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October 20, 2009

LKL Web Exclusive: The Saudi Enigma

Posted: 01:42 PM ET

Robert Lacey is a frequent guest on LKL, and author of a new book: "Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia."  His commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive.

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evil-doer. Nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Possessed

Obama-King-AbdullahI chose these words to open my new book Inside the Kingdom, because I needed to understand the tragedy of 9/11 and the nation that produced no less than fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on those planes. Saudi Arabia has never been a spot that wins much favor in the west. How can you love a country that charges you $70 or more for a product that costs less than $10 to get out of the ground – and then gives you terrorists as well?

But I wanted to go beyond that – to find out how the culture and religion of a society could go so wrong as to produce such a poisonous boiling-over of intolerance and hatred. In theory Saudi Arabia should not exist – its survival defies the laws of logic and history. Look at its princely rulers, dressed in funny clothes, trusting in God rather than man, and running their government on principles that most of the world has abandoned with relief. Shops closed for prayer five times a day, executions in the street – and let us not even get started on the status of women. For many the Kingdom remains one of the planet’s enduring – and, for some, quite offensive – enigmas.

But in these notorious distinctions lies an answer that I would urge you to consider – for when you look harder, the differences are not quite as great as they seem. It was not so long ago in the west, certainly in the memory of our parents and grandparents, that women were second class citizens denied the right to vote; most respectable people were devout and rather intolerant believers, scared and suspicious of other races and faiths: capital punishment was considered a necessity – with public lynchings of non-whites in the south; books and plays were censored (our movies still are); people dressed in stiff and formal clothes – a sort of uniform; father knew best, and ‘nice’ girls remained virgins until marriage. For centuries western life was lived within the comfort of those structures and strictures, and it is only in the last 90 years (one modern lifetime) that we have started to look for new values – which we sometimes seek to define by criticizing those who are reluctant to abandon the security of what went before.

In Saudi Arabia you are confronted by a deeply traditional society that is not yet ready to abandon the old ways in favor of bikini-clad, breast-enhanced girls shaking their booty on a “blind date” reality show. The Saudis want the best of the west – but they wish to keep at bay what they consider the worst. When a Jeddah radio talk show host boasted recently over the air of his pre-marital sexual conquests in some detail, the local prosecutor took him to court. The radio jock was sentenced to 500 lashes and five years in prison, and most ordinary Saudis nod their head at that.

Since 9/11 the government of King Abdullah has embarked on a radical reform program to try to drain intolerance from Saudi textbooks and pulpit preaching and to open Saudi minds. If things are to stay as they are, the ruling family has realized, things will have to change.

The proof of the battle now being waged came less than two months ago when an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber blew himself up in the presence of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the deputy minister in charge of the anti-terrorism program. Mercifully the prince was saved – and the battle against extremism continues. A few weeks ago I attended the opening of King Abdullah’s spectacular science and research academy on the Red Sea coast, KAUST, an attempt to create an Arab MIT – and to re-create the spirit of enquiry and rational truth-seeking that characterized the famous Bayt Al-Hekma, “The House of Knowledge” in Islam’s earliest golden age.

Saudi Arabia is the home of some 28 million people most of whom detest the extremism and violence of Al-Qaeda. In all my years there, I have never met a Saudi who praised Bin Laden, and the more introspective inhabitants of the Kingdom will acknowledge that there were profound and serious faultlines in their society which made Al-Qaeda’s viciousness possible.

In one sense, Al-Qaeda said it themselves – they were pursuing a Saudi quarrel on US soil. Bin Laden would later explain that he attacked “the far enemy”, as he liked to describe America, in order to bring down “the near enemy” that was his real target – the fabulously wealthy and powerful princes of House of Saud whom America protected and sustained.

Bin Laden’s personal burden of anger carried his rejection of modernity to extremes, and he was an evil-doer in practice – there can be no doubt about that. Yet if we are to follow Dostoevsky’s advice, can we also acknowledge that the man originally set out to accomplish what he believed to be good – the preservation of values that he saw as the best traditions of his society? Only when we have deployed open-minded enquiry to pair denunciation with understanding can we begin to work out where and how things went wrong.

Filed under: International • LKL Web Exclusive


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alex lyrics   October 20th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I would like to see those Saudi kings and royals give America back some of that gas and oil money back.

Just once I want to hear a story of this king giving someone like me 10 or 50 million dollars.

This to me would show some form of gratitude for $6 per gallon rape we experienced this past year in Hawaii.

Give some penny change back to me. 🙂


alex lyrics   October 20th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

This is so sad


John H   October 20th, 2009 11:04 pm ET

Not much activity here yet and apparently not much interest. It is also useful to understand the background out of which your enemy emerges. First of all though, I take issue with the ridicule of the clothing they wear or their reliance on their understanding of God. I suspect that funny as their clothing may seem to us, it does have a practical purpose in the environment they live. I strongly dislike and disagree with their attitude toward women. In my humble opinion, men who must feel superior toward the women in their lives are often dealing with a serious lack of self respect and image. They appear to believe that their superiority and control of women is the only to establish their manhood. That to me is pathetic whether in a culture or in the lifestyle of a man wherever he may live in this world. As far as handing me some millions of dollars in restitution for the high gasoline prices we experienced recently, all I can say is Good Luck With That! I am sure that many, if not the majority of Saudi's do not subscribe to the Al Quaida point of view and I would probably even like many of them were we to meet. I find that to be true no matter where a person comes from and I have lived in Europe and the Orient for a good number of years and have found that not to have been contradicted. Often it is our own actions or lact of respect for others that causes those with the hatred of our country to be created. We have our own good share of haters as well and would find it difficult to present a legitimate argument that another culture is evil and ours is all good. In all this rambling on, I have forgotten the point I was trying to make; if I ever had one to begin with. Suffice it to say that I do not agree with the ridicule of another culture but when I find some legitimate (in my mind) thing to criticize, I will do it but without a sense of hatred toward others. That would only put me in the same category as Osama bin Laden and his followers and I would not care to be included with them.


BeckyJackson   October 20th, 2009 11:15 pm ET

I wants to hear about healthcare reforms $$and oilpricing$$ onthe website from day to day. When you have those press meeting talking about what you'll going to do the next time coming up month, We never see that topic that was mention. So whats up?
I know you'll have a lot of papers to read and study but at least take time out figure out healthcare-jobless-gas/oil reforms in the next meeting before November quarter ends. Elections call is around the table. Thats' all I needed to speak on right now. I'm always listening to your show CNN.

Appreciate:

bj


Mary Rupert   October 20th, 2009 11:36 pm ET

What a pity, humans have not come to the clear understanding about the word "LOVE." People are so concerned about what they can get from one another or someone obeying their cruel rules. How about trying to be decent to one another. No living being should be treated in humane. The problem is, most of those people that are doing the wrong are not placing themselves in the other persons shoes. HATE=HATE and LOVE=LOVE. Ask yourself what part do you play? All man kind have free will and are precious/priceless human beings. When men have no respect for women, it concerns me that you don't have respect for your mom, (she is a lady too,) the one that birth you into this world. Had she known she birth such evil in the world, she probably would have killed her own child to save the world. Sound familiar, "Jesus". Who gave man the right to be leader over any human. Even the president have to obey rules and regulations. No man is above the "LAW." When you treat another human so cruel, that should say a lot about your character. People stop all this hate amongst one another. No disrespect to any culture, but humans should have the free will to dicate their own lives and not be subject to inhumanity. This is very belittling to any man kind and "STOP" blaming all your wrong doings on GOD. Accept the fact that most people just have an evil man for selfish gain. Again, no disrespect to any culture, again free will, is free will.


Ishmal   October 21st, 2009 8:40 am ET

AIFD'S president, M. Juhdi Jasser, contends that the only way for this continuation of terrorism and human rights infractions - especially against women – is for Muslims to begin to separate religion – Islam – from the state. Religion cannot dominate the Rule of Law. When it does, people, in their religious zeal, are capable of terrible wrongs on their fellow man. If Saudi Arabian leadership were able to make this change, its relationship with the western world profoundly change.


ckelly   October 21st, 2009 10:14 am ET

In striving to understand ourselves and other cultures( their histories, values and people), we grow. Nothing harmful can come to an open mind with self knowledge and genuine interest. I believe that through knowledge and understanding, the world can be a better place and all earth's inhabitants are brothers and sisters. I am optimistic.


Dodie ~ California   October 21st, 2009 1:37 pm ET

I would really like to see an interview with king abdullah of Saudi Arabia. I prefer to hear directly from the King, not through a 3rd party!

