Friday, November 2, 2007

Saudi Wisdom on Terrorism, Wife Beating

Before his meeting with the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia said that Great Britain wasn't doing enough to fight terrorism. As proof, he said that Saudi Arabia had given British security information about a terrorist attack before an attack that killed 52 commuters and the four suicide bombers who gave their all for Allah.

The information that Saudi Arabia gave was about an entirely different attack, but never mind that.

The Saudi king's blame game didn't go over too well in England. The Independent's Robert Fisk wrote that:
"for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter 'terrorism', and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren't most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from – er – Saudi Arabia? Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons?"
(Saudi Arabia's response to all those Saudi terrorists was that there were no Saudi terrorists: See "Different Strokes for Different Folks: How Middle Eastern Culture Deals With Reality?." (November 2, 2007))

King Abdullah's chiding of the United Kingdom shouldn't be a surprise.

When Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal came to New York City with a $10,000,000 check after the 9/11 attack, he lectured Americans on their (our - I'm American) deficiencies and faults. He said that the United states "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause...." As I recall, Mayor Giuliani stopped short of telling the prince where he could put the check: but did firmly refuse it.

(The U.S. stand has been, and will be - according to Condaleeza Rice - that there should be a Palestinian state. What Saudi Arabia thinks America should want, I have no idea.)

Meanwhile, back in Saudi Arabia, here's what "Dr." Muhammad Al-'Arifi said on a marriage advice show segment (in September, 2007):

"Admonish them – once, twice, three times, four times, ten times," he advised. "If this doesn't help, refuse to share their beds."

Let's say that doesn't work. What then?

"Beat them," said one of the good doctor's three young advisees.

"That's right," Al-'Arifi said.

(A video of the segment is available on

Muhammad Al-'Arifi is, presumably, an expert: he's an author and a cleric. Islamic cleric, I assume, since he's in Saudi Arabia and allowed on television.

Here's more of his advice:
"Beating in the face is forbidden, even when it comes to animals," he explained. "Even if you want your camel or donkey to start walking, you are not allowed to beat it in the face. If this is true for animals, it is all the more true when it comes to humans. So beatings should be light and not in the face."
Do I need to say this? I do not approve of wife beating. I'm just repeating what Muhammad Al-'Arifi said.

However, I think that the Saudi marriage expert's advice, the Saudi king's criticism of the United Kingdom, the Saudi Prince's tongue-lashing of Americans, and Dubai's remarkable attitude toward some kinds of rape show that Middle Eastern cultures have a sincerely 'alternative' approach to perceiving, and dealing with, the real world.
Oh, this is interesting. Saudi Arabia has a new plan for peace in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and a consortium of Arab Gulf states are going to invite Iran to let Iran produce enriched uranium in a neutral third country, like Switzerland. "We have proposed a solution, which is to create a consortium for all users of enriched uranium to do it in a collective manner that would distribute (nuclear fuel) according to need," he said. "We hope the Iranians will accept this proposal."

He said that the proposed plant would be built in a neutral third country, like Switzerland.

It'll be interesting to see how this develops.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.