by Allahpundit from HotAir
Others contend that Saudi Arabia is allowing fighters sympathetic to Al Qaeda to go to Iraq so they won’t create havoc at home... With its own border with Iraq largely closed, Saudi fighters take what is now an established route by bus or plane to Syria, where they meet handlers who help them cross into Iraq’s western deserts, the senior U.S. military officer said. “Are the Saudis using all means possible? Of course not.. And we think they need to do more, as does Syria, as does Iran, as does Jordan,” the senior officer said. U.S. officials remain sensitive about the relationship. Asked why U.S. officials in Iraq had not publicly criticized Saudi Arabia the way they had Iran or Syria, the senior military officer said, “Ask the State Department. This is a political juggernaut.”
Monday, July 16, 2007
by Allahpundit from HotAir
by Mike Cobin from WISH-TV News 8
Debate over the amendment comes as Lugar says U.S. troops are facing a reinvigorated Al-Qaida and the Bush administration is trying diplomacy. "Our amendment makes more specific the need to talk to the Saudis, to the Syrians to the Iranians, to others who are probably putting people into Iraq now who are a threat to the country," Sen. Lugar said. "More Al-Qaida may be coming in from Saudi Arabia into Iraq to be troublesome to U.S. Perhaps so, all the more reason for Secretary Gates and Secretary Rice to get out there rapidly," Sen. Lugar said.
from Agence France Presse
Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticised some madrassas in Pakistan for teaching violent extremism yesterday, as he forgave a teenager who said he was sent across the border to carry out a suicide attack ... Some Pakistani madrassas have been accused of sponsoring religious violence, a legacy of Afghanistan’s 1979-89 Soviet occupation when some seminaries, with US and Saudi funding, became training camps for Islamic holy warriors. New US intelligence reports say Pakistan has failed to contain Taleban and Al Qaeda insurgents who are hiding out in rugged areas along the border with Afghanistan.
by Lavina Melwani from Little India magazine
While researching her book, Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam, Asra Nomani visited Saudi Arabia, which was an eye-opener for her ... Being brought up as an Indian Muslim was always tied to the experience of living with different faiths and an openness to other viewpoints. Says Nomani, "I feel we've now slipped backward - growing up, there wasn't any divide. Wahhabi ideology seems to imply that Indian Muslims are not authentic, but I believe when we practice this kind of tolerance and pluralism we are more authentic to Islam's ideals."
by Curtin Winsor, Jr., from ON LINE Opinion
The United States has largely eliminated the infrastructure and operational leadership of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network over the past five years. However, its ideological offspring continue to proliferate across the globe. American efforts to combat this contagion are hamstrung by the fact that its ideological and financial epicentre is Saudi Arabia, where an ostensibly pro-Western royal family governs through a centuries-old alliance with the fanatical Wahhabi Islamic sect. In addition to indoctrinating its own citizens with this extremist creed, the Saudi Government has lavishly financed the propagation of Wahhabism throughout the world, sweeping away moderate interpretations of Islam even within the borders of the United States itself. The Bush Administration has done little to halt this ideological onslaught beyond quietly (and unsuccessfully) urging the Saudi royal family to desist. This lack of resolve is rooted in American dependence on Saudi oil production, fears of instability in the kingdom, wishful thinking about democracy promotion as an antidote to religious extremism, and preoccupation with confronting Iran.
by Haley Hughes from The Aiken Standard
"There is no separation of church and state in Saudi," Moffett said. "The religion is Islam. Period. Period." Saudi is ruled by crowned King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Suad, the fifth son (of 37) of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Suad to ascend to the throne. Decisions are made by him; he has almost absolute power. King Abdullah belongs to the Al Suad tribe, which is entirely composed of family. The next king of Saudi Arabia will belong to the Al Suad tribe as power is passed down. "There is tremendous tribal loyalty," Moffett said. The majority of Saudi citizens are Sunni Muslims, which means they adhere to the interpretation of Islam taught by the Salafi or Wahhabi school. The royal family are Sunni Muslims. Only a very small percent of Saudis are Shia, considered the under privileged of society.