With the Qur'an being the constitution of the country, this process always creates problems with religious fanaticism.


rosey petals   October 21st, 2009 6:27 pm ET

I know this is not the topic today, but we are resigning as CNN fans. Since the balloon hoax on CNN which they cut the president's town hall meeting in New Orleans, I can not continue watching CNN. We practice love for country, truth, and our troops and the president no matter and are disappointed in the media bashing and reports that inflame violence and hatred in this country. Before the balloon hoax we were very watchful of CNN reporting every evil act and threat against the president and saw it necessary to report a deranged evil preacher who said he wanted the president dead. We've never heard any such hatred of other presidents before and not the former one. The media was afraid to touch the former president. Why can't the president do his job in peace and safety and not resort to such violence. It is UNcivilized and henious, as in slavery days. The President does not deserve this hatred and threats as today in New Jersey but it is because of racist FOX t.v. ,Rush and Hannity, they are the worse bigots.in media, no black media would be allowed to talk hatred 24 hours about the former presidents, never. NO MORE CNN FOR US!.


Mary Rupert   October 21st, 2009 7:44 pm ET

Hello Rosey,
We must understand how hatred works. It's job is to make you not want to do something, or support something because of ignorance. Hatred is hatred and we don't know when and if it would continue or end. When we stop using our voice, hatred wins. Words are words. No this, evil will never and I mean never conquer good, love, peace and etc... Don't stop using your voice, let the enemy in man know he can't win. Of course sometimes it can become exhausting fighting for righteousness against the unrighteous. If we keep giving up everytime someone says or do something we don't like they're winning. Your voice needs to be heard. Please, don't allow the words being said against the president or anyone make you angry enough to stop speaking up and speaking out. People need people no matter how much ignorance is in the world. Even the evil doers need people in order for it's acts to exist. See how important the role people play in this world. You continue to pray for the President and his family; because no weapon formed against thee shall prosper. What man plan for bad, may God turn it around for his good and our good. Continue to be apart of the solution; don't stop helping. We need people like you to let hatred know, it can't win and it want win. Those people that are making the comments, never put themselves or their families in the other person/people shoes. There acting out of fear and it's fear of the unknown. Personally, many of us don't know the president. We're acting out of what we hear and not what we know. Pray for those lost souls, because obviously they need it more than Obama. Keep in mind he's not using his time unwisely by lashing out for hate. He's using his time wisely to bring together love, peace and harmony to mankind. Ask yourself, who really needs prayer/help, rather they no it or not.

God Bless You and Yours; Keep Hope Alive!!!


rosey petals   October 21st, 2009 8:03 pm ET

We are resigning as CNN fans. Since the balloon hoax on CNN which they cut the president's town hall meeting in New Orleans, I can not continue watching CNN. We practice love for country, truth, and our troops and the president no matter and are disappointed in the media bashing and reports that inflame violence and hatred in this country. Before the balloon hoax we were very watchful of CNN reporting every evil act and threat against the president and saw it necessary to report a deranged evil preacher who said he wanted the president dead. We've never heard any such hatred of other presidents before and not the former one. The media was afraid to touch the former president. Why can't the president do his job in peace and safety and not have to confront such terroe/violence in his own country and media. It is UNcivilized and henious, as in slavery days. The President does not deserve this hatred and threats and today in New Jersey but it is racist FOX t.v. ,Rush and Hannity, they are the worse bigots of terror against the presideny in media, no black media reporters would be allowed to talk hatred 24 hours about the president, never. NO MORE CNN FOR US!


from saudi arabia   October 21st, 2009 8:49 pm ET

to be honest i really don't get why west in general have such as bad idea about us who are in Saudi Arabia we are happy in our lives and we do love our king he is very nice to us and have done so much to help his own peoples and i saw some comments talking about gas and oil prices well no one have told USA to go into wars craps i just find it so funny how can people just look for who to blame

and and if bin laden have came out from Saudi Arabia it does not mean every one in Saudi Arabia is like that bad peoples and good peoples are everywhere and at any country i really hate and it is makes me very sad to see most of western peoples look at us like we are a killers even though the most biggest number of crimes in world is in USA does that make all American a bad peoples and criminals ? i don't think so

please west don't judge us over what have done a few bad peoples in our society there is no need for all this hate


Jim Carroll   October 21st, 2009 8:51 pm ET

UNDERSTANDING IS WHAT WE NEED. WE DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS AND ALL TE RIGHT WAYS.

HOW TO PREVENT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The best protection that America has against those who would like to harm us would be to change the minds of those who hate us by making them love us. No one is suggesting that we pour water on our powder; but we should get our devil damn nose out of other peoples business. The easy way to win sometimes is to quickly
let others win. All they want is for us to go home and leave them be as they are. A small price to pay. No blood required. Winning every time is not always the best way to win. France won in Vietnam by leaving. We lost by staying. Russia won in Afghanistan by going home. We keeping losing more every day by staying. If New Orleans had had a wall built around it as thick as the wall that the intelligentsia of America has built around it, Katrina would have been a mere fart in a whirl wind. Even the recession is a product of ignorance. Where in the Constitution does it say we have to have a
free market system. What we need is Mixturism–private and public enterprise working together to meet the needs and desires of all.
Moses said, "choose life and prosperity." Jesus said, "I am come that you may have life and have it more abundantly."


Dodie ~ California   October 22nd, 2009 1:01 am ET

Jim Carroll

The major problem is: religious-sanctioned military campaigns……Christianity has taken over the USA and the Middle East is predominantly Muslim. The people of these two religions have more hate than the rest of the world population. Both religions have hated each other for over 1,000 years.

We are just continuing with the “Christian (Wars) crusades" that started around 1096. These two religions have been killing each other for over 1,000 years.

This is NOT a war about government or land!

(((( THIS IS A WAR ABOUT RELIGION DOMINANCE AND HATE )))


Mariam   October 23rd, 2009 12:25 pm ET

This is a very racist comment. Saudi Arabia is a great country that doesnt need to change its value to fit with american culture. A culture that doesnt have tradition and lacks direction. So before people say Saudi should not exist maybe its vice versa. I applaud President Obama for his great foreign policy with the world. The US doesnt need to be cornered and made an enemy just because they have presidents like the ex president. Obama is a good breath of fresh air for america.


Yusuf   October 25th, 2009 9:49 am ET

We live in a luxury life thanks god, that's why the westerns envy us. If Saudi Arabia is a poor county no one will give it any attention, SO please DO NOT STICK YOUR NOSES IN OTHER PEOPLE'S LIFE.


Renee Berggren   October 25th, 2009 1:15 pm ET

Alex if you think it was the Saudi,s that put the gas up to 5 and 6 dollars , I think maybe you should EDUCATE yourself a little better. And sorry also that you feel the Saudi,s have any reason to give you and millions at all , if its money you want get a job, Yes bin Laden came from a very good family Saudi was his home, BUT all countries have their cross to bear when it comes To bad groups etc, Any way Bin Laden left Saudi many years ago to join the Taliban and he is a very evil person, But I disagree with you thinking that all the bad things come from Saudi and that INCLUDES the Gas prices R Berggren ,,,


alex lyrics   October 25th, 2009 8:29 pm ET

RE RENEE BERGGRAN

The Saudi Royal family sided with GM, and made fuel guzzling cars, killed off the farming industry because they had the power to make ethonol, and they also were the high jackers of 911.

Oh lets not forget that they jack the price of a barrel from 24$ per barrel continually until it is over 100$ per barrel everytime we go to war.

The Saudi's are responsible for 911, and they shot the gas up once again after they pulled off 911.

So educate yourself on the fact that they also helped GM and ford take away all the railways in California, and created freeways, and highways so that we would be dependant on oil.

So the Saudi's along with Regan and Bush families owe us a great deal of payback.


Brawnley   October 26th, 2009 9:59 am ET

Seems like there's a lot of confusion on both sides. Take it from one who has lived in several contries, there is no need to bash any cultural group. They, as well as we, have formed our societies based on our desire to meet the needs of the people. Separation of religion from state is a myth. Our country and laws are founded on and ruled by religion, and there is nothing wrong with it. Our moral compass is off center. To say that our Arabic friends are unjust towards women and religious zealots is based on a media blitz that is doing anything they can to sell a story. We have just as many kooks within our own borders that we can't control as they do. We should stop trying to make photocopies of America everywhere. It just doesn't work.

The problems of modern society can be traced directly to greed. If we want to do what's best by America, then we need to get corporations to be responsible to Americans. Keep jobs at home, increase funding to our education base, and then we can worry about how to help the global economy. We would have less enemies and more partners. We can't and shouldn't be the police force for the entire world.


John   October 26th, 2009 3:19 pm ET

I am an American who has spent almost a year here in the Kingdom teaching at one of the universities. I have a degree in Middle East studies and had done a lot of study on the Middle East before coming here. The Enigma of the Kingdom is the only true way to describe the place. Everything I had read and studied about the KSA seems to have been mostly false. Not many people have written or studied the KSA first hand, instead it seems that many books were written about stories they had heard or a few business trips. Living here would be a "dream" for a social scientist.

I believe that there are very few people here in the KSA that feel the same hatred towards others, as Bin Laden does. The fact that children are raised to hate Israel is common knowledge, as just saying the name of the country or the name of the language (Hebrew) can cause one problems. Not to mention if you have a stamp from Israel, you may not enter the KSA even though it is just a short drive from the border of the KSA across Jordan to Israel. Maybe 20 miles or so. The people are not trained to kill or attack people. Just hate. As for Christians, they are considered people of the book according to the Quran, so they are not hated, just looked at as people who will eventually accept Islam in the future, when Allah confirms the truth of it to them. But, religion is not pushed on many people and most Saudis will tone down their insistence on acceptance if asked.

