Monday, July 23, 2007

Radicals On The Rampage

by Ronojoy Sen from The Times of India

It must, however, be acknowledged that since 9/11 the bulk of suicide attacks have been carried out by Islamic groups, particularly the Al-Qaida. What distinguishes Islamic extremists from other terrorists is their belief that martyrdom will ensure rewards in the after life. Does that mean Islam is hardwired to produce suicide terrorists? Obviously not. What it means is that intolerant strains of Islam - be it Wahhabi or Salafi - are fuelling much of Islamic extremism. From 2001 to 2004, University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape compiled data on 71 terrorists who killed themselves. Of these, over half were from Saudi Arabia. A recent LA Times report says nearly 50% of all foreign militants targeting US security forces and civilians in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia.

Ripples of Retreat

by Victor Davis Hanson from National Review

It is easier to envision post-democratic Iraq as a tripartite badlands: a shaky Kurdistan living under the fear of alternate invasion from either oil-hungry Turkey or an ascendant Iran; a Sunni Anbar serving, like Waziristan or Somalia, as a terrorist haven, effused with Wahhabi money and sharia courts; and an Arab Shiite rump state of Iran, residing in safety under an Iranian nuclear umbrella, that would be the convenient jumping off point for Shiite insurgents in the Gulf States. The sorting out of populations into these various enclaves would be messy and bloody, if not like the Pakistani partition of 1947, at least akin to what we saw in the Balkans during the 1990s.

The Fatah-Hamas Conflict: Roots and Implications

by Menahem Milson from MEMRI

For the Saudi regime, however, the prestige earned by the Islamic Revolution in Iran posed a problem. In their view, it is the House of Saud, the Defender of the Two Holy Places - Mecca and Medina - true Islam, in accordance with the Wahhabi doctrine.To this end, they invested billions of dollars through Islamic charities in order to build mosques and religious seminaries (madrasas) throughout the world Although this process cannot be quantified, its effects have become evident in far-flung Muslim communities, ranging from Manchester to San Diego, from Durban to Copenhagen. One of the beneficiaries of the Saudi largess was Hamas ... 9/11 was a turning point for the Saudis in a very specific sense: They came to realize that their twenty-year campaign of Islamic resurgence had spun out of control and was turning against them, but it's too early to render a final verdict on it. On the home front, the Saudis are very earnestly and ruthlessly combating domestic Islamist terrorism. They have also sided with Abu-Mazen against Hamas in Gaza. However, at the same time, they support Sunni terrorists attacking Shi'ites in Iraq. The same paradox is evident in the fact that members of the Saudi royal family fund the leading liberal Arab electronic media, but these media are blocked in Saudi Arabia itself. And so on.

Conspiracy kingdom

by Harry Nicolaides from The New Statesman

Riyadh is honeycombed with black markets in pirated goods, arms and munitions, drugs and alcohol. There are more guns in neighbouring Yemen than there are people; most of these guns can be purchased openly at markets and then smuggled across the border. Kalashnikovs, grenades, rocket launchers are bought by Saudis for recreational use at their desert camps, where they also chase African ostriches and hoon around on muscular quad bikes ... Did you know that the 11 September 2001 attacks didn't really happen? Yes - this is the view of a number of (Saudi) students in my advanced English communication class. I am shown a documentary which purports to show that the official explanations of 9/11 simply do not support the evidence of eyewitness accounts and film footage. Explanation? The CIA created an elaborate hoax as a pretext to start the "war on terror".

The Persistence of Islamic Slavery

by Robert Spencer from

Besides being practiced more or less openly today in Sudan and Mauritania, there is evidence that slavery still continues beneath the surface in some majority-Muslim countries as well -- notably Saudi Arabia, which only abolished slavery in 1962, Yemen and Oman, both of which ended legal slavery in 1970, and Niger, which didn’t abolish slavery until 2004 ... A Saudi named Homaidan Al-Turki, for instance, was sentenced in September 2006 to 27 years to life in prison, for keeping a woman as a slave in his home in Colorado. For his part, Al-Turki claimed that he was a victim of anti-Muslim bias. He told the judge: “Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit. The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors."