Three-quarters of young Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa view extremist groups, such as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, as entities that distort the religion of Islam and its core teachings, a new survey has found.
The poll, conducted by Zogby Research Services, commissioned by The Futures Initiative at the Abu Dhabi-based Tabah Foundation and released on Tuesday, surveyed 5,374 Muslims between the ages of 15 and 34 in eight Arab countries—Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia—in October and November.“At least three-quarters of millennial respondents in all countries surveyed” see ISIS and Al-Qaeda as “either a complete perversion of Islam’s teachings or mostly wrong,” the survey says.
The countries with the highest number of Muslims who opposed the radical Islamist groups as twisting Islam were Morocco with 92 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 92 percent and Egypt with 83 percent. The lowest of the eight countries surveyed were Saudi Arabia with 53 percent and the Palestinian territories with 58 percent.
The survey found that many held corruption and autocratic regimes as the primary reasons for the rise of extremist groups.
Almost 70 percent of those polled in the UAE and 50 percent in Morocco said “corrupt, repressive, and unrepresentative governments” were the main recruiting factors for men and women joining such groups. Other factors cited by the polling group in its results included extreme religious education as well as poor levels of education.
It also showed that the majority of young Muslim millennials believed that their societies require more active female religious scholars and found Friday sermons to be a tirade, boring or the position of the government, Arab outlet Gulf News reported.
“In most countries, the majority says that religion does not need to be reformed” but rather that it “needs to be made more relevant,” company leader James Zogby said in a statement released alongside the survey results.
I fully expect this however, I’m sure the writer of the article is approaching this from a Eurocentric view. Saudi Arabia, the oil drenched monarchy is an anachronistic, despotic backward society so full of irony that it is hardly recognizable from it’s glorious Islamic past. It touts itself as the guardian of the two mosques in Mecca and Medina with all the attendant pomp and ceremony yet denies its citizens and the Muslim expatriate community that lives there the basics one comes to expect from “society” of freedom of thought, association, human dignity. Is it any wonder that those most affected by this encroachment on their life choose to abandon what they consider responsible for their plight
In this country known as the cradle of Islam, where religion gives legitimacy to the government and state-appointed clerics set rules for social behavior, a growing number of Saudis are privately declaring themselves atheists.
The evidence is anecdotal, but persistent.
“I know at least six atheists who confirmed that to me,” said Fahad AlFahad, 31, a marketing consultant and human rights activist. “Six or seven years ago, I wouldn’t even have heard one person say that. Not even a best friend would confess that to me.”
A Saudi journalist in Riyadh has observed the same trend.
“The idea of being irreligious and even atheist is spreading because of the contradiction between what Islamists say and what they do,” he said.
The perception that atheism is no longer a taboo subject — at least two Gulf-produced television talk shows recently discussed it — may explain why the government has made talk of atheism a terrorist offense. The March 7 decree from the Ministry of Interior prohibited, among other things, “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”
The number of people willing to admit to friends to being atheist or to declare themselves atheist online, usually under aliases, is certainly not big enough to be a movement or threaten the government. A 2012 poll by WIN-Gallup International of about 500 Saudis found that 5 percent described themselves as “convinced atheist.” This was well below the global average of 13 percent.
But the greater willingness to privately admit to being atheist reflects a general disillusionment with religion and what one Saudi called “a growing notion” that religion is being misused by authorities to control the population. This disillusionment is seen in a number of ways, ranging from ignoring clerical pronouncements to challenging and even mocking religious leaders on social media.
“Because people are becoming more disillusioned with the government, they started looking at the government and its support groups as being in bed together and conspiring together against the good of the people,” said Bassim Alim, a lawyer in Jeddah.
“When they see the ulema [religious scholars] appeasing the government,” he added, “people become dismayed because they thought they were pious and straightforward and just. “
“I believe people started being fed up with how religion is really controlling their life and how only one interpretation of religion should be followed,” said activist Fahad AlFahad.
Together, the appearance of atheists, a growing wariness of religious controls on society, as well as the continuing lure of jihad and ultraconservatism signal a breakdown in the conformity and consensus that has marked the Saudi religious field in the recent past. It is becoming a more heterogenous and polarized faith scene.
“The mosques are full but society is losing its values. It’s more like a mechanical practice, like going church, you have to go on Sunday,” said a former employee of state media. “We no longer understand our religion, not because we don’t want to. But because our vision of it, our understanding of it, has been polluted by the monarchy…[and]…by the official religious establishment that only measures religion by what the monarchy wants and what pleases the monarchy.”
The growing skepticism about religion and clerics is more visible nowadays because of social media outlets, including tweets, blogs and Facebook pages.
Here are three illustrative tweets from Saudis:
— Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahad has been tweeting nonstop abt God. I pity his disconnectedness from today’s public. It’s not the 1980′s. Pathetic
— Because our illusion that our version of Islam is the only correct one needs to be washed away
— Could the ulema issue a fatwa against domestic violence? I mean the fatwa committee has prohibited playing Resident Evil
At the same time, however, there is a countervailing trend in that some young Saudis are joining radical Islamist and jihadi movements, a trend reinforced by the war in Syria.
“When the Arab Spring started, young religious people were asking about Islam and democracy,” said Saud Al Sarhan, director of research at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh. “But now they are just asking about Islam and jihad, after what is going on in Syria.”
This attraction towards militant ultraconservatism is also apparent in the activities of unregulated religious vigilantes. Even as the government’s own religious police have come under stricter controls, these bands of young religious “volunteers” attack social gatherings to stop what they deem as prohibited activities, including music, dancing and gender mixing. In one famous incident in 2012, these “volunteers” raided the annual government-sponsored cultural festival known as Janadriya, where they clashed with security forces.
It is still dangerous to publicly admit one is an atheist because of the dire punishment one can face from a court system based on sharia, which regards disbelief in God as a capital offense.
In addition, conservative clerics who have considerable sway among Saudis, use the label ‘atheist’ to discredit those who question their strict interpretations of Islamic scriptures or express doubts about the dominant version of Islam known as Wahhabism.
That is what happened with 25-year-old Hamza Kashgari who in 2012 tweeted some unconventional thoughts about Prophet Muhammad, none of which indicated he did not believe in God. Still, he was called ‘atheist’ and to appease the religious establishment, the government jailed him for 20 months.
Also, Raef Badawi, in his early 30s, was accused of being atheist because he called for freedom to discuss other versions of Islam besides Wahhabism on the website “Free Saudi Liberals.” Badawi was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in July 2013. His lawyer, Waleed Abu Alkhair, a human rights activist who also has been jailed, said Badawi told the court that he was a Muslim but added that “everyone has a choice to believe or not believe,” the BBC reported.
A Riyadh resident who has extensive contacts with young Saudis because of his job in higher education said that he “tries to warn young people that they are living according to an Islam constructed by the government, and not according to the Islam given us by God.”
Increasingly, he said, some youths “are going to ignore religion and become atheist, while others are going to understand the game.”
In an earlier post, I railed against Saudi racism because of its insidious and destructive as well as anti-Islamic nature. One point from the editorial that particularly caused my ire was this
…. in most Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia most foreigners rarely interact with locals and if they do, they communicate in a language, which is a mix of badly spoken Arabic and sign language. It could be termed gibberish.
I found this video on YouTube which completely demolishes the argument of the author of that piece.
I regretfully conclude however, that no matter how good the person in the video above speaks Arabic he will never be given the chance for full and equal citizenship rights in any Arab Gulf/Khaleeji country because he’s not a ‘true Arab’. Doesn’t that sound too much like all the other racists ideologies we’ve fought and overcome in the past?!?
The following editorial is not unique to Saudi Arabia, rather it’s an Arab Gulf mentality that is steeped in tribalism and nationalism and from the looks of the comments generates intense feelings among many of the people who live there. I remarked after reading it, what would the king of Abyssinia or the people of Medina say to the nascent Islamic community that came to them seeking shelter from the oppression of the Quraish; would there even be an Islamic community if they were not afforded freedom from oppression that all mankind is entitled? If these two diverse communities of faithful….the Christian king of then Abyssinia or the at that time faithless people of Medina (Yathrib) had not been forthcoming with this fundamental right would there even be a Saudi Arabia today? Of course one could not know that….but equally certain, the all encompassing faith of Islam cannot coexist with the racialism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Read on and then take time to read the comments posted after the article
Since the beginning of the campaign against illegal workers, some foreigners who were born in the Kingdom or spent years working here have started calling on the authorities to consider granting them Saudi citizenship.
Those born in the Kingdom argue that they have spent most of their lives here, speak Arabic and adapted to its culture. They say it would be very difficult to adjust in their home countries.
This sounds to be a valid argument if one was born in a developed industrialized nation. In those countries, a foreigner makes efforts to assimilate in society by learning local languages and adapting to its ways of life.
However, in most Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia most foreigners rarely interact with locals and if they do, they communicate in a language, which is a mix of badly spoken Arabic and sign language. It could be termed gibberish. Moreover, almost every ethnic group lives nearly in complete isolation from the rest of the local community, and other ethnic groups. Every group lives in self-designated neighborhoods busy with its communal activities. For instance, Ethiopians mostly inhabit Riyadh’s neighborhood Manfouha.
In such neighborhoods, there are community schools that only teach their own curriculum instead of using Saudi textbooks. The students only engage with those from the same ethnic background and are deprived of any possibility of interacting with Saudi children. Moreover, communal activities are limited to the same group, including social visitations and functions, as well as religious celebrations, such as Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. These communities even have their medial care and business systems, which cater specifically to their needs. How could a person living in such a social and economic setup hopes to become a Saudi, not to mention if that person is living illegally in the country?
