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Home Archived Newsletters Newsletter - November 11, 2009

Newsletter - November 11, 2009

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Destabilizing Trends

Commentary by Dr. Ali Alyami


Religious Belief or Lack of Options?

Director’s Comment: Contrary to the article below, Dr. Nadal Hassan had many options available if he seriously objected to going to Iraq or Afghanistan. He could have refused deployment and been court martialed, he could have claimed status as a conscientious objector or he could have fled the country. He could have claimed insanity, or even taken on a different identity and fled to another state to live in anonymity. According to his medical colleagues, he became a religious extremist who condemned non-Muslims on many occasions.

In the past, he has described suicide bombers as heroes. He went to work the day he massacred his colleagues (people he is supposed to help) in his Muslim clothing, mind you that he is a major in the U.S. military. (Even in Saudi Arabia, military personal must wear military uniform when on duty). Some eyewitnesses’ accounts have reported that he prayed first and during his murderous rampage was screaming “Allahu Akbar.” How could anyone say that he is not driven by religious hate? Simply put, he is a jihadist murderer. He could have gone to Iraq or Afghanistan and defected to his Muslim brethren if he did not want to be a U.S. citizen, rather than gunning down people that trusted him and looked to him for medical help.

Does anyone really believe that if the U.S. withdraws from Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of Arab and Muslim countries that Muslim terrorists and religious jihadists would cease to exist? Do you think religious incitements against non-Muslims and Muslim minorities would stop in Saudi mosques and schools? Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to its holy shrines. From what we hear, religious extremists, (Albeia’h Althallah or deviants) and large amounts of weapons are apprehended and confiscated frequently. Saudi Arabia is protected by the West from external (and internal) threats, so why are the Saudis not grateful for such services? To rid the world, especially Muslims, of religious extremism, terror, and destruction is to empower people, especially women, and to rectify the colossal historic mistakes that have plagued Arabs and Muslims for decades and centuries. The rule of law must replace the rule of men because this is the only way to protect everyone’s rights , dignity and freedom of choice.
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Honor Killings

Director’s Comment: CDHR denounces the murder of Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, by her Iraqi slaughterer father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 48, in Peoria, Arizona on October 20, 2009. According to the article, the father “struck her and a friend with his car because she had become too Westernized.” Westernized or not, women in Arab and some Muslim traditions are murdered, like this innocent 20-year-old, because they are considered inferior, irrational, and the property of men. They have no legal or religious protection under the Arab and Muslim theocratic and autocratic ruling-for-life dynasties and their pre-modern institutions.

Alarmingly, the majority of honor killings take place in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, countries considered U.S. allies. We encourage U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation to prevent Arab and Muslim men from coming to America before they denounce cultural and religious diseases like honor killings and the oppression of women. American democratic values and defense of the voiceless and powerless must not be compromised under the feeble pretext of tolerance, especially of cultures and religions that denounce individual liberty, freedom of choice, lifestyle, beliefs, and worship.

We agree with President Obama’s powerful victory speech in November, 2008: “And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.” We agree and urge the President and lawmakers at the national and state level to uphold America’s empowering values at home and make them the cornerstone for our relations with Arab and Muslim autocratic ruling elites regardless of the consequences.
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Unintended Consequences of Gender Segregation

Director’s Comment: Draconian polices, marginalization of half of society, and an unnatural imposition of one gender’s will over another as it is in Saudi Arabia, the most segregated society in the world, results in the opposite of what is hoped for. By forcing women to cover up from head to toe, rain or shine, and by denying them the right to drive, work and the ability to become mobile and economically self-reliant in the guise of protecting them, most Saudi men and their pre-modern institutions and mentality are driving women to seek “safe love” and support from one other. Because of severe gender segregation, even at home in some cases, and men’s religious prerogative to marry as many as four wives, some Saudi women are forced to reach out to each other in order to respond to some of their human and natural needs. Given their situation, who can blame them? “Sex life is a disaster between Saudi men and women, and everyone knows the men play around. The level of betrayal is extraordinarily hig h. So after a time you think, ‘Why not with another woman?’ It is a great way to have revenge,” said Mashael. She went on to say, “In this society, you are mad if you have an affair with a man. With a woman it is safe. No one can question why you spend an evening at home together. You can go shopping or go out to eat with a woman. You can have a conversation. You can have friendship. You are two individuals with your own rights and personalities. You are not an object, the mere possession of someone else.” Read Original Article

Silencing Critics of Islam

Director’s Comment: In its efforts to silence critics of Islam, the Mecca-based Organization of Islamic Congress, or OIC, (which represents 53 Muslim countries) is facing an uphill battle, waged especially from democratic and free societies. Islam (or the way it’s being used as a political tool by autocratic and theocratic Arab and Muslim regimes) has been under microscopic scrutiny by Western and some Arab and Muslim media since September 11, 2001. Many Muslim scholars have joined non-Muslims in lively debates about whether the interpretation of the Quran and Shariah law needs to be revisited and reinterpreted in view of the dramatic evolution of human knowledge, especially during the last five hundred years. Not only Muslim scholars, but many mainstream Muslims, especially educated women, men, and minorities, are questioning the way their religion has been used to oppress and keep them behind the rest of the world politically, socially, economically and scientifically. Many Muslims are also de fecting from Islam all together. Read Original Article

