read Arabic (Japanese was enough squiggle-script to learn for one lifetime) I need a translation 🙂

    [quote]In any case, Islam (me certainly) have disavawed them from my mind.[/quote]

    I could tell that, already. You’re quite the religious pluralist. 🙂

    However, as long as there is a movement that states that that is the -true- Islam, then disavowal means nothing. I’m dismayed at the fact that the crazies always seem to have a theological argument, while the not-so-crazies have the same paean verses, which are quickly dismised as ‘abrogated’ by the crazies.

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    Re: and who will foot the bill?

    If need be it can and will. Let us hope it won’t.

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Once again Steve seems to think the people who behead prisoners are representative of Islam. They are not representative of Muslims, not even a small percentage of them. Why do you think there has been such a muted response to the recent offensive by America into Fallujah? It is precisely because of the unIslamic actions of these people that the community did not respond the way it did with the first attack against Fallujah.

    Like I have said before, people like Steve have a hatred of Muslims and Arabs and it is as irrational as the Nazi’s hatred for Jews, or the Klan hatred of Blacks. It is based on ignorance, and at it’s very base, it is rooted in a deep fear. People like this are very scared. They want the USA to “kill them all” yet you ever wonder why they dont join the US military to do their bit in the job of “killing them all”? Loud mouths and bigots always want others to do the hard work for them.

    As a proud American Muslim convert I have done my bit working for the US Air Force and Department of Defense, and still do my part, whilst armchair warriors like Steve advocate bloody murder from their computer desks.

    Real heros.

    Malik

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Anyone interested in supporting a movement for democratic, moderate reform in Saudi Arabia should visit and support The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia’s web site. http://www.cdhr.info/default.asp
    It is a good site and promotes a middle of the road opposition to the corruption and unIslamic nature of the Saudi royal family without tilting to the religious extremist agenda. A great group here in DC.

    Malik

  • anonymous
    14 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    From the Saudi dissident website:

    “Resistance to genuine democratic reform in Saudi Arabia comes mainly from two groups. First, the Saudi ruling family which seeks to keep complete control over the country, and second, the terrorists who want to overthrow the royal family and reshape the country in accordance with religious extremism. Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda recruits have been able to build up substantial support amongst Saudis because of their calls to rid the country of the “corrupt and morally bankruptâ€? House of Saud. ”

    Good stuff

    Malik

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    15 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Malik,

    Let me repeat: Only Muslims kill and enslave people for their religion. There are no Christians nor any other religion that I know of killing for their religion. There are plenty of Muslims doing so. There are no Christians engaged in a slave trade nor any other religion likewise engaged. There are plenty of Muslims doing exactly that in the Sudan.

    You have a point that Christians did indeed kill, enslave, and forceably convert to Christianity people in the New World. Perhaps you’ve heard that all that stopped about a century and a half ago. The stimulus toward abolition of these evil practices originated with moral outrage from the Catholic clergy, then the population as a whole. Dominican priest Bartolome de las Casas catalogued the atrocities of the Spanish conquistadors and published them in Europe, followed by a host of Jesuits.

    Malik, where is the Muslim equivalent of de las Casas? What Islamic clergy is cataloguing the atrocities of the Sudanese Muslims against the non-Muslim population and demanding it stop? Does it bother you that you must compare the current Muslim states against the West of centuries ago to find equivalent barbarism? Even your defense of Islam assumes that it cannot be compared to the West on equal terms. Why?

    Slavery is wrong, it’s evil. We’ve abolished it long ago. Why haven’t the Muslims? Where is the call within the Muslim world to abolish slavery perpetrated by Muslims? How do you account for that silence? I see it as another moral defect in Islam, which accepts slavery.

    And by the way, the slave trade existed in Africa long before the Europeans took part in it. Arab Muslims have taken and bought slaves in Africa for millenia, and still do. The Europeans were latecomers, though enthusiastic ones, to the African slave trade. They came to the slave trade long after the Arabs and Africans and left it long ago. Why don’t the Muslims abandon it?

    Malik, your accusations of blind hatred for all Muslims is a smokescreen for you to evade answering these kinds of specific questions about the immoral activities of Muslims. It’s no wonder you make such evasions because these crimes are indefensible.

    When Muslims stop making war on America and the West, when they give up slavery, when they embrace the modern world and individual liberty, then they will receive my respect. It’s that simple. What do you object to about that?

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    15 December 2004

    Re(3): No More Barriers

    [quote]I’m actually quite surprised to hear them called one-sided. They do selectively quote different sources, but they also provide commentary from both progressives and radicals. I do suppose that they do paint a negative picture of the Middle East …[/quote]

    …but the Middle East gives them a lot of paint to work with.

    Steve

  • mahmood
    15 December 2004

    Re(5): No More Barriers

    It’s hard to translate the pronounciation of Qatar. The Q confuses people as well, it should be a K, then you’re closer to how it is pronouned coloqually. The Q traditionally is used in place of the hard “k” in the Arabic language, but as in English it is always followed by a U then it makes it difficult for non-Arabic speakers to use it to pronounce it properly, invariably it is “Kuwaiter”, while in fact is should be “KA-TER” – the last TER should be pronounced as in “cenTER”. The “catarrh” bit was a bit of tasteless joke.

    I agree however that as far as media in concerned, we need to completely disband all ministries of information in the Arab world, open up the media market, make it self regulating and the only involvement the government should do is to manage frequency allocation, if that.

    Once that happens we will see a lot better stations that will surpass both Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera with ease. After all, Arabs are as hungry for real news and analysis as anyone else on this planet.

  • Steelangel
    15 December 2004

    Re(1): Another Chalabi in the making ??