On the other hand, there are those who claim that they have lived long years in the country enough to earn the right to Saudi citizenship. But for decades they have taken away jobs that rightfully belong to the Saudis and yet they demand citizenship.
In my opinion, it would be a grave mistake to grant foreigners Saudi citizenship on any basis. These demands run counter to the objectives of Saudization of the labor market, which is controlled by foreigners with skills that can be found among the local population or Saudis can be trained to occupy these jobs.
Observers may recall that when the new naturalization law was introduced a few years back, the naturalized citizens were flocking to government’s financial institutions seeking loans of all types and to even avail themselves of the benefits of Hafez, a program that provides monthly stipends to the unemployed. One can obviously conclude that the primary purpose for seeking citizenship is to acquire monetary benefits rather than a genuine sentiment of belonging to the Saudi society. We have seen in the past that thousands of foreigners succeeded in obtaining Saudi citizenship and most of them started their businesses in various areas. Interestingly, when one visits their establishments, one would find people belonging to their native countries only.
This situation has been exacerbated by the investment law that permitted foreigners with almost trivial financial resources to invest in projects that have no added value to the economy or in the employment of Saudis. Nevertheless, they are eligible to receive all economic benefits. One of the consequences of opening doors to foreign investors is that they began operating as monopolies. Ubiquitously known among Saudis, each ethnic group controls a particular type of trade, and does not like outside competition. When a Saudi decides to start a new business, such groups work to drive this person out of business or force him to sell his business project to the group. Moreover, these ethnically dominated businesses only hire staff belonging to the same group. In case they hire a Saudi national, it is because of the labor law, and eventually this person would be driven out of his job by creating uncomfortable environment or by alienating and undermining his skills and potentials.
The local press frequently reports the same methods being practiced by most foreigners at managerial or mid-level positions in the private sector. It is not hard to imagine what such elements would do to Saudis if they were granted citizenship.
The Saudi education system and various training programs have produced thousands of competent graduates for the job market. They can easily occupy most of the managerial and mid-level jobs currently occupied by individuals from the developing countries. Hence, the cause of the massive unemployment of Saudis is not due to a lack of skills; it is because of an unfriendly environment and the continuous undermining of the skills and potentials of the Saudi youth by foreigners, pushing them away from their rightful jobs.
When I first read the news headline that Saudi Arabia declined a seat on the United Nations Security Council my first reaction was who cares? Citing the UN’s inability to solve the Syrian conflict and how Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime continues to kill its one people, including with chemical weapons, without facing any punishment Saudi Arabia has some nerve. Syria opened itself up to inspection in ways the Kingdom would never dare do; chemical weapons are no longer an issue there and yes Syria is still embroiled in a civil war but it’s really a matter of degree. What Middle Eastern Arab country is NOT killing or otherwise oppressing its citizens? Fareed states the case rather well.
Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan until the 9/11 attacks……
Saudi Arabia’s objections to the Obama Administration’s policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a pervasive anti-Shi’ite ideology. Riyadh has long treated all other versions and sects of Islam as heresy and condoned the oppression of those groups. A 2009 report from Human Rights Watch details the ways in which the Saudi government, clerics, religious police and schools systematically discriminate against the local Shi’ite population, including arrests, beatings and, on occasion, the use of live ammunition. (And not just the Shi’ites. In March 2012, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti issued a fatwa declaring that it was “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.”)……
Saudi royals have been rattled by the events in their region and beyond. They sense that the discontent that launched the Arab Spring is not absent in their own populace. They fear the rehabilitation of Iran. They also know that the U.S. might very soon find itself entirely independent of Middle Eastern oil.
Given these trends, it is possible that Saudi Arabia worries that a seat on the U.N. Security Council might constrain it from having freedom of action. Or that the position could shine a light on some of its more unorthodox activities. Or that it could force Riyadh to vote on issues it would rather ignore.
The US must learn to say to all those in the Middle East that America will act to preserve its interests and sometime they will not concur with those of our allies in which case we must be able to say good riddance, so long and if an ally has a conniption fit because America is doing something that ally doesn’t like the US must stay the course of whatever interest it has embraced, all others be damned.
- US, Saudi Arabia Differ on Tactics, Agree on Goals in Syria (voanews.com)
- Why phone call threatens longtime US-Saudi alliance (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
Women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been asking for the right to drive for sometime and it culminated in a recent protest whereby they took to the wheel of vehicles and drove them without official permission. However, such protests aren’t without some risks to those involved or for those who might tacitly support the protest.