As for terrorism here, it has been sought out and destroyed as much as possible by the king. As the article states, even a prince had an attempt on his life. That prince is in charge of rounding up and destroying the terrorist cells that may operate in the Kingdom. The Bin Laden family cannot be judged by the acts committed by Osama either. He was his own man and people should not fear others, just because they share the same name. They don't share the same values. People like Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaida or Taliban groups of terrorists have given Muslims a bad name all over the world. Muslims are not bad people and should not be automatically assumed to be so. These terrorists are extremists or fundamentalists who have changed the words they claim to hold so dear to kill others. This has been done by Christians and Jews as much as Muslims. None of these people represent the peaceful aspects and demands of their religions.

I have lived here and learned to accept that this is not my culture. Who am I to say something is wrong. I am a guest and as such a representative or mini-ambassador of the USA. When I see how woman live here, it may disturb me, but I cannot say anything. They are covered, head to toe. This is not done for religious purposes, as the only requirement of woman in Islam is to cover their hair, not their face. It is instead the culture that mandates this. So, I accept that the people here are entitled to have their own culture and not have to assimilate into another.

The constitution of the KSA is the Quran and as such the country is under the Sharia Legal system. Personally I think some of the punishments are harsh, but in the KSA, crime is not as rampant as in other parts of the world. Murder or drug smugglers are put to death in public. If one were to witness this, they would never really think that they would break those laws. There is a trial, witnesses must swear to their testimony before the sentence is given and carried out. It is not just based on an accusation. In the case of murder, the family of the accused can ask to pay the family of the victim to save the life of their heir. If the family accepts they are freed, if not.... Thefts carry the penalty of amputation of the right hand. The right is considered the clean hand for eating and shaking hands, so if it has been amputated the person cannot hide their shame. This has been toned down and not carried out as much as in the past.

When I came here, I thought that the KSA would be a wondrous place, full of modern marvels. I was disappointed. The country is full of run down or half built buildings. When you are finished eating in your car you just throw the trash out the window. They hire people from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc., to clean and do the field work. They are treated as second or third class citizens by many. Most Saudi's have been through an educational system that just keeps passing them on up the chain. Even in university, students are just passed along, whether they truly learn or not. This is part of what is called "Vitamin "wow"". Wow is an Arabic letter that begins the word, wasta. This equates to favoritism amongst who you know. If you want anything in the KSA, you must have Wasta. With this being allowed in the KSA to work its way into higher education, students who fail are also just passed along. Graduates go on to work in large corporations as managers. The company also hires many foreigners who do the work and the managers just sign off on things. If a Saudi is tired, they get up and leave without consequence. The foreigners are held to their contractual obligations.

Foreigners who work in the KSA who want to find a new or better employer must secure an NOC (No Objection Certificate) or leave the KSA for a period of two years before they can find work again. Many are unaware of this before coming on their Entry Only visa. Once here, their passports are taken and they receive an Iqaama (like a green card). If they want to take a vacation or quit, they need to secure an exit/reentry visa. This makes it a hard choice to work in the KSA.

Okay, so I have written a lot from a personal viewpoint, but from firsthand experience. The Saudi people are good people and they are taken care of by their King. Islam is peaceful, extremists are not Islam. The country is an Enigma and will probably remain so for another 1000 years. I have encouraged my students to study abroad and meet people and talk. I don't know how, but people around the world need to meet their "enemies." Talking or diplomacy is the only peaceful way to make change. There won't be peace in the Middle East until such time as true diplomacy can take place, which would take chapters to explain.

Perhaps someday I'll just write a book of my observations and experiences in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


hani   October 27th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

These few Saudi men involved in 9/11 they are not displaying the Islamic society or even Saudi people. Pls. Note that they are killing Muslims in Islamic world as well. So it is not fair at all to refer their acts to the Islamic people or society.
No single Arabic or Islamic governments performed killing process to ordinary peoples but Israel have did that and still doing it every day, last example was the famous report, unfortunately, USA also involved in killing people by support Israil and in Iraq. Americans should understand this fact.


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   October 28th, 2009 7:57 am ET

@ Mary Rupert October 21st, 2009 7:44 pm ET
-------------------------

So beautifully said. Bless you.


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   October 28th, 2009 7:59 am ET

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evil-doer. Nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Possessed
----------------------------

This is so true.


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   October 28th, 2009 8:16 am ET

@ John October 26th, 2009 3:19 pm ET
------------------------–
Thank you for this enlightenment. Very interesting.

I must say I don't go along with the punishment of cutting the hand off for theft and other such barbaric ones mentioned.

I just wish the suicide bombers would stop this practice. They are not only wasting their God-given life but also the lives of innocent others. Not the way to go. There must be a better way.


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   October 28th, 2009 8:26 am ET

@ alex lyrics October 25th, 2009 8:29 pm ET
------------------------

If I am correct – wasn't GM bailed out of some troubles recently.


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   October 28th, 2009 8:45 am ET

We sure need Jesus to come back and sort us all out and the mess the world is in. And he will.


Mary Rupert   October 28th, 2009 2:53 pm ET

People, as long as we have good and evil in the world. This is the mess the good will have to clean up after the evil doers. If you read your bible, Paul use to kill the christians. Now, when you read about Pau,l he is the biggest spokes person in the bible. People can change, it's a willingness to change. If you entertain evil, it will surely entertain you. Again, the more you look at all this gossip, slander on the news, in the papers, magazines, keep in mind, what you're allowing your mind/thoughts to entertain, will entertain you. Whether its good or bad. Change what you can and accept what you can't. Trust me no unjust is going unnoticed in the site of God. No matter how angry we may get with a situation, trust Gods wrath feels like eternity, even if it's just for one day. All those people, that stole, robbed us of all the money to put the economy in the shape it's in. I'm sure they never thought when they were awaken that morning. There names and companies wouldn't be plastered all over the news and papers. Again, no wrong goes un-punished. Justice will prevail. Evil will never conquer good no matter what is said or done. Never, I guarantee it.

Have a blissful day!! God said it, now do it.


Renee Berggren   October 28th, 2009 3:27 pm ET

I Do respect MOST of your feelings toward Saudi arabia , Well my husband and I lived and worked there for 12 years Untill 2002, Most Suadi people respect us as we respected them, Of course religion plays a BIG part in there lives . No one tried to make me become a muslim as I would never think to try and win them over to Christianity, I worked in a school and i loved teaching their children, Who were very respectful as well, There parents were also very caring about there children, Of course we had a very High standard of living there , But Like I said in my previous letter There are evil people that are not even accepted by there own country , My ONLY bad part was seeing a matawwa Religious police, Then I would move away quite quickly , they were the only people allowed to roam freely that I objected to, But Please people dont get the idea that the Saudi,s made so much money on the oil situation last year, You would be very wrong , you will be better off looking in your own oil companys coffers , They came out of all of it far better than the SAUDI,S....


kalwassia   October 30th, 2009 8:37 am ET

People the bin Laden family is of Yemeni origin, not saudi.
The are just immigrants which struck it rich, but they are not saudi.

Then would the americans on here please check history, the American Oil company has stolen for over 50 years the saudi oil while paying hardly anything for it. Now you are complaining that we have to live with the pricing structures put in place by the american? Wake-up and smell the coffee it is not our fault but yours.


Renee berggren   October 30th, 2009 3:05 pm ET

Mr kawassia Thank you for letting me know at least that the bin Laden Family were not true Saudi,s , That makes ita bit easier, But ease your mind a little further There are many people in the US that complained about the cost of the Saudi oil But believe me many of those people are beginning to realize where money was going!!! into the US oil companies coffers, Again I will say I had no incidents in the 12 years I was in Riyadh and I had a nice quiet life , I am not american by the way I am English, it seems sometimes we look a little further ahead , Not always But !!!! Ask me I have no idea why there are troops etc still down in the middle east , Maybe you can enlighten me ,,,,,,,


Desmond Donnelly   November 2nd, 2009 12:43 pm ET

It's easy to forget the days before OPEC when America ruled the Arab world (and the price of oil) with a tight-fisted hand – dominated by a cartel of oil companies. When the rules of the marketplace work for America, everyone loves them. When the same rules don't work for America, some kind of injustice is seen to exist where none is intended. It's just a natural consequence of rules we ourselves (or at least our corporations) created. If you want to be treated more kindly, create a kinder world – one not so dominated by principles of "survival of the fittest". Shape your world from the heart instead of from a pocketbook.


Desmond Donnelly   November 2nd, 2009 12:57 pm ET

We in the West think the way we live our lives is the pinnacle of civilization. Yet it isn't the "uncivilized" of the world who are the cause of global warming. It is we, the rich and righteous. We think of Arabs as primitive in their politics and social engineering but our politics are dominated by corporations utterly devoid of ethics and legally bound to stay that way.