    [quote]Perhaps one day when Arab governments learn that dissent is healthy for the nation, dissenters will not need to flee for their lives to the US. The fact that any of their citizens must flee to voice their opinions should be shameful to a nation.[/quote]

    The penalty for apostasy is death. Expand that to the nation-state, and you can see why dissenters are not treated well.

    Change the culture of intellectual questioning, and you can fix 90% of the problems in the world. We should be so lucky that the world will have a liberal (small l) monoculture of academic and social freedom to question our and others’ mores. Sadly, many people prefer to have the questions (and the answers to those questions) handed to them by a ‘holy’ book, or books.

    Intellectual laxity will be the death of humanity.

    Ethan

  • anonymous
    15 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “Only Muslims kill and enslave people for their religion.”

    Yes, I am sure those are comforting words for the ancestors of the millions of Central and South Americans murdered, enslaved, and forceably converted to Christianity over the last 500 years. Yes, I am sure that does wonders for the 500+ years of victims of the African slaves trade, done by Christian nations.

    Steve, your hatred of Islam leaves you blind to the facts. It is sad to note that your hatred makes you little different than bin Laden. Shame.

    Malik

  • anonymous
    15 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve,

    The very small percentage of people, Muslims, that support bin Laden are no more representative of Islam than you are of Christianity, Judaism, or what it means to be American, thank God! If the world were left to your type and bin Laden we would have nothing but unending war!

    Thank God that the vast majority of people in the world, Islamic and otherwise, are more tolerant and open to different opinions than yourself.

    I could sit here and debate religion with you all day. You can take stuff out of context, so can I. I can point out to you that in the “Old” Testament the Jews are ordered to slaughter whole cities of people. They are ordered to commit genocide against certain groups of people. The Old Testament even orders Jews, when they take cities held by certain groups, to slaughter everything in the city, down to the women, children, and even the animals.

    The large point is that you will hate Islam and Muslim no matter what answer you get. There is no answer for you that will change your hatred. But at least we have here a common thread to work from………you hate Islam, Muslims and Arabs, and nothing will change that. Bin Laden hates the west, Christianity, and there is nothing that will change that. You are in great company, enjoy.

  • anonymous
    16 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve is selectively using facts. He states that 90% of Saudis support bin Laden. What does that mean exactly, support what? Ideas? Tactics? These same 90% of Saudis who say they supported him, when asked if they want him to rule their country, only 5% said yes. Besides, since when have Saudis ever been anything of an indicator on how the broader Islamic “world” feels? The way things are run in Saudi are way out of step with how most of the Islamic “world” thinks, so to try and say that they represent anything but themselves is untrue!

    The voices that speak out against “the Wahabis” and their international Salafi counterparts are not small. Problem is you just dont know enough about the countries involved to realise this. What Arabic dailies, do you read exactly? What Arabic news and talk shows do you watch? Do you get Arabic satelite? I live in the DC area, as you do, and you can get it. I watch Saudi news, Yemeni, Syrian, Egpytian, Qatar, you name it. If you do not think there is a growing backlash against Saudis, “the Wahabis”, you dont have a clue. I wonder, do you know any Muslims in your day to day life? In the government agency I work for, Muslims make up about 20% of the workforce, and I can tell you the vast majority do not like the Saudis, do not like a lot of the religious rubbish that comes from there, and are not quiet about it. Reading your posts is like reading a Daniel Pipes book. So out of touch with what is really going on.

    Your position is unending war, I know. You see, the problem is, bin Laden and his sort would not even get the limited support they do if there was not some truth in what they say. America does support tyranical governments all over the Islamic world. America does unfairly support any and all moves made by Israel. America does seek to unfairly hold down the price of international oil, thus depriving oil producing countries of wealth, and what wealth they do get goes to US backed dictators. There is no military solution to this issue, no matter how much you might like one. There is one solution-stop the awful policies that give bin Laden his recruiting points. Remove these and even if bin Laden and his cronnies still want to fight they will find no one to follow them.

    Yes, we all know the tired rhetoric you are pushing about the “House of War” and other nonsense. If you had a clue about ongoing debates in the Muslim “world” you would know those issues are being redefined and debate as we speak, and have been for some time. Like I have said before, your posts sound simply like a simplistic rehash of a Daniel Pipes or Bernard Lewis book. I do not think there are any defects within Islam, rather defects in some of its followers, and how they seek to twist the religion to promote and justify what are really their own political goals.

    Funny that you slammed Tariq Ramadan before, but had you read his books you would find he directly discusses the idea of “Dar al Islam” and “Dar al Harb” and how they need to be completely changed. No discussion? No debates? You dont have a clue. If you had read his books you might like his contention that actually, the abode of Islam is more properly someplace like the USA, like the west, who in their policy and ideas mirror Islam more than most “Islamic countries”. He contends, that realistically speaking, countries like Egypt and Saudi are really the “Dar al Harb” or the Abodes of War, as they and their policies are so inconsistant with Islam.

    You have your head in the sand if you think there are no Christians around the world who use their ideas about their religion as an excuse for murder. 200,000 plus Bosnian Muslims and Catholics would argue their murder at the hands of their Eastern Orthodox neighbors say differently. Christians, and their version of their religion, have led the “Lords Resistance Army” in Uganda to slaughter over a million people in their country to try and force the country to follow their brand of Christianity. Historically tens of millions of people around the world have been slaughtered by Christians trying to force their religion, or their brand of it, on others. Do you, as you do with Islam, try to say this is some basic defect within Christianity, and if not, why not?

    There are Jews in Israel who regularly site religion to justify murder and occupation. The country is founded on religious scripture. Do you forget the Jewish gunman who entered a mosque in Hebron and killed over 30 Muslims at prayer? He was a religious extremist, as was the man who killed Rabin. There are many Jewish extremist groups working in Israel today, some of them have just been given very light sentences for their roles in trying to blow up Muslim schools, specifically targeting little children. Somehow that is different? I dont think so.