Hisham Fageeh, a Saudi-American made a video whose timing coincides with the women’s protest but I leave it up to you whether it is in support of the protest or of the government’s position on the subject of women as drivers. No doubt Fageeh is well aware of how the Kingdom handles dissent or the ridiculous lengths the monarch goes to persuade women NOT to want to drive. I’m a bit incredulous but does driving really damage women’s ovaries?!?!
At least 16 Saudi women have received fines for taking the wheel on a day set by activists to defy the kingdom’s traditional ban on female driving, police and reports said on Sunday.
Only few women braved official threats of punishment and drove on Saturday in response to an online campaign headlined “Women’s driving is a choice”.
“Police stopped six women driving in Riyadh, and fined them 300 riyals (Dh293.67) each,” said the capital’s police deputy spokesman, Colonel Fawaz Al Miman.
Each of the women, along with her male guardian — who could be a father, husband, brother, uncle, or grandson — had to “sign a pledge to respect the kingdom’s laws”, Miman told AFP.
In Jeddah, police also fined two women for driving, according to the Red Sea city’s police spokesman, Nawaf Al Bouq.
Saudi newspapers, meanwhile, reported that six women were stopped by police in the Eastern Province, and at least two others were stopped in other parts of the kingdom.
A dozen Saudi women posted videos on the Twitter account of the campaign, @oct26driving, showing themselves driving.
Activists had originally issued a call on social media networks for women across the kingdom to drive their cars on Saturday to challenge the ban.
Some say they received telephone calls from the interior ministry asking them to promise they would not drive on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the ministry said it would act against anyone who attempts to “disturb public peace” by congregating or marching “under the pretext of an alleged day of female driving”.
The next day ministry spokesman General Mansour Al Turki told AFP: “It is known that women in Saudi are banned from driving and laws will be applied against violators and those who demonstrate in support” of this cause.
Activists say Saturday was chosen as a “symbolic” date as part of efforts first launched more than a decade ago to press for the right to drive.
The absolute monarchy is the only country in the world where women are barred from driving. Public gatherings are officially banned.
……and the beat goes on.
While the world waits for its major super power to default and throw international economies into a tailspin, Muslims the world over are celebrating the festival for the annual pilgrimage, or Hajj. Over two million Muslims participated this year, 2013 and to them and Muslims the world over, congratulations on the occasion of eid al-adha.
- Muslims Worldwide Celebrate Holy Festival Eid al-Adha (novinite.com)
- Holy Festival of Eid al-Adha – Celebrated (acenewsservices.com)
- Eid Al-Adha – Six Facts About Eid (visual.ly)
THE SAUDI MARATHON MAN
A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn’t alone; a hundred and seventy-six people were injured and three were killed. But he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in “a startling show of force,” as his fellow-tenantsdescribed it to the Boston Herald, with a “phalanx” of officers and agents and two K9 units. He was the one whose belongings were carried out in paper bags as his neighbors watched; whose roommate, also a student, was questioned for five hours (“I was scared”) before coming out to say that he didn’t think his friend was someone who’d plant a bomb—that he was a nice guy who liked sports. “Let me go to school, dude,” the roommate said later in the day, covering his face with his hands and almost crying, as a Fox News producer followed him and asked him, again and again, if he was sure he hadn’t been living with a killer.
Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word “suspect”? After the bombs went off, people were running in every direction—so was the young man. Many, like him, were hurt badly; many of them were saved by the unflinching kindness of strangers, who carried them or stopped the bleeding with their own hands and improvised tourniquets. “Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood,” President Obama said. “They helped one another, consoled one another,” Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said. In the midst of that, according to a CBS News report, a bystander saw the young man running, badly hurt, rushed to him, and then “tackled” him, bringing him down. People thought he looked suspicious.
What made them suspect him? He was running—so was everyone. The police reportedly thought he smelled like explosives; his wounds might have suggested why. He said something about thinking there would be a second bomb—as there was, and often is, to target responders. If that was the reason he gave for running, it was a sensible one. He asked if anyone was dead—a question people were screaming. And he was from Saudi Arabia, which is around where the logic stops. Was it just the way he looked, or did he, in the chaos, maybe call for God with a name that someone found strange?
What happened next didn’t take long. “Investigators have a suspect—a Saudi Arabian national—in the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, The Post has learned.” That’s the New York Post, which went on to cite Fox News. The “Saudi suspect”—still faceless—suddenly gave anxieties a form. He was said to be in custody; or maybe his hospital bed was being guarded. The Boston police, who weren’t saying much of anything, disputed the report—sort of. “Honestly, I don’t know where they’re getting their information from, but it didn’t come from us,” a police spokesman told TPM. But were they talking to someone? Maybe. “Person of interest” became a phrase of both avoidance and insinuation. On theAtlas Shrugs Web site, there was a note that his name in Arabic meant “sword.” At an evening press conference, Ed Davis, the police commissioner, said that no suspect was in custody. But that was about when the dogs were in the apartment building in Revere—an inquiry that was seized on by some as, if not an indictment, at least a vindication of their suspicions.
