Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28-Aug-12: Gasp: House of worship turns out to be a weapons factory... in Saudi Arabia

Here's something to file away for the day when, inevitably, we find ourselves under fire from rocket-firing terrorists basing themselves in residential neighbourhoods and/or hospitals and/or schools and/or places of religious worship.

Today's edition of Arab News carries an article calling for the authorities (that would of course be the Saudi authorities) to step up their monitoring of places of worship. This comes in the wake of the shocking (who could possibly believe it?) discovery that a mosque in Riyadh, the Saudi capital and its largest city, had been serving as a front for a weapons manufacturing plant and terrorist activity.

Saudi scholars "demanded deterrent punishments to those who exploit the spiritual atmosphere in mosques to promote chaos in the country", according to the Al-Madinah daily yesterday (Monday).

A prominent member of Saudi's Fiqh Academy says "Officials concerned should also investigate why some expatriates are unofficially undertaking duties at mosques. They should also launch campaigns and raids at such mosques.

In fact, agents of the Saudi Interior Ministry carried out what can only be imagined happening outside the Arab world: an unannounced raid that Arab News calls a "successful preemptive strike" against the Riyadh bomb makers and their "heinous deeds" (their term). Just imagine the reaction to a pre-emptive strike against a weapons-making center hidden away inside a Brooklyn mosque, a London mosque, a Haifa mosque.

The Arab News report goes through a list of Islamic worthies and their serious warnings about how really bad all of this is in terms of Islam's doctrines.
  • The head of Islamic studies at the Umm Al-Qura University calls it "a matter of deep pain for all Muslims, especially students and teachers of religious knowledge". 
  • The head of the Mecca branch of the International Islamic Relief Organization told parents and teachers "to protect their children or students from vicious ideologies they might be exposed to in the present circumstances". 
  • A professor of politics at King Saud University solemnly intones that "the uncovering of a terror cell in Riyadh was not a matter to be taken lightly".  
  • Several more Saudi experts say they are sure this dreadful tendency is an import from neighbouring Yemen. 
  • And one, worried about the siren call of Syria, tells parents to ensure their children do not "go to Syria or other war fronts without the permission from their guardians. A family should be cautious about its sons being lured to war zones for jihad."
They sound so sincere. We're left in no doubt at all that the bomb makers with violent death in their hearts and in their feverish brows will take the religious advice to heart. Being people of faith themselves, the paramount value of listening to your preacher is certain to be self-evident to them.

Saudi religious figure, Salman Al-Odeh
Oh, and in case anyone's interested in a more balanced view of the issues that are current in Saudi religious circles, here's a Saudi religious leader called Salman Al-Odeh. He's shown preaching a sermon on Rotana's Khalijia TV channel two weeks ago, translated to English by MEMRI. Nothing especially out of the ordinary here - we have seen and heard this many times before. Some selected quotations:
  • "The problem lies, first of all, in the exaggeration of the Holocaust. It has been turned into a myth of tremendous proportions.
    Interviewer: "A sacred myth..."Salman Al-Odeh: That's the other thing. The Holocaust has been made sacred. Talking about it, refuting it, or denying it is sometimes a legal offense for which one can be placed on trial. It has become, in effect, a sacred historical event...
  • "Through this Holocaust, the Jews began to extort many government worldwide – in Europe and in the U.S. The Jews even began to perpetrate the same thing themselves against the Palestinian people, carrying out a Holocaust in Gaza and the occupied land. They attack children, women, and the elderly under the pretext of the Holocaust that they are trying to substantiate...
  • "The role of the Jews is to wreak destruction, to wage war, and to practice deception and extortion... For thousands of years, the Jews were subject to persecution, deportation, killings, and accusations. Maybe much of this stemmed from their moral values, their treacherous nature, their schemes, and the ploys, which made other nations be wary of them...
  • "The Jews believe that they have the right to kill anyone who does not adhere to their religion. This is written in the Talmud and some of their holy books... 
  • "It is well-known that the Jews celebrate several holidays, one of which is the Passover, or the Matzos Holiday... They would lure a child in order to sacrifice him in the religious rite that they perform during that holiday..."
And so on.

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