    I do keep up with current events and I believe the threat everywhere is from religious extremists. I hate and want to see the removal of all religious extremists, whether it is Bush in the White House who claims to speak to God, the religious extremists in Israel who think the Old Testament justifies ethnic cleansing, or bin Laden and his lackies who think Islam condones violence against innocents. I think the real war is one of moderates against extremists, and from Saudi to America and on to Israel, the extremists are winning.

    Let me spell it out again, Americans cannot expect to be safe until their foriegn policy does not directly and indirectly result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. We, as Americans, cannot be responsible for exporting mass murder for 50 years than cry when we get just the smallest taste of what he have dished out. The only difference between Muslims that are fighting against America because of American policy and other peoples that have suffered from American policy, be it in Central or South America, or Africa, is that this time, people from the countries hit back.

    I dont agree with their tactics, as a Muslim I agree with Hadith and The Qur’an and reject the idea that civilians can be targets. At the same time, as an American I have felt for years, long before 9/11, that sooner or later someone was going to take exception to our foreign policy in a brutal way. It happened. Time to address the issue. We cannot export mass murder and expect to be immune.

    I wrote a letter to the European Stars and Stripes saying this very thing when I resigned from the US DoD, and to my surpise, they printed it.

    Malik-The American-The Human.

  • anonymous
    16 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Mahmood,

    One thing Nasser did was to put the lie to the idea that Steve speaks Arabic, even if Steve claims to have “studied” Arabic. If he did he would have caught that one rather quickly. Doesnt everyone learn the “bad words” in a language first? I know I did, and this was at a Saudi university of all places.

    I wonder how much of what Steve claims to have done is really true after this? He claims to have studied Arabic but cannot even get the idea of a couple basic sentences? He even tells the guy thank you! LOL! Time to reevaluate the claims that he has made.

    -Malik-Human.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    16 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Malik,

    I have never claimed to know how to speak Arabic, despite your bogus assertion I did. I took a year of Arabic at the Air Force Academy which was just about enough time to master a few simple phrases and run through the alphabet. These wild accusations you make are based on some sloppy reading and thinking. You’d be more credible if you took care to stick to the facts.

    My instructor at the USAFA evidently didn’t think we needed to know dirty words in Arabic. I didn’t know any until graduate school when a Jordanian told me some, which I have since forgotten.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    16 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    I am perfectly intolerant of religious sects that seek my death. Bin Laden is intolerant of all non-Wahhabis. That’s the difference between us, for those who want to lump us together foolishly. America did not visit Saudi Arabia to kill Muslims to promote Christianity. In fact, we fought to defend Saudi Arabia from Saddam. Bin Laden, with the support of the Wahhabi clergy and Saudi state, butchered Americans by the thousands. That is intolerable.

    Your assertion that Bin Laden represents only a tiny minority of Muslims is flatly untrue. A survey by the Saudis themselves showed that 90% of them supported Bin Laden. That’s tens of millions of Muslims. The Middle Eastern media was full of articles celebrating Sep 11. Bin Laden T-shirts are popular across the Muslim world. Beyond the active perpetrators of Wahhabi terror are the supporters and financiers who make that terror possible. Beyond that is the vast bulk of the Muslim world that has no hand in the terror, but approve of it. At the periphery of the Muslim world, the terror is supported passively with silence. The number of Muslim voices opposed to the Wahhabi Terror are at a bare minimum.

    My position is that we make war on the radical Muslims who wish to do us evil until they are dead or have given up their crusade against America. What part of that do you object to and why? These wild charges you make are simply an evasion of the issues. You need to acquire the courage and honesty to acknowledge and examine the defects in Islam which lead it to make war on the world, or as the Muslims call it: The House of War, The House of Infidels. Islam has big problems with intolerance, violence, and rigidity which have placed it in a downward spiral of belligerence. You help push it down by refusing to deal with it.

    There is a lot of silly stuff in the Old Testament. It says you should suffer no witches to live when there are no witches. Even saying that the love of money is the root of all evil doesn’t make sense when there are lots of evil acts that are not done for the love of money. The difference is that there are no Christians citing the Old Testament as justification for killing worshippers of other religions. Only Muslims think their religion justifies cutting people’s heads off. Only Muslims proudly broadcast snuff videos shouting Allah is Great! Why?

    I don’t know if you keep up with current events, but the current threat is not Jews trying to smash jets into skyscrapers. It’s not Christian fundamentalists trying to commit genocide with Old Testament in hand. The current threat is Muslims who want to perpetrate mass murder for Islam. Every airport in the world has erected defenses to stop Muslims from doing murder. Those metal detectors and explosive sniffing machines are not there to stop Presbyterians or Hindus or Shintos or Scientologists or oceanic cargo cults or Coptics. It’s all there to stop Muslims from slaughtering people. When you go on a worldwide murder rampage, it elicits negative responses.

    Once again, let me spell it out for the slow learners: Americans like me do not respect those who murder Americans by the thousands. It’s that simple. Stop killing Americans, stop planning to kill Americans, stop threatening to kill Americans, stop thinking that killing Americans is a victory for your religion. Do these things and you will regain my respect.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    16 December 2004

    Re(2): choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    Nasser,

    Well, it looks like it was a mistake for me to trust your word and display of good faith. I guess you really showed me, huh?

    And really, this is the problem in microcosm: Arabs say one thing in English, and another in Arabic. Tell me, Nasser, why should I trust anything you say in English from this point forward when you have demonstrated such a lack of integrity?

