Progress In Arabia

The Gulf News in one of the two major papers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where I grew up. I check the paper every once in a while. This opinion column caught my eye. It contained a few facts I hadn’t heard.

It is difficult to be more princely than the Prince. In an extraordinary article published in the Saudi Arabic daily Al Watan, none less than Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a pillar of the Saudi Royal family who has served for 21 years as his country’s ambassador to Washington, bluntly described Arab and Muslim efforts to combat religious teachings which foster hatred as “feeble”.

He charged that those who kill so-called “infidels” in the name of Islam have been getting their twisted orientation from leaders at the very top of the Saudi and other Muslim religious establishments.Governments, he said, should tackle the issue head on, giving no excuses.

“It has nothing to do with America or Israel or the Christians or Jews,” Bandar wrote. “So let us stop these meaningless justifications for what those criminals are doing and let us stop blaming others while the problem comes from within us.”He went on to assert that it was the duty of the highest senior Muslim religious scholars to “declare Jihad against those deviants and to fully support it”. He pointedly added that “those who keep silent about the truth are mute devils”.

Of course the guy goes on to bemoan Israeli ethnic cleansing and US abuses in Iraq, but the stuff about Bandar is quite interesting.

By the way, the author use to be a New York Pravda Middle East correspondent.

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Erick Erickson

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