Thursday, November 18, 2004
Our Enemies the Saudis
Nibras Kazimi in the New York Sun:
If the Saudis had an equivalent for the 'freedom of speech' bit in the Bill of Rights, it would stipulate that all free speech is prohibited, unless it calls for jihad against the United States.
On Friday, November 5,26 leading Wahhabi clerics in Saudi Arabia issued an open declaration in the form of a religious promulgation, inciting the Iraqi people to fight the American forces. They state that the religious justifications for participating in a jihad are self-evident, and that it does not require an overall leadership to coordinate the efforts. They implore Iraqis not to inform on the insurgents or participate in the government's efforts to quell the terrorists. In this decree, the Saudi clerics beseech the Iraqis not to get embroiled in sectarian Shia/Sunni or Arab/Kurdish conflicts and to focus their wrath against the Americans and "the Jews who are infiltrating into Iraq." They call upon all Muslims to support the anti-American insurgency, and to provide alms and charity for "victorious" towns like Fallujah. Four of its 10 paragraphs read like a political memorandum to Abu Musaab Al-Zarqawi, imploring the guerrillas to project a civilized and civilian-friendly demeanor that would come in handy when administering the country once victory over the "occupiers" was achieved.
These latest religious edicts emanating from Saudi Arabia and Zarqawi's pledge of allegiance to Mr. bin Laden mark a dramatic shift in policy for the Wahhabi-Salafist alliance. Just a year ago, a Saudi medical doctor traveled to Iraq to scout possibilities for jihad, and he penned his observations is a 20-page pamphlet entitled "The Iraq We Hoped For...And the Road to Jerusalem." The author, Dr. Saud bin Hassan Mukhtar, laments the absence of Saudi money, preachers, and fighters from a scene exceptionally ripe for armed struggle against the Americans. ... But all the evidence indicates that Iraq is now the new Afghanistan as far as Al Qaeda is concerned.
And guess who signed the Saudi religious edict? Well, among the 26 names who all signed as "Sheikh and PhD" are Safar bin Abdel-Rahman Al-Hawali, 54, and Salman bin Fahed Al-Audah, 49.The activities and influence of these two as the ideological mentors of Mr. bin Laden and Al Qaeda have been well reported by the Western press. Both were arrested back in 1994 because they grew too hostile for the comfort level of the Saudi royals and were pardoned and released five years later by Crown Prince Abdullah.