Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mapping Shari'a in America: Why SANE?

From Dave Gaubatz at The Conservative Voice

What makes matters worse, is that one of the most radical and virulently violent sects of Islam, the Salafists or more derogatorily referred to as Wahhabi’ists (named after the sect’s founder as if to suggest his approach was an innovation and that he was not appropriately submissive to Allah, Mohammed and the traditions which developed subsequently), principally situated in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, are financing and providing the leadership for the vast majority of the mosques and Islamic day schools in the US. As a result, we have a well-developed and highly reticulated network of quite militant religious Muslim leaders directing a reservoir of “moderate” Muslims who can be energized almost at will. This is especially true among the young, restless, Muslim men who scorn their parents’ effort to be accepted by the American establishment and their Christianized ways (i.e., tolerance of pluralism; Sunday off work rather than Friday; socializing with non-Muslims, as just a small sampling of their list of grievances) ... Look for my periodic reports from the field at

Guess who won't be coming to dinner?

From Donna Marie Artuso at the Edmonton Sun

Hosting a State Dinner is one of the highest compliments the President of the United States can pay a leader of another country -- and invitations to these elaborate, white tie events are highly prized in official Washington. Sadly for the socially and politically ambitious, President George and Mrs. Bush have largely eschewed the hosting of state dinners since taking office in 2000 ... It was particularly disappointing therefore, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia this month cancelled a state dinner being planned in his honour, citing a "scheduling conflict." The unmistakable insult coincided with a sharp escalation in the king's criticism of the war in Iraq.

Gates Says U.S. Will Sell Advanced Bombs To Saudi Arabia

From Ryan R. Jones at All Headline News

Israel fears Saudi's possession of the weapons will erode its qualitative military edge in the region, and has argued that if the current regime in Riyadh is overthrown - not an uncommon occurrence in the Middle East - the highly-accurate Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs could reach the hands of extremists. Gates sought to allay the Israeli concerns, insisting that Washington remains committed to the Jewish state's military edge over neighbors that have three times tried to destroy it.

Attacks on Vice Cops ‘on the Rise’

From Arab News

[Saudi Arabia] Attacks by the public against officials of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice are on the rise, according to a report published by Al-Watan daily yesterday ... The commission is charged, among other things, with the task of enforcing the segregation of men and women, who are not related by blood or marriage ... The paper said attacks against the religious police included shootings and stabbings. The government has rejected calls to disband the commission, which has been subject to increased public criticism in recent years for overzealous efforts to enforce the rules.

Saudi to probe jail beating caught on mobile phone

From Reuters

Video images captured on mobile telephones and published on Web sites in recent days showed a guard whipping two prisoners, who appeared to be teenagers or in their early 20s, with what looked like plastic tubes. A second guard was involved. "They did it as a form of meting out fatherly discipline, like teachers do in schools, but it was individual behaviour that we cannot accept," Interior Ministry prison chief Ali al-Harthi told Reuters. "They have been suspended pending an investigation."

Saudi’s heart stops after court allows daughters to marry

From AFP the ultra-conservative kingdom need the consent of a male guardian ... In July 2002, a local social study found that the number of unmarried women in Saudi Arabia was expected to jump to four million in 2007, compared to 1.5 million in 2002. Large dowries demanded by fathers are believed to be a major cause for the increasing number of unmarried women in the Gulf state, where Saudi nationals account for some 17 million out of a total population of around 22 million.

Desert Fever

From Strategy Page

Bosnia is experiencing increasing tension between Bosnian Muslims and what the Bosnians call "Wahhabis." Wahhabi Islam is the sect preferred by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have funded many mosques throughout the world. Bosnia has increasingly been the scene of conflicts between Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) communities and radicals influenced by Wahhab clerics. Bosnia is fighting back, and recently stripped some 367 "foreign born" Bosnians of their citizenship. Most of these guys had fought with Bosnian Muslims in the 1992-95 war. It appears that the individuals involved are suspected of being involved in Islamic terror organizations.

Eugene Jarecki’s Juvenility

From Nicholas M. Guariglia at Global Politician

Bogeymen like Paul Wolfowitz are vilified for their support of democratic dissidents in authoritarian states, whereas the seemingly sober Eisenhower administration and women like Kwiatkowski are given an ethical pass –– as if geopolitics has anything to do the military-industrial complex at all. Promoting ideas like secular constitutionalism and women’s rights in the face of Wahhabi fundamentalists or Iranian fatwas is “destabilizing” –– as if the stability of an autocracy and genital mutilation is a worthwhile goal. Ms. Kwiatkowski went on, reprimanding me in a paternalistic manner, suggesting I, like her, concentrate on international relations issues “more relevant to (her) own concerns, values, more important for (her) own life and prosperity.” For some odd reason, she didn’t seem this cavalier on film.

John McCain’s Finest Hour

From Nicholas M. Guariglia at Global Politician

We have yet to seriously deal with this war as a regional manner –– weaning off the Saudis and openly calling for the internal downfall of the Islamic Republic of Iran would be a nice start –– but by most accounts, despite continued violence, the surge of additional forces and the tweaking to the rules of engagement in Iraq is bringing about early favorable results. This new strategy places less emphasis on the seek-and-destroy policy of the past and focuses primarily on protecting the civilian population (to defang Iran and al Qaida-provoked sectarianism). Neighborhood by neighborhood in Baghdad this is working quite unlike previous attempts (Operation Forward Together, etc.). Where violence is up –– across the city outskirts –– it is because we are directing the narrative of the killing by taking the fight to Shi’ite militiamen and nihilist criminal Wahhabi hooligans.

How a British jihadi saw the light

From The Sunday Times

The students to whom I described life in modern multi-ethnic Britain could not comprehend that such a world of freedom, away from “normal” Saudi racism, could exist. Racism was an integral part of Saudi society. My students often used the word “nigger” to describe black people. Even dark-skinned Arabs were considered inferior to their lighter-skinned cousins. I was living in the world’s most avowedly Muslim country, yet I found it anything but. I was appalled by the imposition of Wahhabism in the public realm, something I had implicitly sought as an Islamist.