    Steve

  • Shelly
    16 December 2004

    RE: choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    ma afhamik ya steve… li-an ytkallam min l-tizzik.

    English: How’s it going, Steve… you write pretty well.

    kill l-wagt ygool nafs shee… meen hadha l-rayal? oo leish nasrif l-wagt nasma’hu?

    English: You put a lot of facts together… who are you really? You sure you’re not a professional writing? Hmm… alright bro, take it easy.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    16 December 2004

    Re(1): choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    Naw, I’m not a professional writer except in my dreams. I’m a computer geek who reads a lot and poses as a know-it-all.

    Thanks for the Arabic phrases. I like it in Arabic script. During that short time I was studying Arabic I did enjoy writing in the flowing script, though laboriously.

    Steve

  • mahmood
    16 December 2004

    Re(1): choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    that’s not nice nasser. if you have specific criticism of someone, at the very least be honest about it.

    ma afhamik ya steve… li-an ytkallam min l-tizzik.
    real translation:
    I don’t understand you Steve, because you’re talking out of your ass.

    kill l-wagt ygool nafs shee… meen hadha l-rayal? oo leish nasrif l-wagt nasma’hu?
    real translation:
    He repeats himself every time… who is this man? why do we waste our time listening to him.

  • mahmood
    16 December 2004

    Re(3): choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    You’re generalising again Steve.

  • salima44
    16 December 2004

    Re(4): choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    At the very least Nasser owes Steve an apology for the backhanded linguistic stab. If Nasser doesn’t like what Steve or anyone else is saying he can be a man and bite his tounge, or as you said Mahmood, be honest about it.

  • mahmood
    17 December 2004

    Arab Democracy

    Well, I think you haven’t been really listening or reading what has been written just in this blog for the last 18 months if your assertion that we (arabs) don’t want nor need democracy. What a completely imbecilic statement Steve and completely beneath you.

    What do you think the whole Arab and Muslim world crave other other democracy? No, Taliban and bin Laden are an abberation, not the rule that we live by.

    And although the American form of democracy enshrined in your Constitution is one of the best there is, you have to also accept that there are others more germaine to our way of life. It’s not a “one size fits all” dress.

    What you said in your comment above leaves me wondering if you really bothered to read any of the hundreds of posts here and the thousands of comments entered dealing specifically with this subject, the Arabs desire for democratic reforms.

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    Malik,

    You’re a fool if you think I’m a liar, but then bad judgement seems to be your forte.

    No, a year of Arabic thirty years ago is not enough to translate Arabic script today. What’s so hard to believe about that? I took five years of French but still had trouble understanding people on the streets of Paris twenty years after I got out of class. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

    Your wild charge that I’m avoiding people of different ethnicities is silly Politically Correct one-up-manship. I take the people who come my way. I don’t seek them out and I don’t avoid them. Most of the foreigners I meet are from Central America and eastern Europe, not Arabs. Generally, it seems to me to be a silly proposition to seek people out just because they’re different. That may be a good way to prove your Politcally Correct bona fides to other Politically Correct types, but it comes off as phony to me, like you are not really interested in them as persons but as examples of a type.

    It’s probably true that you could get by in DC speaking other languages but, as you may know, most people speak English in America. I like trying my hand at other languages when I get the chance, but I just haven’t got the chance much. Had I taken Spanish, I probably would have gotten plenty of practice.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    I’d be more inclined to accept such an invitation from a less belligerent, less reckless, more honest Muslim. I would be interested to see it, though. I’ve never been in a full-blown mosque, just a little one at the Air Force Academy.

    It’s good to hear that the extremism is denounced in the local mosques, though you are not exactly a credible source having said the Sep 11 attacks were justified, but in this very same local area were Muslim charities which supported Al Qaeda and a Saudi academy which preaches hatred of infidels.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re(4): choof, choof… Steve, bro! whatsup?!?

    Fair enough, Mahmood. There have been many honest Arabs on this board, oh heck virtually all of them are honest, and around the world in general which do indeed have integrity. Nasser just isn’t one of them.

    However, there have been quite a few Arabs who play the double game of spouting love and flowers in English while preaching bloody jihad in Arabic. Yassir Arafat was a master of that. I am also quite struck by a number of Muslim charities who did the same here in the States. There have been a number of Muslim clergy who have been caught doing the same in America. It does not speak well for them and encourages mistrust.

    Steve

  • 7alaylia
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    I am belligerant? Maybe when you lie and say I said the 9/11 attacks were justified. A straight lie. I would never, ever justify the murder of innocents, whether it is Saudis in a 747, or US backed rebels that murder whole villages in Columbia. Killing innocents is wrong, full stop. The problem is, the US never really had a problem with this until it was THEIR innocents killed. The US has been backing forces around the world for decades, with guns and money, who slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocents. This fact is why many do not justify the 9/11 attacks, but understand the anger behind them.

    It is not for nothing that America gets lower poll ratings in many non Muslim countries, including many of our “allies” than we get in Muslim countries.

    Which “Saudi Academy” are you talking about? There is a “Islamic Saudi AcademI” which is a K-12 school attended by Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Are you talking about the IIASA? Be more specific. If you are going to make claims I suggest you can at least give the proper name of the organisation you are attempting to talk about!

    If you are talking about the IIASA, I attended that place for awhile for advanced Arabic grammar. They had a speaker once who, at a different time outside the country, had made some off colour remarks. But then again, President Bush has had Robertson and Falwell at the Whitehouse, so I guess they are even.

    Malik.

  • 7alaylia
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “No, a year of Arabic thirty years ago is not enough to translate Arabic script today.”

    I challenged your claim to have taken Arabic or to be able to speak it because you could not even recognise a basic sentence, it translitered Arabic, never mind Arabic script. You remember, the post where Naseer comented in Arabic using Roman letters that you were speaking out of your ass?