I love America but there is a saying the West: "The devil comes in the guise of shining light". Beware of declaring yourselves a shining light to the world or you will blind yourself to your own faults (which we all have).


pramok   November 2nd, 2009 8:27 pm ET

What ever you say..... the dirty Arabs have made it – they hold the world by its b-s ! They have the right to write and practice their own rules and regulation in their own land and if the system fires back, they will face the consequences as every country or system have shown all over the world right from post world war I. They are slowly but surely changing but not according to the western values and standard set by the western world.

Well done to KSA for giving pardon to the woman journalist recently. It would have been such a shame – specially on such a beauty !

Pramok
Kathmandu – Nepal.


shah   November 3rd, 2009 6:46 pm ET

islaam is best religion,

wat ever we see, lacking in saudi is due to not perfect implimentation of shariah law.

if all follow islaam, as islaam wants.

everything will be just perfect, and peace full life.


crimildo   November 5th, 2009 9:23 am ET

The problem come from centuries. The problem are relegions, diferences. Nowday in 21 century peopple must grow and undustend that to be different is not problem but it gives beauty to the world. western and estern, stop the hate and joint the hand to fight agaist the povert, climate problems and other many problems which are devasting the our beautfull world. Please


Renee Berggren   November 5th, 2009 9:43 am ET

Mr Crimildo What nice thoughts you have , I really wish they could come true for you and the people of all religions and races that think the same , every religion sometimes brings out bad things for some reason, I myself am a believer in God alone, which sometimes is a problem even for me I dont know why as most of the world believes in God, But with additional s added , But again your letter was moving and I to wish only for peace in this beautiful world, Yes we must do MUCH more for the poor people of the world > also the climate is going to be a great problem if we dont all work together , God Bless you .....


From Saudi Arabia   November 7th, 2009 1:26 pm ET

Ladies and Gentelmen,

I'm sorry but the one who wrote this article knows nothing about Saudi Arabia and he claimes that he does, not to mention the other comments that show lack of education and understanding of Saudi Arabia.

Women are well respected in Saudi Arabia and have their right to do whatever they want within the boundaries of Islam, men shouldn't also exceed the boundaries of Islam.

Wither you like it or not, we are living a very happy life and don't want any one to interfere or "analyse" us.

Those who say that Muslims and Christians hate each other the most, I'm sorry but you need to be educated.

Osama bin Ladin and his group are just few who knew nothing about Islam and started their own war, they are bounch of idiots but eventually they own the war, you know how? by breaking the friendship and it happend already.


From Saudi Arabia   November 7th, 2009 1:43 pm ET

Dear Jessie from Auckland, NZ,

"Jessie from Auckland, NZ October 28th, 2009 8:45 am ET"

I'm Muslim and I agree with you that Jesus will come one day to sort out the mess. I completely agree with you as Quran says that.

Thanks,


From Saudi Arabia   November 7th, 2009 1:54 pm ET

Dear Renee berggren,

I just love your comments, well said. You know the country and people well. I also agree with you that Hayea' need some education, this is the people you call "Mutawaas". One day I was walking in Italy, Milan and I saw three religious christians crossing the road, then eventually every one in the street was saying hello to them, "you feel the love". Then, I started dreaming that Mutawaas would do the same.

Many thanks


Wilma Entwisle   November 7th, 2009 5:37 pm ET

Thoroughly enjoyed each part of the Saudi Enigma just a great read by so many entries.


Mobasher   November 8th, 2009 4:37 am ET

I would just invite all to free your minds and exercise your intelligence (& not the biased media) to know the TRUTH.

There is a simple fact that we cannot judge the performance of a WELL-REPUTED CAR by telling a story about the DRUNK DRIVER who crashed the car in a wall. Similarly, we cannot judge ISLAM or MUSLIMS because of the unacceptable acts of OSAMA BIN LADEN or other TERRORISTS.

By the way, OSAMA, TALIBAN, etc were created & used against the RUSSIANS in the Afghan War of 1980's by the AMERICANS & their regional allies. So, if they are out of control now, the blame should go onto their creators and not to ISLAM.

I wish peace to all mankind in this world & the hereafter and this is only possible if we try to understand each other & search for the TRUTH. Only, then, we will realize that ALLAH has given us more similarities than differences. LOVE to all...


Saudi   November 8th, 2009 6:56 am ET

Sorry to say that but whoever is saying that saudis are earning more when oil prices are getting higher is simply "dumb". Last year when oil prices got over USD 100. Goods prices in Saudi Arabia were raised and our salaries remained the same, we were in trouble. For us "Saudis", it doesn't matter whether oil prices are high or low, we don't feel the difference or even notice that the prices got higher or lower. So, basically the united states of America is one of the countries that is getting benefit of it not us.

We also don't have time to convert you to Islam or in another word we don't care. My only advice to you is respect the culture and tradition of the country you visit or you talk about like we do when we travel to your countries by wearing western cloths, ... etc.

In summary, mind your business and improve your own community better than getting into something you don't know and you may not know.

Good luck!


alex lyrics   November 8th, 2009 3:32 pm ET

To:Saudi

You guys are blood sucking leached.
Not that long ago oil was $16 a barrel.

After 911 as well as everytime Israel and Palestinians go at it, you guys raise the damn price of oil.

We need to eliminate our use of oil and our ties to you Saudis completely.

As for your Muslim religion and ways trust me we are not in your business.

Your religion creates crazy suicide murderes angry hateful people.

Americans incarcerated become Muslim in our prisons to keep from being raped.

If you can read the Koran you are protected I jail.
This religion has created hateful American citizens.

When you solve the danger of that religion and stop killing then you can push that peaceful Muslim crap on people, until then stop blowing up our soldiers and fight them head on like s man.

Coward's


PRAMOK   November 8th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

Saudis have all the luxury and oil with good life – what contribution are they making towards the other society's basic need and planet earth in general – would love to hear from some of you who are there and positive about the future and well being of mankind and your own society
with clean up operation of the 'back yard' – which is often neglected by many advance society and nation – maybe even S.A. ? PRAMOK,Kathmandu, Neoal


Saudi   November 9th, 2009 4:47 am ET

To Alex:

Watch your blood pressure for the god's sake, you are stressed like hell !

I didn't know that Oil and Islam will do this to you !

I suggest that you stop talking about the only two topics you claim that you know (oil and islam). Don't be surprised if I tell you that you know almost zero about these two topics. Start talking about animals for instance like the ones in your place. Good for your health. Go excersie..run or ride a bicycle. I like the bicycle thing because it will be your next if you decide not to use oil.

Good luck and let me know about the readings of your blood pressure please. IMPORTANT.


alex lyrics   November 9th, 2009 10:26 am ET

To: Saudi

My blood pressure is for the blood shed constantly by the men and women in uniform sworn to protect our country and our lives.

These soldiers are my main concern, like I said you Muslims should stop hiding behind the Koran with bombs and fight people head on like a man.

Perhaps we should get Biblical an eye for an eye and just use bombs.

This would wipe out afganistan completely, but no we don't like to kill innocent civilians , but you Muslims love to.

My blood pressures beats for my country men saudi


Saudi   November 9th, 2009 11:02 am ET

To Alex:

Bla bla bla blablabla, bla

Bla bla blablablabla bla...bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla

bla bla bla bla bla bla, bla bla blabla blabla. Bla bla bla bla, bla bla bla

bla bla bla bla bla bla

bla bla,


alex lyrics   November 9th, 2009 11:32 am ET

To: Saudi

Blah blah showes that you Muslims are heartless, soul less people, you wish to wipe Israel off the planet, ha this should be the other way around.

At least the Jews are civilized. You can easily brush off people dying for no reason like this with disrespect shows just what greed,money, privilege, and oil has done to your race as well as your religion.

You are proving Muslims people to be the barbarians the world views you as.

People are afraid to say it,but I am not.

You radical Muslims are no different than animals in the wild.

I won't go as far as to disrespect you're religion, unlike you,I follow God.


Mobasher   November 9th, 2009 11:34 am ET

To: Alex

Yes, everybody knows that you don't kill the civilians.

It is always by mistake that your aircrafts often bomb civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Palestine.

Last but not the least, it is also a coincidence that Americans are the only "PEACE-LOVING" nation who used atomic bombs on the Japanese civilians. Really, we are impressed with your KILLING nature and would do whatever is in our hand to save ourselves.

Allah-o-Akbar


alex lyrics   November 9th, 2009 12:04 pm ET

To Saudi

The Japanese bombed our navy fleet while they slept like coward's. This just like you Muslim radicals.

They got the message with our bomb. Perhaps you Arab and Muslim radicals could use the same.


Saudi   November 9th, 2009 12:30 pm ET

:xǝןɐ oʇ

ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq

ɐןqɐןqɐןqɐןq ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq ɐןq

ɐןq

To Alex:

If you see the above upside down then it means you are a complete idiot.


alex lyrics   November 9th, 2009 12:41 pm ET

You in educated Savages who womanize,blow up people, believe that God will reward you with virgins are idiots.