“There must be enough evidence to keep him there,” Andrew Napolitano said on “Fox and Friends”—“there” being the hospital. “They must be learning information which is of a suspicious nature,” Steve Doocy interjected. “If he was clearly innocent, would they have been able to search his house?” Napolitano thought that a judge would take any reason at a moment like this, but there had to be “something”—maybe he appeared “deceitful.” As Mediaite pointed out, Megyn Kelly put a slight break on it (as she has been known to do) by asking if there might have been some “racial profiling,” but then, after a round of speculation about his visa (Napolitano: “Was he a real student, or was that a front?”), she asked, “What’s the story on his ability to lawyer up?”
By Tuesday afternoon, the fever had broken. Report after report said that he was a witness, not a suspect. “He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” a “U.S. official” told CNN. (So were a lot of people at the marathon.) Even Fox News reported that he’d been “ruled out.” At a press conference, Governor Deval Patrick spoke, not so obliquely, about being careful not to treat “categories of people in uncharitable ways.”
We don’t know yet who did this. “The range of suspects and motives remains wide open,” Richard Deslauriers of the F.B.I. said early Tuesday evening. In a minute, with a claim of responsibility, our expectations could be scrambled. The bombing could, for all we know, be the work of a Saudi man—or an American or an Icelandic or a person from any nation you can think of. It still won’t mean that this Saudi man can be treated the way he was, or that people who love him might have had to find out that a bomb had hit him when his name popped up on the Web as a suspect in custody. It is at these moments that we need to be most careful, not least.
It might be comforting to think of this as a blip, an aberration, something that will be forgotten tomorrow—if not by this young man. There are people at Guanátanmo who have also been cleared by our own government, and are still there. A new report on the legacy of torture after 9/11, released Tuesday, is a well-timed admonition. The F.B.I. said that they would “go to the ends of the earth” to get the Boston perpetrators. One wants them to be able to go with their heads held high.
“If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil—that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid,” President Obama said. That was mostly true on Monday; a terrible day, when an eight-year-old boy was killed, his sister maimed, two others dead, and many more in critical condition. And yet, when there was so much to fear that we were so brave about, there was panic about a wounded man barely out of his teens who needed help. We get so close to all that Obama described. What’s missing? Is it humility?
It all started with my tweet on Thursday evening that said
and the article linked to was rather detailed and explicit in its explanation at how the end of the month of fasting is arrived. And no, I really don’t want to rekindle the calculations vs. sighting debate that ravages the Muslim world on the occasion of the two biggest celebrations of the Muslim calendar. The determination for when to start and end the month should be one made by the community as much as by consensus of the world-wide Muslim community. There really is no such thing as a pan-Islamic organization or movement despite what the Islamophobes may say or think.
I have noticed however, that a lot of Muslim communities like to tie their observance of these two Eids with the countries in the Arabian peninsula for reasons I don’t entirely understand but for those of you who do, then this is the definitive announcement for you for Eid al-Fitr for 2012. Eid will be observed on Sunday, August 19 in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. No doubt the other GCC countries in the peninsula will mark their celebrations on the same day, although there is no official announcement to that effect as of the time of this post. It’s also important to note some where in the global community Muslims may decide to celebrate Eid on Saturday, 18 August or on Monday, 20 August and to them this message is the same. To the millions of Muslims fasting and waiting for the Eid celebration let me congratulate you on completing an arduous task at a very difficult time of the year. I hope it was spiritually rewarding for you and equally important I hope that your prayers and fast are answered and accepted.
- Eid Al Fitr Mubarak (desertpeace.wordpress.com)
- All About the Eid Al-Fitr Celebration: Rulings, Etiquette, and Sunnah (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- EID AL – FITR….. the count Down (mimiiluv.wordpress.com)
To all the Muslim readers of Miscellany101, Ramadan kareem. It has been officially announced that the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar will begin fasting on Friday, July 20. To those in other parts of the world, no matter when you begin fasting, may it be spiritually and materially rewarding for you.
That’s what people in the US military are being taught
The US military has been offering a course which teaches that its enemy is Islam in general, suggesting a Hiroshima-type massacre to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina in what can be seen as another instance of promoting Islamophobia in the United States.
he course, titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” was offered five times a year since 2004, with about 20 students each time, meaning roughly 800 students have taken the course over the years before it was removed in late April after protests.
“They [Muslims] hate everything you [Americans] stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, the Associated Press reported.
The college, for professional military members, teaches mid-level officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war. Dooley, who still works for the college, also presumed, for the purposes of his theoretical war plan, that the Geneva Conventions that set standards of armed conflict are “no longer relevant.”
“This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable…),” Dooley said.