    Steve writes “Your wild charge that I’m avoiding people of different ethnicities is silly Politically Correct one-up-manship. I take the people who come my way.”

    Yes, you cant be racist………you have a black friend! One can be in the most diverse area in the world and still be so closed minded that they retain their ignorance.

    Steve writes “It’s probably true that you could get by in DC speaking other languages but, as you may know, most people speak English in America. ”

    Well, that is slowly changing, and I think it is a good thing. Speaking at least Spanish is manditory in many places in the US now for employment. I think the US hang up with English only is nonsense, and it also holds back American workers on the international scene. Why hire a monoligual America when one can hire a Swede, for instance, that speaks four languages, and often better English than the American? I have personally seen Americans loose out on jobs because of this.

    Malik

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]Malik: I am belligerant? Maybe when you lie and say I said the 9/11 attacks were justified. A straight lie. I would never, ever justify the murder of innocents, whether it is Saudis in a 747, or US backed rebels that murder whole villages in Columbia. Killing innocents is wrong, full stop.[/quote]

    Malik, you need to keep track of what you say. In this case, your post justifying the Sep 11 attacks is only a few posts above your current denial.

    [quote]Malik In Previous Post In This Thread: Let me spell it out again, Americans cannot expect to be safe until their foriegn policy does not directly and indirectly result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. We, as Americans, cannot be responsible for exporting mass murder for 50 years than cry when we get just the smallest taste of what he have dished out. The only difference between Muslims that are fighting against America because of American policy and other peoples that have suffered from American policy, be it in Central or South America, or Africa, is that this time, people from the countries hit back. [/quote]

    You are quite flatly justifying the mass murders of Sep 11 in this paragraph. As with many Muslims, you try to have it both ways, saying Sep 11 was a crime while at the same time saying it was a justified response. You’re just dead wrong and the reasons you give to justify Sep 11 are pure nonsense. The US has not exported mass murder to anywhere but, quite the contrary, has fought against it, most lately in the Balkans to protect Bosnians Muslims from mass murder. Osama Bin Laden did not strike America to protest US foreign policy in the Central/South America nor Africa but to expel US “infidel” troops from Saudi Arabia (the same troops that put their lives on the line to protect SA) and to establish a worldwide Islamic empire, a Second Caliphate. It was one strike in Bin Laden’s and the Wahhabis war of religious imperialism.

    Let the readers read your comments and decide who is doing the lying here.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]Steve writes “No, a year of Arabic thirty years ago is not enough to translate Arabic script today.”

    I challenged your claim to have taken Arabic or to be able to speak it because you could not even recognise a basic sentence, it translitered Arabic, never mind Arabic script. You remember, the post where Naseer comented in Arabic using Roman letters that you were speaking out of your ass?[/quote]

    Malik, I have given you my answer. You are not responsive to it. I claimed I studied Arabic. I did. I did not claim to understand Arabic now. You invented the claim for me.

    Let me repeat, I took a year of Arabic thirty years ago and I don’t remember very much of it now. Why is that hard to believe? I took a course in geology thirty years ago and I don’t remember very much of that either.

    The fact is that you that are very aggressively misrepresenting what I said to slander me. When the record of the thread is right here where readers can see it for themselves what was said, you are simply discrediting yourself with such claims.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    [quote]Steve writes “Your wild charge that I’m avoiding people of different ethnicities is silly Politically Correct one-up-manship. I take the people who come my way.”

    Yes, you cant be racist………you have a black friend! One can be in the most diverse area in the world and still be so closed minded that they retain their ignorance. [/quote]

    I have made no such claim. You have invented this, too. Again, everyone can read what I actually said and compare it to your slander to see who’s being honest or dishonest here.

    What I’m reading here from you is irrational, heedless hatred.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    [quote]Steve writes “It’s probably true that you could get by in DC speaking other languages but, as you may know, most people speak English in America. ”

    Well, that is slowly changing, and I think it is a good thing. Speaking at least Spanish is manditory in many places in the US now for employment. I think the US hang up with English only is nonsense, and it also holds back American workers on the international scene. Why hire a monoligual America when one can hire a Swede, for instance, that speaks four languages, and often better English than the American? I have personally seen Americans loose out on jobs because of this. [/quote]

    I don’t think it’s changing at all, Malik. English is the standard language here. Breaking the US up into a babel of competing languages would impose a huge cost in efficiency and national coherence. It didn’t much help the Balkans. We’ve had immigrants arrive our entire history, just like my grandparents, speaking not a whit of English. But they learned because knowing the common language made their lives richer.

    Most jobs in the US require no knowledge of other languages other than English. Those that do tend to be rare.

    The network effect alone would guarantee that the overwhelming majority of Americans would always speak English.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: Arab Democracy

    Mahmood,

    I am convinced by reading this blog that you and the educated elite would like democracy, but it only confirmed what I suspected. I am not convinced that the uneducated hoi polloi want democracy. I haven’t seen anything anywhere to indicate that. I have seen a fair amount that convinces me they don’t. For example, after Saddam was deposed, I read accounts of ordinary Iraqis longing for Saddam or some other strongman to impose order. Now I read only 1% of the Iraqi population is registered to vote in the January elections. That doesn’t sound like they are eager for democracy.

    The danger in implementing a democracy in most Middle Eastern countries is that the fundamentalists will win the election and establish a theocracy. That doesn’t sound like a preference for democracy.

    I don’t see action to promote democracy in the Middle East like I saw in Eastern Europe. Right now, in the Ukraine they are protesting en masse to protect their new democracy. I don’t see any action like that in the Middle East to promote democracy. I know, I know, you can’t demonstrate in the Middle East, but how about in Europe?

