Monday, May 7, 2007

Report: Saudis, US sponsoring covert action against Iran

From Michael Roston at

The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States are working with other states in the Middle East to sponsor covert action against Iran, according to a report in this month's edition of The Atlantic. The report also suggests that covert attacks may occur against Iran's oil sector ... Last fall, he writes, "Rice and her colleagues in the administration decided to embark on a daring and risky third course: a coordinated campaign, directed with the help of the intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates... The bill for the covert part of this activity, which has involved funding sectarian political movements and paramilitary groups in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, is said to amount to more than $300 million. It is being paid by Saudi Arabia and other concerned Gulf states"

Christians live in dread as new, local Taliban rises in the north

From Chris McGreal at The Guardian

Sharia came to Kano on a wave of popular support in northern Nigeria among voters who hoped it would curb rampant corruption. The state introduced a form of religious police to enforce dress codes, ban the sale of beer and impose a bar on male-driven motorbike taxis carrying women. Earlier this year the national government won a court ruling disbanding the religious police as illegal, to the fury of more radical Islamists. Sheikh Adam, a Saudi-educated member of the strict Wahhabi sect, was among those who also accused state governments of watering down sharia law, saying that politicians had hijacked a populist issue to get elected but then neutralised it in a classic Nigerian way: the Kano administration established a series of commissions and councils to oversee sharia, gave them large budgets and co-opted many clerics, who bought new cars and bigger houses.

Iraq and the rise of conservative Islam

From A'an Suryana at The Washington Times

The attack on Iraq may only exacerbate deep-seated suspicions of Western values and lead them to turn toward other values, which included conservative Wahhabi values promoted by the Saudi Arabian government. Amid an aggressive Saudi approach, including scholarships provided to Middle Eastern and Egyptian universities, Indonesians are increasingly shifting toward the right as shown by the growing popularity of women wearing a veil and the tendency of young people to give greater support to the conservative parties, including the Justice and Prosperous Party (PKS).

PA officials: al-Qaida attacked school

From Khaled Abu Toameh at the Jerusalem Post

Witnesses told The Jerusalem Post that at least 70 Muslim fundamentalists participated in the attack on the Omariya School, where UNRWA and PA officials were attending a celebration ... Local residents and PA security officials said the attackers belonged to a new al-Qaida group identified with Salafism - a school of thought that takes the pious ancestors [Salaf] of the patristic period of early Islam as exemplary models. Salafism is a branch of Islam that is often referred to as Wahhabi - a derogatory term that many adherents to this tradition avoid using.

“Ethnic Americans”, Oklahoma Style

From See-Dubya at

I mentioned my buddy in Tulsa, Michael Bates, in another post about pro-Islam, and possibly pro-Wahhabi, TV programming. He found that there were some Wahhabi ties to the majority of a panel on OETA (Oklahoma’s PBS affiliate) production of “Islam in Oklahoma.” In following up as to how that might have come about, MB noticed that one of the panelists was also on Governor Brad Henry’s “Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council“.

Blog Announcement: Back from Break

I'm back from a two-week break during which I was married. Now back to business...

Two Allies, Two Perspectives

From Lawrence Uniglicht at the Israel Hasbara Committee

Two allies, tangibly and in spirit, due to divergent circumstances, in today’s world, exercise their democratic rights differently, Israel aggressively, America for the most part more passively. Additionally, each nation views the other’s leaders with different perspectives and degrees of relevance. Israelis, in general, view America as their most essential ally and are more comfortable with President Bush and his entourage of White House leaders than are the majority of Americans. Israelis ignore, for one, the Bush family’s cozy relationship with the Jew-despising Wahhabi madrassa financing Saudi royal family, focusing instead on verbal assurances given and proactive stands taken in support of their besieged nation.

Iran v. The Saudis: Their Proxy Wars Rage in Iraq and Across the Muslim World

From Peter Brookes at The Conservative Voice

Naturally, both countries are spending billions on military modernization; the Saudis will spend $60 billion over the next several years. Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons while claiming it's a "peaceful" program; the Saudis are now looking at developing "peaceful" nuclear energy of their own. Sure, the Saudis and the Iranians have met a few times over tea to make amends recently, but the signs aren't good. The rivalry is most likely only to intensify.