Simply put uneducated, ignorant savage animals. I do not wish to waste further energy on you radical Muslim.

You're attempt to deflect from the issue of Saudi oil blood sucking leached doesn't fly.

It also didn't stop you Saudi royals from getting in bed business wise with George bush


Saudi   November 9th, 2009 2:04 pm ET

To Alex:

Ok ok...here is a deal, if you tell me 9+11 is equal to what, I'll reward you and I'll consider that you are an idiot not a complete idiot; and if you don't then I'll call you Mr.Idiosimo this means huge idiot, deal ?

Ok, fight for your future, take your time,


Amal   November 9th, 2009 5:34 pm ET

Hi, I am Amal from Saudi Arabia. I'm a woman and I just want to say that we are really not perfect. I mean the country needs more pushes towards in the field of rights and others but that doesn't mean the govenment is responsible for that, the responsible is the people who do not represent Islam but old traditions. We love the King and we believe he will make our country better place.
thank u.

by the way, who wants to comment should be more polite and respectful not attacking for no reason.


Saudi   November 9th, 2009 11:16 pm ET

To Amal:

Thank you very much for the comment. You've said it all. We also have respect to all nations regardless and would live side by side with all religions. Looking at our friends and those who live in Saudi Arabia, you will find Chiristian, Hindus, .. etc.

BUT also you should consider that there are some idiots out there who are sick and can't get it like Osama bin Ladin and his group and like Alex too. The problem that they know almost zero about the things they are talking about and they claim that they know something. If you dive deeper with them in a topic, they sink.


alex lyrics   November 9th, 2009 11:24 pm ET

Everything Is all Rosie that comes out o Muslims mouths until you get out the Koran and your suicide belts.

That 9 11 coment showed you carpet flying oil sucking leaches are just as bad as the terrorist we fight.


Saudi   November 9th, 2009 11:52 pm ET

To Alex:

You are still here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Listen, you answer the question immediately, I want to make my last judgment about you.

Go go go go go go


Mohamed From KSA   November 10th, 2009 3:13 am ET

Please don't forget that BIN LADEN was created by USA & 11-09 was done by CIA.....


Saudi   November 10th, 2009 11:38 am ET

Well, that's what I was trying to tell him but he is an idiosimo, he barely knows his full name. He managed to memorize his full name in secondary school, good for him.

I know that he will come here and dance like a monkey like always but I'll give it my last trial, if he fails, I'll consider him mega idiot or family size idiot.

Here, google blueprints truth. It is a two hours presentation.


AUZZY   November 13th, 2009 11:43 pm ET

To alex
Your government is behind all the troubles that occur, especially in The Middle East. Compare the Iraq situation before and after the American invasion (Iraq is destroyed) and the important question what's the real reason for Iraq occupation? oh I forgot I know the answer Weapons of Mass Destruction that has proven to be lies. So tell me what the main reason? OIL isn't it?..this is just one example.
In conclusion, when America sticks its nose in other countries issues in order to solve their problems as they claim, the troubles get bigger and bigger. Many people get killed, homeless and the poverty rate increases.
SO WHO ARE THE CRIMINALS?


alex lyrics   November 14th, 2009 12:03 am ET

The middle east Needed to be stabilized, in order for law and civil order, Iraq was a good starting point.

Next stop Libya, Iran, Saudi Iranian, north Korea, Yemen.


Elprincipessa   November 15th, 2009 4:15 am ET

ALL,

I am a saudi woman who is proud of who she is, and where she is from.

Saudi Arabia is not perfect, but then no country is. We all have our faults. Never have I EVER felt disrespected and 'put down' by my country. Which is a lot better than many countries not so many years ago. I was pushed to gain a higher degree and be a successful human being within society. Never was I pushed to sit at home and do nothing but bear children and 'obey' my husband!

*9/11 was horrific for everyone on EARTH. INCLUDING SAUDIS. It is never permissible in Islam to use violence for no reason. Osama Bin Laden is an outcast in the Middle East. ever wondered why he's not over here? He's too busy hiding in some cave in Asia.

Yes people, Pakistan isn't considered the Middle East and neither is Afghanistan.

*OIL? the largest producer of oil is Saudi Arabia, closely followed by Russia. Why aren't you mad a Russia? (eh, ALEX?) They also control oil prices. If you are so upset with oil prices, then why isn't there a movement WITHIN the US to use their own oil supplies and cut out the import?

Maybe take a step back and look at the WHOLE picture. Let people practice their own religions and live the way they want to live ( isn't that the AMERICAN motto?) But overall let there be peace between nations...
Sounds like a lot, but one day it will happen. Hopefully sooner than later.


Mary   November 15th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

People we must first understand that Americans are not sticking there noses where it doesn't belong; people are sticking there noses where it doesn't belong. It's not wise to put a whole country in fault of one man actions or other poeple actions. Everyone doesn' t always agree with the actions of others. Some things we have control over and some we don't. We are so busy bringing controversy to surface when there really is no need. People, if you want killing, stilling, robbing, hating and etc. to end. Then stop it. Yes, it's that easy, stop it. Everything starts with a thought, then an action and it's to do or not do, say or not say. What we continue to entertain will be the high light of the day, and you make it grow from there. Stop it! We do have that choice, stop it. People are killing innocent people. The people in america aren't the only ones hating and killing. People in the entire world are doing the same. Some in other countries have babies walking around with guns; who taught them that, people? Nobody comes out of their mothers womb saying they want to kill, still, destroy, no one. People stop teaching your children to hate and kill? Until you recognize it's humans who kill, still and destroy. Guess who theyre doing it too? Someone one, one of us may know. Monique from the Monique Show said it best, not God Bless America, God Bless the people. Quit blaming others. Acknowledge and accept your own responsibility in a situation. Change you, to be the better you, you can be and quit lashing out at a country when it's you that need to change. Your country doesn't make choices people do that for their country. A country is where you made your home or house.
There was a saying and for some women there still is, "all men are dogs." How does one know all men are dogs unless she has been with all men. Same in this situation. How can all Americans be killers, when me for one, cherrish a life and I need us all to survive. When you're constantly killing, who do we have, nobody? Please pay attention, drop your ego and quit allowing your fleshly nature to make you do or say things that are hateful. Everything doesn't have to be a battle; you are choosing to fight a war that every human is not in agreement. Why are the american people in a country that didn't ask for there help and if they did, I'm sure they didn't ask you to bomb innocet people and children? Put aside your ego and flesh and learn the words "LOVE NOT HATE"
Life is what we make it; stop blaming one another, own up to your own mess and change you for the better. We all need each other to survive. No people, no existence. Yes, that means you and me.
Stop country lashing, it gets us no where. Solve the problem or you yourselves, are the problem.

Be blessed not stressed.

GOD BLESS ALL PEOPLE.


alex lyrics   November 15th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

Mary

You can save the every body love every body doesn't work for Muslims.

These people could care less for anyone not following the Koran.

The Saudi s talk a good game to sellus oil, honestly they could care less about us and more for the Muslim terrorist who follow the same religion.


Mobasher   November 16th, 2009 7:35 am ET

Dear Alex,

Have you ever read the Quran? Have you ever read about the life of Mohammad (peace be upon him)? Do you know the meaning of Islam (It means "submitting one's will to Allah completely)? Do you think that Allah will order the humans to kill other humans? Rather Allah told us "If you save life of one human being, it's like saving the whole mankind (Quran)".

As Mary said "How can all Americans be killers?" I would say "How can all Muslims be killers?" It's like blaming somebody for what he has not done at all. Is it justice? Remember, we studied in science "Every action has a reaction with equal & opposite force"... now the choice is yours!!!

Good & bad people are everywhere in the world. You must never blame any country or religion as a whole for the actions of one bad person or group. But unfortunately, western media is doing it which is inflicting HATRED against Islam & Muslims in the west.

Please free your mind and always try to seek the TRUTH & support it. Only then you will get peace for your body and for your soul.

May ALLAH shower his blessings on all HIS creatures. (Ameen)


alex lyrics   November 16th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

To mobasher

It would be correct if your words were
substantiated by the same actions.

But they are not.

Muslim people are either blowing things up, killing, or justifying those who do in the name of

God.

I have Muslim friends from college who hate and blame Jews for everything.

So I would love to believe that your blog is correct, I would also love to see us all live in peace.

However your Koran says one thing and your people do the other,like most religion.

But your people kill those who have done you no direct harm and in hanous ways.

It is pure barbaric savegdry.


AUZZY   November 16th, 2009 2:10 pm ET

I have a Jewish friend and I am Moslem, we live in the same accommodation.
Just try to use your brain, a small group does not represent the all.
If you are trying not to understand what we are saying please stop replying.


alex lyrics   November 16th, 2009 3:26 pm ET

Auzzy

Is that same accommodation jail?

Well auzzy comedians and television shows spoof other races and stereo type them.

This creates not only laughter but exposes not propper behavior.

