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Total number of comments: 26 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:26)


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  • The Scandal of Saudi's Syria Refugee Policy
    • I think what they said is that 500,000 Syrians have come to Saudi to work and live, just as they were doing before this all started. The same goes for Kuwait, for example, where somewhere around 120,000 to 150,000 Syrians live and work. They have waived the rules so that their visas won't expire and they can stay when they might have otherwise had to leave.

      Just a note - as someone who lives in the Gulf, I can tell you that the people themselves have been giving a lot of aid to Syrians, and this has been going on for years now. It should be more, but it's not right to ignore the fact that so many people have been contributing money, food, clothing, blankets, tents, etc.; that many people go to refugee camps regularly to deliver aid, etc. Most of this is done on a personal level and is not even included in official records of the amounts given.

    • They've said now that they never made any such offer.

    • Is that even true that Saudi Arabia offered to build 200 mosques in Germany? All of the reports seem to come from one source, which it not anything official.

  • Breakdown In Saudi Organization leads to Stampede killing over 700 pilgrims near Mecca
    • I'm glad that he talked the spiritual aspects - even though she didn't really ask about that - because you don't get that from the typical news reports.

  • Campaign of fear: Donald Trump's battle against birthright citizenship
    • Many 'accidental Americans' (born to parents who were working or studying in the US) are encountering the disadvantages - as they discover that even if they live in their native country have no attachments to the US, they're supposed to be filing tax returns, reporting money in foreign bank accounts, registering for the draft, etc. (And that their bank accounts may be frozen otherwise.) The US doesn't allow them to revoke their citizenship until they're 18, and then there's a fee of more than $2,000 for doing so (and all taxes must be up to date).

  • Saudi Arabia as the Incredible Hulk: King Salman snubs Obama's Gulf Summit
    • Saudi insiders say that the king didn't go because those close to him decided against it - because his Alzheimer's would just become too obvious in such a forum. Funny how it's been turned into this huge snub...

  • ISIL vs the Graven Idols of History
    • Thanks... interesting points to think about - some things that I hadn't heard discussed before.

      I can't speak for ISIS, but many Islamic scholars - and not only Saudis - are of the opinion that creating a sculpture (or painting) of a person or animal (anything with a soul) is not allowed. Of course, an idol that is/was worshiped is even worse.

  • Is ISIL's Ideology really Grounded in Saudi Textbooks?
    • As if I said that... In any case, my educational system was an American suburban school system in the 60s and 70s. (And since you mentioned the scientific method, I don't remember my Science books saying that the father of the scientific method was the Arab Muslim scientist Ibn al-Haytham. That's because the educational system was shaped by American culture, and all discoveries were attributed to Europeans.) Of course, History was completely slanted to support American cultural assumptions, too... as was Literature and all of the other subjects.

    • Exactly. The analysts write that the Saudi (government-backed) scholars just recently started saying that Muslims shouldn't go fight jihad, but that's ridiculous. It's just that they just started to notice them saying it - and that they are unable to distinguish between different 'strains', as you call them (meaning that they really don't understand enough to be commenting on these areas)...

    • As Billmon says, why should Saudi Arabia (and other Muslim countries) be forced to change their school curricula to suit whatever happens to be in fashion in the West? Aside from that, though, this article is shallow and uninformed. ISIS, Saudi, and many other Muslim countries do base their curricula - yes, even science and geography - on their belief system - as does every other country. It's not that ISIS looks to Saudi Arabia...

      And Saudi religious scholars teach that groups like ISIS are illegal; they strongly insist that Muslims have to follow their leaders (meaning the king, in their case) and are not allowed to fight jihad unless the leaders command them to do so; they absolutely do not teach them to support ISIS. This is not something new, but it's something that is completely missed by the so-called 'experts'.

      'For example, kids are taught that the “Zionists” have occupied Palestine illegally...'

      Well, that's just a fact.

      'Jerusalem, the “Third Qibla” of Islam, to which Muslims turn to pray after Mecca and Medina.'

      Sorry, but this is just wrong (and not difficult to check, which tells me how credible this author is). Jerusalem was actually the FIRST qibla of the Muslims, and it was changed to Makkah, which has been the ONLY qibla since then. And Muslims have never turned to Madinah to pray. I assume that what the author means is that Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam, after Makkah and Madinah; this is true.

  • Gaza War Devastates Israeli Tourism Revenue, Points to Fragile Apartheid Future
    • Well, they can't have it both ways. We're supposed to believe that Israel is under constant bombardment, that they're all terrified and running back and forth to bomb shelters all day - and that this can't be allowed to continue... but then when the airlines cancel flights, they object and say it's perfectly safe. So which is it?

  • Stop Saying 'If X fired Rockets at U.S.': It's Racist, & assumes we're Colonial
    • I can't even listen to these Israeli spokespeople... But this issue begs the question... by this logic, don't PALESTINIANS have the right to react when they're being attacked?

