King Abdullah:Humaneness and Desert Values

I thought I was reading the New York Times, but instead it was Arab News. What follows are reports of a Festival held in Saudi Arabia this past week. The words from this Islamic “festival” are reminiscent of American Liberals’ rhetoric of anything and everything conservative in this country. They blame us for racism, for our Christian beliefs, for our lack of tolerance, for no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – they say Conservatives lie, in brief, the Democrats blame us for a culture of corruption – just as does Islam.

As our Republican leadership fails to come to the microphones, whether in majority power or not, and speak out for the very values they were elected for, Conservatives are facing their own personal Jihad from the Left.

Read the following and marvel at the parallels:

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, hosted the Janadriya Heritage and Culture Festival in Riyhad this week. The festival was “open to the world” and included “a number of Russian intellectuals,” the King said. Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the dignitaries.

In this headline from Arab News, dated today, King Abdullah Warns Muslims Against Forces of Schism, Abdullah “called upon Arabs and Muslims to strengthen unity and cautioned them against forces that try to create division among them. He urged Muslim and non-Muslim intellectuals to uphold human values. “The whole world is looking for humaneness,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the king as saying.

Then you get the left hook: Speakers at a Friday seminar, organized as part of the festival, pointed fingers at the United States for nurturing a culture of hatred toward Islam and Muslims.

This from “Mufti of Lebanon Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Juzo:

The mufti said radicalism, a product of racism, enclosure and religious hatred, was noticeable everywhere, but it was prominent in the West. “Despite the scientific advancement in America it still looks at others with snobbishness and conceit,” he said.

“They have not been able to free themselves from racism since the Crusades,” he said.

He said America was seeking to impose its own agenda on other countries in the region through domination and cited the example of the invasion of Iraq, which President George W. Bush dubbed “Operation Freedom.”

“The invasion of Iraq was part of a big lie. It was accused of having weapons of mass destruction and was invaded. And all of this happened so Israel could feel secure and not threatened,” he added.

America, he said, was causing another tragedy in the region by taking sides in the Sunni-Shiite conflict by supporting one side against the other. He said that the president’s speeches reflected his prejudice toward Islam. “What their culture of hatred reveals to us today is only a fraction of what lies inside. Today we face a new Western colonization,” he added.

Also in attendance was Dr. Jaafar Idrees who said this:

“…the Qur’an differentiated between hatred and hostility. He said Islam’s tolerant message is not to attack others who do not believe in its message, but to call them to the right path.

The problem, he noted, was not in hatred itself but when hatred turns into armed battles. “The real danger is when a superpower builds its policies on a religious belief which allows it to conquer other countries,” he said.

Getting back to King Abdullah, he

“…underlined the desert values of humaneness, open-mindedness, sincerity, chivalry, courage, magnanimity, romantic spirit and closeness to God”. “A man in power should meet the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people in the streets, know the views of prominent people…”.

The same article recounts a question to the King. While it intimates (but doesn’t specifically state) that Vladimir Putin asks “…when Saudi women would start driving in the Kingdom’s streets?…King Abdullah replies “…a decision…must come from Saudi society”.

So much for “ordinary people in the streets”.

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