    On the other hand, democracy seems to be off to a good start in Aghanistan, of all places. The most promising Muslim democracy of the future looks to be Iran. The basic impulse toward democracy is there. They have a pretty good chance at constructing it themselves, with little help from us, which gives them that sense of ownership. And they have to fight the mullahs every step of the way. A hard fought battle to gain the right to govern yourself is likely to be one the people won’t give up easily.

    I agree that the US Constitution is not perfectly applicable to everyone. If you took most of the Bill of Rights and universal suffrage, then mixed in what made sense locally, you’d have something worthwhile. You have to adapt to local conditions.

    But all in all, it looks like a mixed bag as far as the Middle East wanting democracy, weighted toward the negative.

    Mahmood, under that genial facade you have a little bit of a temper, don’t you? Hey, don’t let that imbecile Steve ruin your weekend. Everyone knows he’s crazy. Don’t go kicking your dogs because of him.

    As for me, I’ve found a place that serves shawarmas. I think I’ll try one of those. I may carry some barbecue sauce in my coat pocket, though, in case that shawarma needs tuning up.

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]Malik: It is not for nothing that America gets lower poll ratings in many non Muslim countries, including many of our “allies” than we get in Muslim countries. [/quote]

    Malik,

    Most polls are rigged to deliver the results their patron wanted. And really, arguing that America is wrong because it is unpopular among any given population is fallacious reasoning, specifically an argument ad populem. If a poll of Muslims revealed that they thought Jews used the blood of Muslim children to make matzos for Passover, would that make it true?

    Steve

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    17 December 2004

    Re: No More Barriers

    [quote]Malik: Which “Saudi Academy” are you talking about? There is a “Islamic Saudi AcademI” which is a K-12 school attended by Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Are you talking about the IIASA? Be more specific. If you are going to make claims I suggest you can at least give the proper name of the organisation you are attempting to talk about!

    If you are talking about the IIASA, I attended that place for awhile for advanced Arabic grammar. They had a speaker once who, at a different time outside the country, had made some off colour remarks. But then again, President Bush has had Robertson and Falwell at the Whitehouse, so I guess they are even. [/quote]

    The example of the Saudi academy here which preached hatred is the Islamic Saudi Academy described in this Washington Post story. (Malik, the blue highlighting indicates a hyperlink to the story. Click on it to see it)

    According to this article, the elementary school textbooks used there indoctrinate the kids to hate non-Muslims and Shiites; that the Day of Judgment will come when Jesus Christ returns to Earth, breaks the cross, converts everyone to Islam, and Muslims start attacking Jews. According to students, some teachers focus on hatred of non-Muslims. Says one student, they teach students it is OK to hurt kuffar [non-Muslim] or steal from them.

    In the first grade, the Islamic Saudi Academy taught that Judaism and Christianity are false religions.

    The Saudis who run the school would not allow reporters to attend classes and evidently didn’t want to show their textbooks. The Post got the descriptions of what goes on in class from students and copies of texts from them too. Obviously, they don’t want their inflammatory program publicized. The despicable school officials denied hatred is being taught or intolerant passages in texts assigned. They’re obviously lying.

    In nearby Springfield, VA, the Muslims at the Al-Qalam All-Girls School are taught that Osama Bin Laden is not guilty of perpetrating the Sep 11 terror attacks, but is a victim of American bias against great Islamic leaders.

    The duplicity and malice of the Saudi government which funds these schools and many more is astounding. The Saudis, who allow no other religion to be taught in their country, take advantage of American hospitality and tolerance to spew hatred into the minds of little children. The lesson here is that the Saudis and Wahhabis simply can not be trusted. They do not deal with America in good faith and are actively working against us in secret.

    Steve

  • 7alaylia
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “The reason we don’t demand democratic reform in Arab countries is that it has little appeal for most and no chance of success. The best we can do is maintain relations and keep a flow of their young circulating through our universities, bringing dangerous democratic ideas back to their homes, ideas that will grow and bear fruit in the future. ”

    So you buy into the idea that Arabs, for whatever reason, cannot handle democracy? I dont buy it. It would seem you havent spent much time in the area and dont know many Arabs. Arabs can and do want democracy, and they can handle it just as anyone else can. Spend some time in the area, talk to normal day to day people, and you will see the majority of people want democracy, even many of the “Islamists”.

    Malik-American-Muslim and a believer in Democracy!

  • 7alaylia
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve,

    A year of Arabic would have been more than enough to let you know the guy was saying you are full of it. It is a shame, if you really took Arabic, which I think is in question, that you forgot it all. You say you live in the DC area, you could go all day here and never speak anything but Arabic.

    I speak German, French and Arabic and have no problem keeping up with any of them here in DC, this most international of cities. Why? Because I choose to interact with people besides those just like me. That is the beauty of life, the differences. You ought to try it sometime.

    Malik-

  • 7alaylia
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “. However, there have been quite a few Arabs who play the double game of spouting love and flowers in English while preaching bloody jihad in Arabic. Yassir Arafat was a master of that. I am also quite struck by a number of Muslim charities who did the same here in the States. There have been a number of Muslim clergy who have been caught doing the same in America. It does not speak well for them and encourages mistrust. ”

    And you know this how? I am struck by how you rely on your information about the Middle East almost completely from others. Although, I must say, it is a common failing in the USA. Most so called “experts” on the Arab world and the Middle East dont speak a word of Arab and rely on others to tell them what is being said or printed. Why is this? Who could honestly claim to be an expert about German, France, or any other country and not speak the language of the area? Why is this allowed when it comes to the Middle East and Arabs.