Increasing Instability

Director’s Comment: Never in its recent history, if ever, has the autocratic Saudi ruling dynasty been more threatened by external and internal factors than it is now. Due to internally rising expectations and unrealized hopes and objectives by the mostly disenfranchised population, especially youth, regional geopolitical and military development, and palace discord, the Saudi ruling elites have found themselves facing many expected, but ignored, difficulties that they are not prepared to handle, or in some cases, accept. Internally, the majority of the Saudi population is below 30 years of age. The younger generation has grown up with computers, internet, satellite TV, Blackberrys, and cell phones and has very little connection with the past and what Saudi institutions and the ruling elites represent.

Most Saudi youth, both men and women, have had some education, yet are unemployed and aspire for better things in life, like their counterparts in the region and around the world. Many people, including U.S. diplomats, see Saudi youth as a ticking bomb that could explode at anytime. A glimpse of such a reality took place on September 23-24, 2009, when hundreds of young men, some below 18 years of age, embarked on a destructive rampage in Alkhobar city, located in the oil-rich Eastern Province. As expected, the Saudi authorities rounded them up and flogged them in a public square.

Regionally, mortal threats come from the last Saudi-Wahhabi regional arch-rival, Iran, with its Shiite majority, the democratization of Iraq (which also has a Shiite majority), and from Iran’s empowered proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Al Qaeda in Yemen. In addition, at the time of this writing, Saudi Arabia is engaged in a war in the Yemeni tribal region across the Saudi southern border. There, Yemeni rebels, known as the Huthis, have been involved in a bloody conflict with their central government, whom they accuse of discriminatory policies because of their Zaidi (Shiite) religious orientation. Iran and Hezbollah are accused of aiding these fierce tribesmen; consequently, the Saudis are reported to be indirectly aiding the ill-equipped and poorly trained Yemeni military against the rebels. With the help of Pakistani military personnel, the Saudis began direct heavy air strikes against the Huthis in response to what the Saudis claim to be Huthi intrusions into S audi Arabia via the Saudi-Yemen border. This could increase support for the Huthis from Yemenis and others, including Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, which would destabilize Saudi Arabia even further.
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Islam and Terrorism

Director’s Comment: The head of the Saudi based Organization of Islamic Congress, the OIC (which consists of 53 Muslim countries), said that, “Islam is known to have stigmatized terrorism as a heinous crime and wanton outrage.” We totally agree with the secretary general of the OIC, Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in that terrorism is evil and if not stopped, non-Muslims as well as Muslims will continue to die at the hands of more often than not, Muslim conceived, hatched, incubated and nurtured religious terrorists. Not only that, but a proactive approach may lead the international community to obliterate the institutions that breed terrorists and their financiers, whether they be groups or states. What is Ihsanoglu doing or planning to do to in an effort to eradicate the root causes of religious intolerance and its byproduct, terrorism? Most of the 21st century’s deadly terrorists are Muslims. A majority of these terrorists are born, reared and educated in Muslim homes, schools and mosques.

We propose that Ihsanoglu hold a conference for all Muslim Muftis (the highest religious authorities in Muslim states), heads of religious schools, influential Imams, Fatwa issuers, and deans and presidents of schools and universities to declare that member countries of the OIC that refuse to prevent the teaching of religious intolerance, incitement against non-Muslims, and Muslim minorities must be declared terrorist states. In addition, he should recommend a new interpretation of the Quran and the Shariah law which many Muslim scholars have been intensely debating, most especially in recent years. The achievement of these important steps will go a long way in saving the lives and livelihood of Muslims and non-Muslims.
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"Secularism is the Solution"

Director’s Comment: Religion is a belief and must be left to the individual to decide which path to take. As elucidated in the attached article, Iyad Jamaluddin, an Iraqi cleric, correctly said, “A person can be a religious authority or an erotic singer, but both are human beings and the secular system protects the freedom of all people.” As a cleric and Shiite, Mr. Jamaludine knows very well that using “using Islam as a source of legislation is harmful to both religion and legislation.” Not only is it harmful to use religion as a tool of discrimination, oppression, and rejection of individual liberty and the right to choose, but will destroy Islam itself; “Preserving Islam can only be achieved if a distance is kept between religion and politics. Using religion will only tarnish Islam and do great harm to its image and will push people towards abandoning it.”

The reason Mr. Jamaluddin can speak of such a sensitive topic so freely is because he lives in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, where political parties, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression are protected, unlike the case in the rest of the Arab world, with the exception of Lebanon. For the first time in their history, the Iraqis are free to speak their minds and not lose their heads, as would be the case in their neighboring countries, specifically Saudi Arabia and Syria. This is the reason why Arab regimes are trying to torpedo this hatchling Iraqi democracy for which the Iraqis have paid and continually pay a high price in the hands of the enemies of democracy and its empowering values.
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