The problem is that the radical Muslims prey on the in educated to blow themselves up and kill others.

Those people don't even have tv or music and no outlet to outside civilization.

Auzzy instead of attacking me and other bloggers go after those Muslims who have created your situation and pain.

Educate your people on civilized behavior.


Mobasher   November 17th, 2009 11:32 am ET

Dear Alex,

Please solve the below equation (an Engineer's approach):

How many Muslims have you met in your life in person? a
How many of them have killed any non-Muslim/Muslim? b

Percentage of bad Muslims you have met= (b/a)*100

I again reiterate, seek the TRUTH based on your intellect. The biased media is causing more misunderstandings & hence, troubles in the world as it is always showing one side of the picture.

I'm a born Muslim Alhamdolil-Allah but I really started my research on ALLAH, MOHAMMAD & ISLAM, after the 9/11 accident & consequent attacks of media on ISLAM. You know what I have found uptil now...

ISLAM doesn't teaches any violence, rather it preaches PEACE. The main problem is the IGNORANCE & low literacy rate in our part of the world due to which people cannot read & write (not even the QURAN & SUNNAH of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH) and thus fail to understand the real message and spirit of Islam.

Previously, I was a Muslim, now, my heart is becoming MUSLIM which I think is the greatest achievement of my life.


alex lyrics   November 18th, 2009 11:08 am ET

That's sad mobasher.

Go preach that good Muslim bull in Yemen see if you still have your head.


Renee Berggren   November 19th, 2009 8:36 am ET

Alex
enough is enough Please at least try and act your age,,,, Im sure your at the oldest late teens , At the Start of all this I thought you had half a brain !!! Yes I really did , But give it up now, Did you ever live in the Middle east with your parents? did they work there, NO i thought not , Well my Husband and myself have worked there so we know the places, And Alex they are not bad places and if you are civilised which we are it,s wonderful to learn what every new country has to teach you , In 12 years we learned lots about Saudi , Be a good boy now and try get a degree so you can travel Im sure you probably live in the midwest and if I said the word Cyprus you would say ,, Oh Ive heard of that its in Florida . Either read up on things you Yak about Or SHUTUP now you are just a boring hick,


alex lyrics   November 19th, 2009 11:38 am ET

Renne berggen
you dumb b–itch

I was talking about Muslim extremist, not one particular place.

Also for what you know, I had a very close relative who was Muslim. I am also not in my teens, and not a hick.

I am a minority who fights for civil rights.

I also am one who fights for my country and also against ignorant muslim radicals.

so pull that stick out of your rear, who–re.

All you did was take your wealthy a-sss over to a country which is leaching off the needs of the worlds oil, and keeping its people poor and un educated, and the only people that succeed are those who have. The have nots are tricked into stupidity by that fake religion.


AUZZY   November 19th, 2009 2:42 pm ET

alex you are really pathetic because your heart is full of hate and that's bad. Keep this in your mind TERRORISM HAS NO RELIGION
Killing innocent people is forbidden in any religion.


alex lyrics   November 19th, 2009 4:46 pm ET

Auzzy

Where do you get hate??

When I was still a teenage child myself I sponsored children in Africa. I have worked volunteer for elderly, and as a big brother to children for years.

I also donate every chance I get to church and non profit groups. I have spent 8 years coaching 170 kids in little league.

So don't try and label me with that bull crap.

I don't like radical Muslims who blow up or kill innocent people in the name of god.

Thats all my blogs have stated. Thats it, and the reason you can't see threw that, is because you are trying to justify killing and hating Jews and innocent people who have nothing to do with your cause.


alex lyrics   November 19th, 2009 4:48 pm ET

Oh and I also stated that the Saudi Royals are oil blood sucking leaches.

They need to give back to the world from which their greed has taken.

Give some back to the people and thee earth.


Ola   November 19th, 2009 6:48 pm ET

@Alex:

Saudi princes put their oil into social welfare progams for their country, which makes the people very happy.

If you mean giving back to the United States, why should they? Why should they give money back to the country that screwed up so many Middle Eastern countries (the US supported Suddam Hussein till the 21st century; in the fight against Iran, America approved of Iraq using weapons against Kurds and Iranians, freezing women in the motion of covering their children and trying to protect them).

Oil is the only natural resource Saudi Arabia has. It has no real business and there is no natural water in Saudi Arabia. When oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia, America kept a tight fist over it and did not give the saudis much revenue.

It was not until 1967 that Saudi Arabia took control of the oil prices.
Also, the qu'ran prohibits the killing of women, children, and elderly people of all religions and innocent people who have done nothing to you as well. In the ottoman empire, jews and christians were allowed to have their own mayors and towns and did not even have to serve in the military; I'm guessing you are Jewish hence all your anger towards injustice to Jewish people and you stating you are a minority?

I think much of the hatred of jewish people comes mainly from Israel's oppressive treatment of the Palestinians rather than Jewish people themselves. And look at it this way; there are over 1.5 BILLION muslims world wide. If even 0.1% were terrorists, the world would be in flames. Extremists do not represent true Islam and don't follow the qu'ran either.


alex lyrics   November 19th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

One last note mobasher and Saudi

It is quite clear that you are the same person so solve this equation

Figure out how to stop ur Koran from teaching people to kill. And hate


alex lyrics   November 19th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

Muslim extremists hate the west, they beat women, and kill People for no reason.

My blog wasn't just for the Jews.


AUZZY   November 20th, 2009 8:02 am ET

(Muslim extremists hate the west, they beat women, and kill People for no reason).
Anyone does these things does not consider a Moslem because that are forbidden in Islam.
I think you mean Israelis who are Jewish that kill women and kids every day.
FINALLY, WHAT EVER YOU SAY THAT WILL NOT AFFECT AND CHANGE THE FACT OF ISLAM (THE JUSTICE AND LOVELINESS)

Read our comments carefully


alex lyrics   November 20th, 2009 8:50 am ET

hahaha auzzi

You sound like that Iranian president

I guess there are no gay Muslims and also no Jewish Muslims either in your world.

What planet do you live on?


Ola   November 20th, 2009 11:33 am ET

@ Alex
Clearly, you must not have read any verses in the qu'ran, or out of context.

It prohibits the killing of women, children, and elderly men regardless of whatever they may do to you. You are forbidden from hurting those who have done nothing to you (i mean, have you ever heard of a muslim ridiculing Uruguay or Panama?)

If the enemy wants peace, you are supposed to give them it. This is all in surat al baqara (the cow). You are supposed to fight persecution and oppression until it no longer exists; the quotes about killing refer to persecutors, not all infidels.

And if the people you are fighting repent, you don't kill them. But if they fight you, you fight them back. Islam is a combination of mercy (it is always better to forgive someone but revenge is not prohibited) and mettle-if someone beats you up, you stand for yourself and beat them up.

The qu'ran does not teach people to hate or kill for no reason; you are only allowed to kill when defending muslims.

Also, there is a huge difference between Arab society and Islam; Islam prohibits oppression of any kind (so beating women is a crime since it is a form of oppression). What arab society practices, however, is unfortunately different from what Islam teaches.

Furthermore, there are actually very few gay muslims out there, and if you consider Islam to be submission to God, everyone who believedi n God (early Christians and Jews) before the prophet are muslim, so technically, there used to be Jewish Muslims...

And how can you be Jewish and Muslim at the same time? Of course Jewish muslims now don't exist; jewish arabs do, but not jewish muslims.


Ola   November 20th, 2009 11:37 am ET

And if you think Islam approves beating of women (which it does not. Even when the prophet heard rumors his wife was cheating on him, he did not even slap her. He just did not talk to her and would not look at her)

From the Old Testament
o they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. "This is what you are to do," they said. "Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin." Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.
The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse."

Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards. When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'" So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.

After capturing the town, killing WOMEN and CHILDREN, they went to another town to kidnap the women there since they felt sorry the guys had no women.
Islam prohibits the killing of women and children, while here it is obviously upheld.
Also, why in the old testament if a women's husband dies her brother in law has to have intercourse with her or he sins? Is it just me or is that messed up? Sounds like some bribery here....


alex lyrics   November 20th, 2009 2:25 pm ET

Muslim or Jew

You are all gods children under the sun

You just don't know how to play well together

So you both need parenting by the world


alex lyrics   November 20th, 2009 2:30 pm ET

Ola

Preaching doest stop Muslims from killing

Perhaps you need the Bible and Jesus instead of that

Quran


Ola   November 20th, 2009 5:09 pm ET

no, but perhaps education does.
It was only about 50 years ago that "muslim terrorism" started. It barely ever existed before. Why is that? If the Qu'ran is really an evil book, why have all these problems started relatively recently?

I'll tell you why; despair and lack of a proper education causes people to do drastic and illogical decisions and attribute religion as the reason so as to hide behind it.
Turkey is 90% muslim, yet is on very good diplomatic terms with everyone around it. Why? Compared to all the other arab states, turkey has stability, a good economy, and good education.