    Take many of the people who claim to be experts on the Middle East in the west, authors like Friedman, Miller, Spencer, Lewis, and many others. The vast majority of them would have trouble asking for a falafel let alone understanding a lecture, speech, or being able to read an Arabic paper. Yet these people are passed off as experts? I think not.

    Malik

  • 7alaylia
    17 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve,

    You say you live in the DC area yet you seem to have very little knowledge about what actually happens in mosques or in Arab communities here or in the Middle East. I suggest you come to Dar al Hijrah today. It is the main mosque here in Falls Church. You can watch as the “Khateeb”, the speaker gives a “Khutba” or lecture in English or Arabic and you can see how the al-Queda types are slammed, how open and active participation in the local community is pushed.

    Far too many people read the nonsense put out by our so called ‘experts’ in the western media and believe it to be the truth, it more often than not is complete rubbish.

    Malik

  • mahmood
    18 December 2004

    Re(1): Arab Democracy

    Steve that’s an argument that we have gone through before countless times. You are not convinced and I don’t think that we can convince you. I urge you however to go back and re-read the thousands of posts on this subject.

    Steve, democracy dictates that should an “Islamist” state be borne because of direct democractic elections, then that is definitely a democracy, that is what the majority wants so you and I just have to accept that. If I don’t like it I have to fight within the democratic system to change it.

    A more serious disconnect seems to be that we cannot convince you that our ways in the Arab world are different than yours, they are even different that Iran and the other Muslim countries. We do things differently because of our heritage and our culture. It works for us. Though even with that consideration things are changing – you can take that from me. There are demonstrations almost every week about one subject or another, so much so that they provided semi-permanent crowd control fencing by the prime minister’s court! As for demonstrations for democratics reforms in Bahrain specifically, that is happneing in ways that even surpass demonstrations, they are happening in the Constitutional Court, in various seminars and workshops, in newspaper articles and the like. These methods to me anyway are much more effective than going out en mass in the streets, although it might very well come to that as a last resort.

    What you seem to want us to do is go to a ruler whose family has ruled for millenia and tell him “oi, that throne’s rental period has expired and we’re taking it back!” If we do do that then thousands if not hundreds of thousand of people are going to die unnecessarily while there are other legitimate ways of geting a monarch to cede power, and they’re doing that, slowly but surely. Because if they do not then the situation WILL come up where the people will just wrest that seat and his dynasty will come to a sudden end.

    It takes time. I personally wish it doesn’t and that I would experience utopia in the Middle East in my lifetime. That’s not going to happen.

    As for my temper, what do you expect, I am a human being!

  • [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392
    18 December 2004

    Re(2): Arab Democracy

    Mahmood,

    If an Islamist majority dismantles democracy after winning one election, that’s not a commitment to democracy. It’s just the fundamentalists exploiting a weakness in the government.

    I am convinced that the posters in this forum are for democracy. I’m not convinced that the average Abdul on the Arab street is for democracy or even understands what it is. They compose the bulk of the population. Their position is still ambiguous to me.

    I’m not really considering Bahrain when I say this stuff but rather the centers of Arab gravity like Egypt and Pakistan and Syria. I don’t expect or demand the Middle East to become East America, though I wouldn’t complain if it did. I expect it to follow its own path, or paths. What I would like to see is for Middle Eastern countries to become democratic enough that they govern themselves through law and institutions, rather than personalities. I’d like to see the populations give up their confrontational mindset against the rest of the world, ie the non-Muslim world. I’d like to see their economies developed so that they become trading partners with the US and rest of the world. I’d like to see them enjoy the same standard of living as the US.

    There are two different kinds of precedents in history for countries to convert from monarchies to democracies: liberal revolutions and conservative revolutions. The French Revolution is an example of a liberal revolution and serves as a warning of what not to do. They slaughtered tens of thousands of their own for no more reason than sustaining The Terror that kept the revolutionary leaders in charge. A long period of instability and war followed.

    By contrast, the conservative revolution of the British, a peaceful and far superior approach, reduced the monarch’s role to head of state without cutting anybody’s head off and with nary a drop of blood falling in the streets. I would think that the latter approach would be the best for Bahrain and other like countries, with a parliament steadily pressuring the monarch to retreat from absolute rule into a role as figurehead.

    Steve

  • 7alaylia
    20 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “According to this article, the elementary school textbooks used there indoctrinate the kids to hate non-Muslims and Shiites; that the Day of Judgment will come when Jesus Christ returns to Earth, breaks the cross, converts everyone to Islam, and Muslims start attacking Jews. According to students, some teachers focus on hatred of non-Muslims. Says one student, they teach students it is OK to hurt kuffar [non-Muslim] or steal from them. ”

    Odd, my son went to this school for years, I questioned him and he was never taught this. I have three friends who teach at this school and they never taught this.

    Steve writes “In the first grade, the Islamic Saudi Academy taught that Judaism and Christianity are false religions. ”

    Of course they do. Are you telling me that if you want to any local Christian or Jewish school that they would be teaching that Islam is not a “false religion”? Almost all religions teaches that theirs is the true religion and the others is false, Islam is no different. But unlike most sects of Christianity, The Qur’an guarantees heaven to Christians and Jews who live righteously. Can you tell me how many Christians think Muslims go can to heaven if they reject Jesus being the son of God? Islam is regularly slammed as being an evil religion on broadcast TV here in the USA, and believers of this idea have the ear of the president! Scarey indeed!

    Malik

  • 7alaylia
    20 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “Malik, Most polls are rigged to deliver the results their patron wanted. And really, arguing that America is wrong because it is unpopular among any given population is fallacious reasoning, specifically an argument ad populem. If a poll of Muslims revealed that they thought Jews used the blood of Muslim children to make matzos for Passover, would that make it true? ”

    Accept, of course, when the polls give you the results you want right? Why deny my use of polls, when you use other polls when their findings are convenient to you? I seem to recall you recently quoted the poll about how many Saudis support bin Laden. Make up your mind, either polls are credible or they arent. You cannot site polls to prove your point and then refuse me the same method. There is a word for this, hypocrisy.