His war plan suggests possible outcomes such as “Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation…Islam reduced to cult status,” and the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia “destroyed.” In his July 2011 presentation on a “counter-jihad,” Dooley asserted that the rise of what he called a “military Islam/Islamist resurgence” compels the United States to consider extreme measures, “unconstrained by fears of political incorrectness.”
A copy of the presentation was obtained and posted online by Wired.com’s Danger Room blog. The college didn’t respond to requests by the Associated Press for copies of the documents, but a Pentagon spokesman authenticated the documents. Dooley also refused to comment to the AP, saying “Can’t talk to you, sir,” and hanging up when reached by telephone at his office Thursday.
This is not the first such incident as only last year the FBI was forced to discontinue a lecture that was hostile to Islam. The instructor of the course had told agent trainees in Virginia that the more devout a Muslim is, the more likely he is to be violent.
The report comes less than two months after the US forces, in a blatantly Islamophobic act, burned the copies of the Holy Qur’an and other Islamic materials at the US-run Bagram Airbase in the province of Parwan in northeastern Afghanistan.
Islamophobia is systematically promoted and financially supported in the United States. An in-depth investigation into Islamophobia carried out by the Center for American Progress in the United States dubbed as ‘Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America’, sheds light on the collective efforts of the Zionist groups funded by the United States in pedaling a hatred for and a fear of Islam in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points.
According to the report, these wealthy donors and foundations also provide direct funding to anti-Islam grassroots groups.
The project of Islamophobia which has cost more than $40 million over the past ten years has been funded by seven foundations in the United States: 1. Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation; 2. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; 3. Newton and Rochelle Becker; 4. Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust; 5. Russell Berrie Foundation, Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald; 6. Family Fund; 7. Fairbrook Foundation.
I’m looking at all the people responsible for this hate and see a lot of them with the word Family in their names. You’ve got to wonder how much family and family values have to do with hating a group of people because of their religious preference. Someone once suggested that Islamophobia closely resemble anti-semitism in nature and I’d have to agree. The raw hatred promoted by such propaganda within the ranks of the US military makes it easy to see why and how atrocities which we’ve witnessed in Afghanistan and earlier Iraq can be so easily swept under the carpet, or not reported at all.
A pox on both the American and Israeli houses really for accepting the Israeli condition that no Muslim workers employed at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington,DC be allowed to assume their regular responsibilities while an Israeli delegation roomed there earlier this month. The regime in Israel is quite clearly racist in its attitude towards Arabs and especially Palestinians, of any religious persuasion it should be noted, but the fact that America has bankrolled Israel and legimitized it’s racism with huge amounts of cash….subsidizes it’s racism would be a more accurate depiction, does not mean that such overt racism should be accepted towards Americans here in America. The fact that it is reveals just how deep and intrinsic racism still is in America. No manager of any hotel chain should have passed along the demand that a co-worker would not be allowed to perform his jobs because of ethnic or racial prejudice but not only was a Mandarin Oriental hotel manager able to give that command with a straight face but then used it against Muslim employees as a form of racial harassment and intimidation. While America may not be able to get at an Israeli delegation for their racism, job place racism in America is illegal, and all involved at the Mandarin should be fired.
But it shouldn’t stop there. It’s clear Israel has a willing partner in the Mandarin with its racism, so any and all who oppose racism and bigotry should refrain from booking or using the Mandarin Oriental chain any further, or as long as it hosts luminaries like the Israelis who make illegal demands on the establishment. If the Mandarin isn’t willing to send a clear signal to the Israelis that it won’t tolerate its racist practices, then the public, companies and corporations should in no uncertain terms, let it be known it will not tolerate the bastardization of American law with Israel’s mythology. And less you think it was all about security as the smokescreen that’s now being erected points too, one of the Muslims told not to do t heir job, previously worked in and around the President of the United States, George Bush. Are the Israelis better than him, or more worthy of protection?
And finally, I get a kick out of how people who manage to escape the arrows of racism feel comfortable somehow that they are not an intended target. If a group from Saudi Arabia were to demand that no Jewish employees of any hotel, mall or hospital come into contact with Saudi royalty there would be banner headlines bigger than ones Miscellany101 could generate here demanding federal government reprisals against a client state so outrageous in its demands while pocketing billions of dollars in US military hardware and largess. No such hue and cry has risen in this case. Racism is like cancer, once it starts in one part of the body, left unchecked it affects all of the body devouring its host quickly and methodically. The purveyors of racism are equally methodical. So the next several times when the Israelis come to town and make their racist demands about Muslims and non-Muslims feel smug that such things won’t be said to or about them, remember the cancer analogy for it won’t be long when an Israeli team will come to town and demand only Jewish employees of this or that place establishment be allowed to work with them, and what will we do then? Boycott the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain all good people of faith and citizenship.