Muslims are not killing because the qu'ran justifies it; they are killing because they are desperate for change and are angry at America and Western Powers which always seem at odd with the arab countries America overturned Iran's democracy in 1959 when it actually had one, keeps supporting Israel with weapons, actually financed Osama bin Laden, supported Suddam Hussein as he burned people alive in ovens, and completely destroyed Iraq after finding no ounce of "weapons of mass destruction". The British and the French created the instability in the middle east with the mandate systems where they treated the arab states like colonies and destroyed any attempt for stability since stability meant decreasing british and french presences in the states.

In Palestine, had the British been wiser and not made so many fake promises (promising a different Hussein a whole arab state if he revolted against the ottoman empire and then promising no arabs would be affected by massive immigration of zionists which is obviously a lie due to the limited space and agriculture and land and how aggressive the zionists eventually became because the brits did nothing).

Unfortunately, because of history where attempts at peaceful negotiations produced no results, muslims turned to violence, a very wrong decision but I think they were driven to it out of their anger for the ineffective and harmful west.

If one actually reads the qu'ran (if in english than you should read multiple translations), you will find it supports none of the terrorist acts being done today. But as you said, preaching is not going to do anything since half of what I say you are probably going to dismiss.
Peace from America!


alex lyrics   November 20th, 2009 6:46 pm ET

Ola I have great Muslim friends from Turkey, I met while in college here in the US.

Good point, Turkey is a great state of Muslims, not all Muslims kill.

We know that, not all Muslims are extremist, we know that.

However Turkey is well developed, and the children go to school and are educated.

The extremist Muslims prey on the poor countries with little education or prosperity, to teach them to hate.
It is possible to teach those type of people in poverty and little education that the world is flat not round.

So how do we stop Muslims from blowing themselves and others up?

How do we stop the killing?

OLA?

Auzzi?

MOBASHER???????

how do we stop radical, extremist Muslims from using the Quran or Koran to blow things up in the name of god?


Ola   November 20th, 2009 7:18 pm ET

We can stop them from twisting the qu'ran (koran is another right way of spelling it) by going-which I plan to do when i get out of college and become a doctor-to these poor, war-stricken countries that cling on to these terrorists only because they have NO ONE ELSE to cling on to (everyone else seems corrupt and they would not think someone would try to twist the qu'ran for their own personal or misundrstood beliefs), and teaching them the TRUE meaning of qu'ran.

If you don't want to travel abroad, sponsor organizations that fight poverty and ignorance! This type of stuff never happened under the ottoman empire, why? Because education was a prized aspect of a person's life! Going to university was necessary to become anything.

Fighting corruption in the government is necessary too; like in Egypt, how can a president have 99.99% of the votes? Obviously coercion and corruption, forbidden in Islam since any type of oppression is a sin. Muslims are supposed to fight oppression. But they are weak and scared in these countries.

A combination of attention, serious, caring attention, from more developed countries (though it would be best if America staid out since it has a pretty negative opinion in the Middle East) like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, most of them oil, rich producing countries should be trying to help out these needy nations and get them on the right path!

In islam, charity is a huge thing (2.5% of the income is mandated and one of the five pillars). Saudi Arabia is a spendthrift in money; just last year it stopped growing wheat in the desert using sea water! Would it not have been better to send this money to school and charity works in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Libya, and all these nations?

Censorship should also be abolished; I mean, seriously, is censorship not a form of oppression? So, it is clearly prohibited in the qu'ran (all forms of tyranny are). If people are educated on the actual meanings of the qu'ran, they would understand it does not have to be anti western, and technology can be combined with Islam to make people's lives easier and make them more modern.

Teaching another religion like Christianity is not a solution to the problem; the issue is not with the religion. It is with the people who TWIST it, and the governments who take advantage of this and make their people less educated. Education is the key to all things. Pakistan and Afghanistan where Osama is supposedly hiding don't even speak Arabic as their language, so it is easy for someone else to mislead them about what is in the qu'ran.

While we normal people will not have much of a direct impact (we need huge persuasion and economic resources to really do anything huge), we can help out the small ways, writing letters to the prominent middle eastern countries, providing free translations of qu'ran that are accurate, showing the terrorists for what they truly are, sending money to sponsor schools and food services and public health, etc.

Most muslims don't kill, major muslim organizations in the US denounced 9/11 immediately after it happened! We know terrorists prey on the poor, a trend that has happened only in the last 50/60 years! We have to break the connection that ensnares muslims and deceives them. However, western countries should also change their actions. America should stop invading consecutively muslim countries (i agree afghanistan is ok since the war on terror but seriously, what was the purpose of Iraq) and interfering with their affairs. it should not keep staunchly supporting Israel's attitudes towards the Palestinians (thereby forcing them to rely on terrorism) and should improve its army's view world wide (er, anyone remember Abu Ghraib or the recent scandal of murdering of innocent Iraqi detainees?) If America affirms its failing moral status internationally by supporting decisions based on ETHICAL backing rather than JUST POLITICAL, the hostilities between the two sides of the world may be reduced a lot.


alex lyrics   November 20th, 2009 7:42 pm ET

Ola

Good goal.

I say they need music

Music which is denied

Music has a way of inspiring and healing the soul

We should give these poor people music


Ola   November 20th, 2009 8:18 pm ET

I agree music, but certain types. There is music in Islam, called a nasheed. It is so beautiful and the voices are REAL. They talk about real things, like life on earth and how short it is, how god is great, the mother, family, real stuff (unlike lots of today's music). It is so heart moving, and you listen to the words.

Also, there is a branch of Islam called Sufi, where they dance and listen to music to get closer to God (they devote their entire lives to God and are so peaceful). Personally, I don't think dancing and music make one "high" and therefore closer to God, I think the connection comes from helping people, helping the community, and looking at how much God has helped in lives, hence the reason I want to be an obstetrician since you see the miracles God does with children.

Music is a good thing, but music will not be the real way to solve the problems. while music does inspire, so do books which are censored and touch on so many subjects (which is harder to do in music). Music is important, but i think certain things i have mentioned like education and charity are more important than music.


Ola   November 20th, 2009 8:26 pm ET

@ Alex
Do you understand now how Islam does not cause the terrorists, but rather the terrorists hide behind Islam to undergo their own personal desires and beliefs? They take one part of the qu'ran out of context and do not adhere to the limits set forth by it.
They use it as a weapon against poor and misunderstanding people, but it itself is a peaceful religion.
The qu'ran does not teach people to hate, but rather people twist its meaning to inspire hate among those who are not learned. Haha I feel old when I say this I am still a minor (look at the Ottoman empire; it is recognized today by how long it stood-over 400 years I think- with religion its primary though not only uniting factor and by its science. there was no-or very very very few- terrorist actions back then. Now, there is more, but still much less than 0.1% of the entire muslim population)
If people stopped combining qu'ran with their own vendetta against other countries and using it to justify their actions, things would be much different.


alex lyrics   November 20th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

Yes I agree, the educated people with Islamic faith should be the ones leading the battle against these extremists.

I see the majority quietly supporting terror.


Ola   November 20th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

The majority don't quietly support terror; they ones in America where there is freedom of speech and no terrorist near by speak their minds out. Infact, the muslim organizations in America right after 9/11 were the quickest to condemn the attacks.

Perhaps muslims in other areas of the world do not condemn them for 2 reasons: one, they do not want to be written down on the extremist list of people to kill.
second, while they do not support terror, they may feel as if America (not the people but the government) deserved to be attacked. they may feel (i have explained this in earlier) that America has caused so many unnecessary innocent deaths in the Middle East and that it was about time America had a taste of its own medicine (hence the cheering Palestinians. they were not cheering because innocent people were killed or because these people were not muslim. they were cheering because the attack was on America, the ally of their biggest enemy.)
It was a political reason for them not talking out, not because they support terror on innocent people.
I am not saying I agree with this viewpoint, but I do understand that people who see their fellow ummah (like a brotherhood among muslims) being hurt (though they are hypocritical and do not follow the qu'ran by fighting amongst themselves...perhaps it is because a foreigner who has done more damage to them than internal fighting was hurt) get angry with the person or group doing the hurting.
If someone stabbed a cousin you may have arguments with but who shared the same basic beliefs as you and had nothing done to him and was instead praised, would you be overly upset if someone came and punched the cousin in the face? this is a weird example, but I am trying to explain to you why the "majority" may be quiet. It is not terror they are supporting, but the attack on a potentially dangerous agressor.


Ola   November 20th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

wait, i said something wrong in my cousin example lolz
i mean, if someone, person A, stabbed a cousin of yours with whom you may have disagreements with but who shares a relatively similar belief system, and the Person A got off with no punishment and was actually praised and lauded, would you be overly upset if someone came and punched Person A in the face? Sorry!


Mahmood   November 22nd, 2009 12:14 am ET

@Alex & @ Saudi

The chat that Saudi and Alex are having reminds me of a similar chat (minus the funny stuff) that I had with a guy called Christopher Logan. Look him up. He pretty much resembles Alex's way of thinking. Straight forward, to the point, and doubtful of every single piece of good info that comes out of the Arab / Muslim world.

