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Home Archived Newsletters Newsletter - December 15, 2009

Newsletter - December 15, 2009

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Issues Demand Solutions

Commentary by Dr. Ali Alyami


Jeddah Flood Tragedy

Director’s Comment: The Jeddah flood disaster (November 25, 2009) happened in part because of the rampant and crippling corruption, the total absence of accountability and transparency that permeate every aspect of Saudi public and private life, especially at the very top. But that’s not the whole picture. The Jeddawis (residents of Jeddah) are not considered pure Arab blood because they did not descend from the central desert wasteland of Arabia; and worse, they refused to succumb to the disdainful, deadly Wahhabi ideological dogma and rejectionist nomadic way of thinking. This is partially the reason Jeddah has no drainage or sewer systems, even though the city is and has long been a center of trade and educational enlightenment. One can only imagine how jubilant the religious establishment (the Mufti and the Ulama Higher Council) must have been when they heard of the Jeddawis floating atop and under piles of human waste and debris of their destroyed dwellings. In their malevolent minds, the r eligious or un-religious men and their handlers believe that God has spoken.

One had hoped that an independent and fearless committee would be formed to get to the bottom of the root causes of this preventable disaster. Instead, a group of insiders (the ones who should have been investigated) are appointed to find someone to blame instead of taking responsibility and paying the price for their failures and betrayal of those whom they are supposed to be serving and protecting. How could anyone expect this investigative committee to follow the trail to wherever it would lead: the top managers and their partners in sharing the skimmed loot?

Khalid Al-Faisal is an intelligent man and, from what I have heard and read, a progressive thinker. He should have appointed independent men and women from universities, minorities, media, engineers, independent businesses and above all, from those mostly affected by the tragedy, to expose and bring the predators to justice. This would have shown the world that the country is moving forward and yhat those who exploit and play with citizens’ lives cannot escape justice even, or especially, if they are members of the ruling elites.

Finally, Jeddah is the oldest and most progressive and prosperous trade center in the country, and had been for centuries before the country was founded. Modernizing its infrastructure, strengthening its businesses and preserving its rich history should have taken precedence over building new commercial cities and spending billions on building a university that most Saudis will never see, let alone study in, the King’s “dream come true university.” The people of Jeddah and the rest of the country deserve better treatment than this. It’s their right, their money and their country. It’s not too late for the King and Khalid Al-Faisal to reverse things and do the right thing.
Read Original Article

Blame the Wrong People

Director’s Comment: Muslims, through their governments’ controlled media and highly paid religious clerics and apologists at home and abroad, paint Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance and equality and expect the world to accept such argument when it contradicts everything on the ground. Arab and Muslim states and communities are the least tolerant of religious differences, women and minorities are marginalized in the name of religion, democratic values and individual liberty are considered antithetical to Islam and its Shariah law and non-Muslims are considered heretics, infidels and unbelievers. As stated in the attached article, Muslims demonstrate against and boycott products of countries that criticize Islam, but none take to the street when suicide bombers destroy other peoples’ (Muslims and non-Muslims) lives and property. Read Original Article

Cycle of Social Violence

Director’s Comment: Women and children in Saudi society are normally the victims of household physical, psychological and verbal violence committed by husbands, fathers and older male siblings. Now the same abusers are the targets of violence by blood relatives of abused women. The attached article shows that the majority of married Saudi men are being physically abused by brothers of abused women. Ironically, some of these males who seek revenge for their abused sisters are married and more likely treat their wives in the same manner their sisters are treated. They probably beat them and in some cases kill them if caught flirting or just talking to non-relative males, http://www.al-madina.com/node/157156. This may explain the reason why 57% of married Saudi men complain about physical abuse by their wives’ relatives. Violence begets violence. Saudi religious, judicial and political structures consider violence a panacea for all deviations from what a few men see as acceptable to their ways of t hinking and not in agreement with what they perceive to be right or wrong. Standardized violence is institutionalized and used generously by the Saudi government and its agencies. Flogging in public squares is a common practice for most activities, from hallucinating sorcerers to orange thieves. The number of lashes to which the convicted are sentenced is up to the mood of the religious judges. Arbitrary public beheadings are frequent and very highly publicized. Judges consist of religious men who are said to be among the biggest abusers of power, women and children because they feel God entrusted them with justice and moral values. Read Original Article

"Women's sport is sinful"

Director’s Comment: Saudi clerics are against women’s sports because they feel jumping and moving could affect women’s virginity. “Football and basketball are sports in which you have to move a lot and jump, and this could damage a girl’s hymen,” Sheikh Abdullah al-Manea, a member of the high council of religious scholars recently warned. The religious establishment’s institutionalized control over people’s lives, especially women’s, is responsible for many of the social ills that are propelling the country toward religious extremism, violence, unrest, intolerance and terrorism. It’s inconceivable that the religious establishment could do much of anything without the instruction and blessing of the government, especially the Ministry of Interior whose boss, Prince Naïf, oversees the religious police and had said that as long as the kingdom exists the religious police will too. Read Original Article

Judicial or Terror System

Director’s Comment: Contrary to the positive image of his lagging Kingdom that King Abdullah is presenting to the world, the Saudi system continues to reinforce its repressive foundation: Rule by fear and intimidation. Being one of the most censored and watched (spied on) people in the world, there is nothing the Saudi people can do without being discovered by one of the government’s multiple spying agencies and omnipresent informants. Once people are caught violating one of the countless unnatural and inhumane taboos, especially gender relationships, they are sent to the government’s Wahhabi religious courts where rules are made on the spot by judges who sentence people horrendously and without legal representation. One of the Saudi Wahhabi religious judges’ favorite verdicts is flogging people in public squares regardless of the nature of the crimes they are accused of. In less than a month a Saudi woman reporter was sentenced to 60 lashes (pardoned by the King) for doing her job, a seventy ye ar old man from Ghana was sentenced to 600 lashes for boasting (hallucinating) of being a Messiah and the attached article states that a Saudi man was sentenced to 300 lashes for having lunch with a woman he was not related to in a public restaurant. None of these people hurt anyone or posed any dangers to society, national security or economic interests. They were accused of religious insensitivities as interpreted by extremist religious clerics who happen to be judges. Read Original Article

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