- DC Hotel: No Muslims Allowed, When the Israelis Are Around (humanrights.change.org)
- “Law to Keep Jews and Arabs Apart” and related posts (dissidentvoice.org)
There are only a very few people who are acting responsibly concerning the veil worn by some Muslim women especially in European countries. Caroline Spelman, a Conservative Party member in the UK is one of them. While I don’t know much about the Conservative Party in England, if it’s anything like American Conservatives, this woman, Spelman is quite progressive in her thinking.
“I don’t, living in this country as a woman, want to be told what I can and can’t wear.“One of the things we pride ourselves on in this country is being free, and being free to choose what you wear is a part of that, so actually banning the burka is absolutely contrary I think to what this country is all about.
“I’ve been out to Afghanistan and I think I understand much better as a result of actually visiting why a lot of Muslim women want to wear the burka.
“It is part of their culture, it is part of understanding that they choose to go out in the burka and I think those that live in this country, if they choose to wear a burka, should be free to do so.
“You have to understand the actual culture and it was probably only when I went there and spent some time amongst women that I really understood that for them it’s a choice.
“For them the burka confers dignity, it’s their choice, they choose to go out dressed in a burka and I understand that it is a different culture from mine but the fact is in this country women want to be free to choose whether or not to cover their heads, whether or not to go out in the morning wearing a burka, that’s for them.
“We are a free country, we attach importance to people being free, and for a woman it is empowering to be able to choose each morning when you wake up what you wear.”
It goes without saying she’s been slammed by members of her own party, but the essence of what she’s saying, the freedom to choose shouldn’t be lost on those secular countries that say the same thing about a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, for example, or what career she aspires to, etc.
For Muslim women living in the West who would like to wear the face veil or niqab who have any reservations or doubts about doing so comes this word from the primeval Islamic source, Saudi Arabia
if Muslim women are in a country that has banned the niqab, or full-face veil, or if they face harassment in such a place, “it is better that the Muslim woman uncovers her face.”
Numerous scholars of various Islamic schools of thought agree on this point, Qarni said.
But he, Qarni, is not the only one saying this. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has made similar pronouncements, and there is spirited discussion on Muslim forums about this issue. Of course given the opportunity, most governments would love to define their constituents in the manner that is appealing to the majority or that would ensure government office holders remain in power…and “choice” really has nothing to do with that, it’s consensus or expediency that matters. This is the attitude of western secular countries that tout one type of choice for women that is liked by a majority of them….abortion for example, but deny another type of choice not so popular. Muslim countries don’t consider choice at all; rather it’s tradition that carries the day. In traditional Muslim countries, it is up to women themselves to make their case for their choices and most likely it will have to start from the top down. Grass root movements simply don’t exist in many traditional countries. What is most interesting to this observer is two prominent Muslim countries, most notably Syria and Egypt, have said the niqab is not allowed either in public or by woman who work in government jobs, thereby placing themselves on equal footing with their brethren governments from the West; common ground found on the backs of women’s rights or lack thereof. Sad.
The Islamophobic rantings of a mentally challenged press along with the help of a few well placed idiots in the Muslim world continues unabated. The two news items below have taken the sublime to the level of ridiculous. First off, the so called female virginity-faking device is really a condom, not a device, that a man would have to wear before it could serve its purpose of making the wearer think his wife is a virgin. The explanation of how this condom works is
The product……. consists of a flexible, open-ended sheath (like your regular Trojan), but is outfitted with an additional burstable pouch “containing a red colored fluid simulating blood.” The pouch is constructed from a weaker material than the condom itself so that the blood compartment “ruptures during sexual intercourse, while the sheath remains intact.” Unlike your standard translucent condom, this prophylactic is meant to be made from a dark material to help conceal the red liquid stored inside. If all goes according to plan, the man straps on the condom before sex, the woman appears to bleed during intercourse, and nobody is the wiser.
Naturally, if the man wants a virginal bride on his wedding night, he won’t be the one purchasing this “device” but rather the woman, and if Egypt is a society where even men aren’t too disposed to purchase condoms it’s even more unlikely a conniving bride would do so, unless she enlists the help of a male relative, but then the secret would be out of the bag, wouldn’t it? Who and how then does anyone benefit from such a “device” under these circumstances? You don’t have to be an expert in condoms to figure too that the condom you’re putting on has liquid in it and not be more than a little curious what that liquid is, wouldn’t you? Frankly it’s an obsessed West who loves taking pot shots at Islam and its “spokesmen” like Mr. Abdul Mouti Bayoumi who loudly proclaims the death penalty for anyone importing the $15 buck a piece device into Egypt, making themselves and the religion of Islam irrelevant. Men unfortunately must bare some responsibility in this charade played out by all parties, East and West. The notion that virginity is a prized attribute of a wife is noble, as it should be for the goose as well, but human physiology and science can sometimes get in the way of that ideal, especially when bleeding is not always the outcome for females in an initial sexual encounter, for varied reasons. It certainly shouldn’t be the goal of men who love their spouses and want to equally and legally enjoy their sexuality with them. The objectification of women into “bleeders” and breeders then is as abhorrent as the insane heights a racist press goes into demonizing marginal characters like Mr. Bayoumi who make no real contribution to their societies. It’s kinda like picking on the village idiot who can neither read nor write in order to score points and amuse a crowd of spectators. It’s not only pointless but inhumane and immature.