To Saudi, I advise you pal not to waste so much time with Alex. He is not going to change his mindset. In fact there are a lot who think just like he does (twisted and yet in a uniform manner). No matter how many times you try to explain to him that Islam is not all about violence and virgins, he will not pick it up. He, and followers of his right wing, retrograde, tight-ass of a personality (e.g. Sarah Palin, Christopher Logan, the Birthers no name a few) will always stick to their generalizations and their narrow viewpoint about their imaginary enemies. And at what cost? The cost of the brave American soldiers, who as young men, are robbed of their dreams and aspirations fighting a war that isn't theirs to win, and liberating or (stabilizing as Alex likes to say) folks that only wish to be spared their hell.

As for the fellow who wrote the article, he missed out on a lot of good information and only conveyed the typical Hollywood portrait of Saudi Arabia as a country where people possess "ultra-conservative" mindsets and wear funny looking clothes. Needless to say, there are problems in Saudi Arabia but reform has been underway. But to deny that reform exists in its entirety is blasphemous.

Finally, Alex, and with regards to the lack of education amongst Arabs that you constantly keep bringing up like a verbal tick, I agree with you to some extent. However, there is a significant proportion of Arabs and Muslims who are well educated and have superior, enlightened mindsets that perhaps you lack. Do you want me to prove it? Here's a typical questionnaire question for yah pal; What is your highest level of education Mr. Alex?

Since I already know from the silly way you reply to some of the posts above, I do not need you to answer that question. However, you should know, that I am a very proud Arab, moderate Muslim, with undergraduate education from Oxford and graduate education from Harvard. People like me will continue to make sure that hot-headed people like you who try to denounce our culture, religion, and lifestyle, are always on the edge. How you say? With something called a brain.


Mahmood   November 22nd, 2009 12:33 am ET

@ Alex

One last thing Mr. Alex, I advise you to look up to your President, Mr. Barack Obama. This decent man (unlike his predecessor), is a true and honest portrayal of civility and modernism. This is absolutely true given his cognizance and respectfulness of people's cultural differences. In laymen terms, he doesn't lump all people up into good guys and bad guys; you know, something you'd be more inclined to do given the charade of angry and ignorant replies that you have posted earlier. There is a lot you and I and others can learn from him.

Regards.


alex lyrics   November 22nd, 2009 1:24 am ET

I voted for Obama,
I also voted for Clinton twice. I advocate for Obama on blogs on a daily basis.

I still see that the evidence and facts of Muslim Terrorist acts and using the Koran still over powers your claims of peaceful Islamic people.

The world still sees a vast majority of Muslims who support this behavior, or chose to be closeted about speaking out against it.

Even with all the comments about peaceful Muslims you all still blame the United states and Jews for the problems in the mid east.

I am through with this topic, and my mind will not change until I actually see you peaceful Muslims stand up against your own faith Muslim terrorist and put a stop to this type of behavior.

All the books and verses from the Koran doesn't stop the suicide bombers, and rocket launchers, and killing done by the Muslim world extremist, radical Muslims.

So Until I see your people stand up against this, then I still have the same mind set.


Ola   November 22nd, 2009 10:59 am ET

@ Alex,
While not all of the problems are because of Americans and the "Jews" (i would replace jews with zionists here), a huge part of them can be traced back to Americans, the British, and the Russians.
Americans funded Sudam Hussen (who then killed and tortured many innocent people), funded Osama Bin Laden when he was in Afghanistan to fight against the Russians who had invaded, in 1957 created a coup against the DEMOCRATIC government of Iran, invaded Iraq for no apparent reason, funded Zionists (not all jews, just zionists) who were supported by the British even though the British had promised the arabs they would not be affected and that they would receive their own land, and multiple other instances.
Maybe when America puts morals before its love for oil, Muslim countries will openly express their distaste in the terrorists whom they already dislike.


f.khoury   November 22nd, 2009 11:04 am ET

Let me tell you Saudi Arabia , is a hypocrite country, where they prescribes capital punishment , amputations of hands and feet.
Women are banned from driving, not allowed to vote, not permitted to travel unaccompanied by male relatives. etc etc ..


AUZZY   November 22nd, 2009 1:23 pm ET

Alex we explained to you the truth of Islam, but you still repeat your words ( bombers, radical Muslims, extremist Muslims).
We are more than a billion and half and this small stupid group does not represent Islam. Even Saudi Arabia has suffered from terrorist attacks which is the birthplace and spiritual center of Islam so, how do you say that a vast majority of Muslims who support this behaviour, this is unlogical.
((you all still blame the United states and Jews for the problems in the mid east.))
This is the truth, all the problems and strikes in the Middle East began after the occupation of Palestine by the Jews in 1948 and American intervention in affairs of other countries such as the occupation of Iraq which its situation gets worse and worse and worse.


Renee berggren   November 22nd, 2009 3:15 pm ET

ALEX I do hope you are learning to listen to other males talking , As you would not call them filthy names like you did me, I have been reading their mail to you and instead of being all big headed try listening OK,, My 12 years in Riyadh were without question a learning period for me,Do not have the idea that saudi,s live in poverty they dont and their children are well looked after , At least all the one,s that I knew, We in Britain and the US have done FAR MORE awfull things than what happens in the middle east , So Seriously read what the men wrote to you , they were not rude and vulgar so PLEASE try and gain a bit of knowledge from what they say, I bid you goodnight ....


FROM SAUDI ARABIA   November 26th, 2009 2:48 pm ET

We are not dealing with the root cause. The root cause has been the wrong education . They have been teaching haterage and producing terriorsts to fight the USSR in Afganisatn at that time. In simple language, anyone who has differnt belive dose not the right to exist. This is the belive that has been taught.

PROSAL : To solve the problem of terrorism, change the edcuaction, support the king in what he is trying to do. He is really doing very well for the country but there are still many things ahead.

The so called motawas are controlling the people by relgion. The custudian of the two wholey mosques is trying his best to encourage peace and compasion and acceptance of differnt belives.


Ola   November 27th, 2009 12:08 am ET

@ From Saudi Arabia
You see, the problem is that even though Osama came from Saudi Arabia, the reason terrorists still have power is because they prey on the weak and the poor.

Education will obviously decrease terrorism, but Saudi Arabia should also be helping out its neighbors. It doesn't have to take part in any war, just provide humanitarian aid.

Also, while I have not visited Saudi Arabia, I do believe that the princes (all 2,000 of them) have manipulated Islam to suit their desires; lots of the things they do are good, but not all. For example, rape should be tried as a crime using DNA, not as a sexual thing (in islam, a horrendous crime i believe is punishable by amputation).

Furthermore, the terrorism is more of a political thing; you don't see terrorists shooting things down in Uruguay or Cuba or Japan. Why? Because these countries have not screwed up the Middle East. America clings on to Israel because it has screwed up its relationship with all the other countries there; it is two-sided, it pretends to uphold democracy yet topples Iran's in 1953 because Iran nationalized its oil.

I am not at all condoning terrorism, I am stating that it is resentment at interference that eventually ruins everything and how the Middle East has constantly been exploited surrounded with the excuse of Islam.
terrorism is a relatively recent thing, only occurring in the past 30-50 years.

I really miss the Ottoman empire 🙁 🙁
though i was born way after it lolz


Petrol pumper   November 30th, 2009 5:50 am ET

Dont you people realize that the petrol price is controlled by the US. Some of these comments are jokes. I cant believe how most americans are so ignorant. Go and do some research. Also without arab fuel America wouldnt even exist.


Renee Berggren   November 30th, 2009 9:42 am ET

Thank you for a bit of common sense AT Last , Even my daughters who are american knew that ,, but some people just like to go with the flow And damn the arab country,s because they have oil , Do they have any idea how much OIL the US has , Lots of it untouched in alaska .. Myself I have spent many years in the middle east as My husband worked there , I was mostly very happy Not bothered by any one other than a few mattawas , as is everyone who lives there for 12 years at least once in a while, I really wish you had been on here when that horrible Alex was writing so much bad stuff , and really he doesnt Have Clue Thanks and hope more people see your mail Renee Berggren Sweden


Bilal, Beirut , Canada   January 4th, 2010 12:22 am ET

Mr. Alex one thing you should know is that the American government locked the oil prices with Saudi government when they asked for American "protection" from Saddam's invasion. So no matter what the price of oil rises, the American gets it for less under this agreement.
So now there is a big headquarter for the US army for no reason.

Unlike the Americans, the Japanese agreed to do special deals with the Saudi government by storing the excess of oil in oil tanks in Japan.
I wish the Americans would build research centers, science centers, art galleries, and cultural center ( which America does not have) rather then building head quarters for the armies, or building universities to steal money people.

According to the Sharia Law, the oil profits should be distributed equally among all muslims of all races in all countries. You will be the last one who will get a penny Alex. We do not hate Americans, but we have government and people like you.

I thank Renee for her comment. There are a big expitrate population over living their own life style, without forcing them to change their religion. You have to go their to experience that away from Fox, and CNN.


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