    America is wrong in its foreign policy and the price in terms of money, and lives, both American and non-American, over the last 50 years has been monumental. The US must change its foreign policy or face unending war.

    Malik

  • 7alaylia
    20 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “You are quite flatly justifying the mass murders of Sep 11 in this paragraph. As with many Muslims, you try to have it both ways, saying Sep 11 was a crime while at the same time saying it was a justified response.”

    I never said it was justified, and you cannot find anything where I said otherwise. I said it was a crime and it was. I said the killings of civilians cannot be justified, and they cannot. What I also said is that Americans have been killing civilians by the hundreds of thousands for years, so they cannot now be surprised when it happens here. Why is killing civilians somehow worse when it happens in the USA, than when it happens in Africa or the Middle East with US money and guns? A civilian death is a civilian death, and the numbers show that the US has support thousands of times more civilian deaths abroad than what they suffered on 9/11.

    Steve writes “You’re just dead wrong and the reasons you give to justify Sep 11 are pure nonsense. The US has not exported mass murder to anywhere but, quite the contrary, has fought against it, most lately in the Balkans to protect Bosnians Muslims from mass murder.”

    The US has supported murderous regimes around the world for decades. We funded, armed and trained right wing death squads in Central and South America that killed hundreds of thousands. We are training, as we speak, right wing paramilitaries in Columbia. As to Bosnia, yeah, we helped them after 200,000 had already been killed. Years and thousands of deaths too late. Kind of like saying we went to war to keep the Holocaust from happening. Far from it, we jumped into the Bosnia conflict right when the Croats and Bosnians were having great success on the battlefield and there were fears that a Bosnian/Croat victory might cause a wider Balkan war, that is why we went into Bosnia, not to save anyone. This saving people is nonsense. We didnt go into Iraq to save people and we didnt do what we did in Bosnia to save people. 1.5 million in Rwanda, and we never thought about it, 3 million plus in Congo, we never thought about it.

    I was working in the DoD in Europe at the time of the Bosnia debacle, and our actions, or lack there of, played a major role in my resignation from the DoD. I went to Bosnia, I saw what happened. You?

    Steve writes ” establish a worldwide Islamic empire, a Second Caliphate. It was one strike in Bin Laden’s and the Wahhabis war of religious imperialism. ”

    Really? I would love to see how much of bin Laden’s speeches have to do with establishing the secon d Caliphate on how much of it deals with US policy and the policy of their Middle Eastern lackies. When you can find someone to translate the speeches for you, let me know.

    Malik.

  • tnt
    20 December 2004

    Re(1): Arab Democracy

    Dear Steve,

    The people of Arabia have been suffering from dictatorship since the death of prophet Mohammed.
    Nevertheless, there were good governments througout this long period (over 1300 years) but no real democracy was established. To be honest, all arab countries have big differences and they do not share a lot of things.

    If we talk about the history of Egypt or syria over 1400 years, we will know that they do not share the same history which is true all over the world. What really matters is justice. Egypt was ruled by good people for centuries. What happened was other neighboring Arab rulers invaded them and destroyed what was to be started as a democracy and new life. For instance, the Fatimiya State was established in Egypt and Cairo was the capital. Building of schools, industries, jobs were started but after some years of stability, Salah al Din invaded Egypt and killed the rulers.

    It is the mentality of Arabs that need to be changed. There is a problem of sects: Sunni and Shitite’s. When Arabs, as peoples and rulers*, forget their differences and look for the future, they might live happily and build good life for their coming generations.

    A 100 years ago, the Wahabi sect emerged. Its followers are rude, ingorant and terrorists.They think they know Islam the best. As Bahrainis, we suffered from their rude treatment to us when passes by their customs offices on the causway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

    In short, it is the mentality of arabs that need to be changed gradually. We should start with our selves at home. We should teach our children democracy, human respect and the beauty of life.

    * Arab rulers are not included in the human kingdom

    P.S

    Dear Steve,
    – The British grasp of democracy came through bloodshed not the conservative way you mentioned.
    Oliver Cromwell ordered the death penalty to the dicator king Arthur.

    [Modified by: Thogba (mshussein) on December 20, 2004 02:25 PM]

  • tnt
    20 December 2004

    Re(3): Arab Democracy (Sept 11 attacks)

    Dear all,

    Please do not think these wors are racist. They are just facts.

    I have this question: Why is no one of the Sept11 hijackkers a Shitie?
    Why are most of them Wahabi’s and a few Sunni’s?

    Muslims? Yes. But theythink differently. In Bahrain, most of the people who fought for democracy are Shitte’s although there are many Sunni’s. To be honest, most of the Sunni’s are secular. Religous Sunni’s do not seem to like Democracy. why?

    Democracy is not a shame. It is the future, it is the air humans should breath. It is life.

  • 7alaylia
    20 December 2004

    No More Barriers

    Steve writes “Most jobs in the US require no knowledge of other languages other than English. Those that do tend to be rare. ”

    Never been to the Southwest have you? Take a quick peak at the want adds this weekend in the Post, many jobs require bilingual(Spanish) skills.

    Besides, if you spoke Arabic or Farsi and can get a clearance you can write your own check here in the DC area.

    Malik

  • Sadek
    24 April 2006

    Tnt: “Oliver Cromwell ordered the death penalty to the dicator king Arthur.” I belive you got your facts a bit wrong – it was Charles I, not Arthur – Arthur was of the round table – his wife played footsie on the side, or so it said, with Sir something or other.

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