The second story that piqued my interests was the anal bomber story out of Saudi Arabia. According to the press, this terrorist implants explosives and a detonator in his anus, arranges a meeting with a high ranking Saudi official, waits for an extended period of time to see this official, goes through a myriad of security checkpoints (or does he?) and detonates the device only to slightly wound his intended target! All that trouble and he didn’t succeed, through no fault of his own or of the target?!?!? I still am at a loss how he was able to keep a chemically solvent explosive ready for detonation in such a sensitive area of the body, and of course it raised all sorts of concerns how this would affect airport security and keep the state from anal terrorist bombers lurking in bathrooms of airports the world over, stuffing themselves with bombs. You can be sure the requirements for screening at airports will change for the worse for passengers/consumers, becoming more invasive. It seems government gets off on exploiting the dangers terrorism poses to society, making such high tech devices as image scanners mandatory instead of optional as they are currently. However, back to the anal bomb story, it seems according to Saudi authorities it wasn’t wedged in the bomber’s anus but rather in his underwear. That’s not comforting either, since if it’s true the explosives were in an article of clothing that should have been discovered by a pat down, social sensitivities be damned. Finally, the scenario goes the culprit was standing next to his target who was only slightly injured if at all if you take this account into consideration, though he, the bomber was seen exploding in a flash of light. I’m still trying to figure out how that happens, unless the Saudis are really stretching the meaning of “slightly” or not injured to new heights. Along with the assertion the bomb wasn’t in the anus as the last link above seems to imply and the fact that the Saudi prince did NOT have the bomber searched seems to point more to Saudi incompetence and negligence than to the ingenuous anus of an al-qaeda member. Check out the picture of the bomber, dismembered amidst an almost totally destroyed room. My point, another media story which focuses on the ridiculous and salacious shows just how irrelevant media has become in its attempts to scare and disgust you.
I found this confession story interesting in light of all the talk about what is and is not torture and how legitimate it as an information gathering method. Take a look and see if you’re persuaded:
Mitchell, 44, said yesterday that he was tortured into confessing crimes that he did not commit. He was arrested in 2000 after Christopher Rodway, a British engineer, had been killed in the first attack and his wife injured.
Mitchell said he was made to stand for nine days with his hands chained above his head and prevented from sleeping.
He added that each night he was tethered hand and foot and suspended with a metal bar behind his legs to expose his buttocks and the soles of his feet. He also claimed he was beaten with an axe handle until he gave the answers his jailers were looking for.
He said: “It went on and on. I used to consider myself a strong person but everybody has their breaking point. I was alone and in pain and if it wasn’t me being beaten it was others and I could hear their screams.”
He eventually confessed to being part of a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. “It was a ridiculous story, but that was what they wanted,” he said.
Now finish the story and say whether you still agree that you have to do what you have to do to get information on terrorist activity, even it means torture.
Mitchell said: “The turf war did not exist. That was made up by the Saudi secret police to justify their own existence.”
He was locked away in solitary confinement for almost a year before he saw a lawyer.
When he eventually was given access to a legal representative he discovered he had already been sentenced to death without a trial. No evidence other than his confession was ever brought forward.
If we condemn such acts of barbarity, as we should, let’s not stop at the Saudi gate!
This latest news story is an excellent example of how religion is used by a ruling class to oppress people. It has all the elements of brutality, nationalism and ignorance that have characterized all religions but in this millieu, especially Islam.
The brutality of giving a 75 year old woman 40 lashes is apparent and obvious; that she is not Saudi and neither are at least one of the two men accused with her is troubling. Perhaps the Kingdom is signifying to its Syrian neighbors, through this Syrian national, that attempts at peace with Israel are counterproductive? But the ignorance, so profound so steeped in irrational behavior is the most troubling aspect. One of the young men, and we’re talking about men 24 years old, is considered by Islamic law her son, because she breastfed him while he was an infant, which means she can legally be alone with him; the fact that the “court” didn’t allow this information because they claim it was unsubstantiated while at the same time allowing the hearsay allegation of the father of the same young man that the defendant was corrupting his son is incredulous!
I hope there is more to this story; I hope that her case is settled immediately and Mrs. Sawadi is spared the humiliation of Saudi ignorance. It is truly from the “where do they find these people?” files.