  • Enter the Ayatollah: Sistani calls on Iraqis to enlist in Fight against "Terrorists"
    • It's a little disingenuous to pretend that Sistani's appeal is not sectarian. He doesn't have to come out and say "I'm addressing Shias only", because he is a Shia leader and only Shias follow what he says.

  • Terrorism and the other Religions
    • I love these predictable responses. For instance, when it is pointed out that the US military kills civilians, the response is that it's not the same because the US doesn't TARGET civilians. When it is pointed out that there are very high rates of murder, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc., in the US, the response is that it's not the same because THEY have laws against this - as if other countries don't...

    • As for Buddhist terrorism, read up on how the (Muslim) Rohingyas are treated by the Burmese people and police (with the darling of the Western media, the supposed human rights heroine Aung San Suu Kyi, pretty much staying quiet about it).

  • A Post-Mortem on Muslim Rage: What did the reaction to the Islamophobic Trailer Really Tell Us? (Abootalebi)
    • "But as long as sufficient goes in the pot on a Friday, however ill-gotten, they will be told by the one that matters what good men they are."

      Strange comment... I'm curious where you're talking about where they pass a 'pot' on Fridays.

  • Romney Jumps the Shark: Libya, Egypt and the Butterfly Effect
    • Barbara, I live in the Middle East, and I'm curious to know exactly what you're frightened of from the Muslim Brotherhood. They're really just normal people and not at all terrifying.

    • The fact is that there is no absolute right to free speech. There are all kinds of restrictions, in the law, in the press, and even on media like Youtube. The press doesn't print things due to 'national security', they don't print the names of sexual assault victims, etc. In the UK, the press has all kinds of restrictions about what they print in terms of libel, and about the 'royal' family. (For example, of them refrained from showing the nude pictures of Prince Harry - although they regularly show topless women - until one finally did it; the others never did. And they all passed on the topless photos of Kate. Their press commission has a chilling effect on freedom of the press.) In Germany, you can't deny the holocaust. In France, it's against the law to deny the Armenian genocide. In Italy, they banned the movie 'Lion of the Desert' because it offended the honor of their army. (Released in 1981, it wasn't shown on Italian TV until 2009.) In Thailand, you go to jail for insulting the king. Many countries have libel and blasphemy laws (usually left over from British colonial law). These are just a few examples, but we do restrict freedom of speech for various reasons. (I'm not arguing whether these examples make sense or not - that's not the point.)

    • In Egypt, where this was movie first publicized, it was said from the beginning that it was made by Copts living in the U.S. It was after that that the guy gave an interview and claimed to be an Israeli, and that was found to be a lie anyway. I don't think the 'Jewish' aspect played into it that much.

    • Thank you. And do you really believe that so many people (including many intelligent, thinking Westerners - more women than men)would be converting to it?

      Noran asked if you'd read the Quran. I'd also ask: have you read the Old Testament?

    • Mr. Kumar, it's disingenuous to pretend that's there no Hindu extremism or violence. But that's not the point...

      Most non-Muslims can't understand the strength of a Muslims's feelings on seeing this trashy film, because for most of them, religion does not play the same central role in their lives.

      To use another analogy, though, consider the reaction of many Americans to an insult to the American flag. Before anyone knew what happened in Libya, online forums were already flooded with comments calling for killing all Muslims, nuking Makkah, sending them back to the Stone Age, etc. Why? Because some Egyptians had destroyed an American flag.

  • Al-`Awlaqi Should have been Tried in Absentia
    • I don't know about the law, but in reality, it doesn't work like that. I know for a fact that you can renounce your U.S. citizenship, as a condition for getting citizenship in another country (a country that doesn't allow dual citizenship), and the U.S. will simply give you your passport back when the process is finished, not considering your renunciation to be binding.

    • Hamden Rice: "There is no question that Anwar al-`Awlaqi was a member of this organization because of his writings and videos."

      Is that true? I don't know myself; I'm asking. Did he say he was a member of Al-Qaeda? Did he give his allegiance to bin Laden?

    • I'm fascinated to see that in the many articles about Anwar Awlaki, almost no one mentions that after returning to Yemen, he was arrested and kept in a notorious Yemeni prison for about one and a half years. He believed that it was at the request of the U.S. government, and I think he said that he was questioned by FBI agents there. Yet the typical reporting skips over that, as in this, from a New York Times article:

      "He returned to Yemen in 2004 and his English-language sermons became ever more stridently anti-American."

  • Fear Not the Muslim Brotherhood Boogeyman: Cole in Truthdig
    • The Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, known as the Islamic Constitutional Movement, also has seats in the National Assembly; among the Islamic groups, they are considered moderate.

  • Dear Rev. Graham: Obama was not born a Muslim and neither is anyone else
    • I hope some people will read this and understand that the Franklin Graham view of Islam is inaccurate.

      However, you've put another myth out there. You wrote: "While it is true that Islamic law gives custody of children in divorce cases to the father..." No, it is not true. You may be referring to Shia laws, but in Sunni Islam, the mother has custody of the children unless she remarries. Even if she remarries, the children often stay with her mother (they often live with her in large extended families anyway).

Showing comments 26 - 1