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- Written by Zafar Bangash
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Crescent International is a publication of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), Toronto, Canada.
While claiming to be carrying the banner of ‘Sunni’ Islam, the Saudi regime has visceral hatred for any genuine expression of Islam. We examine why.
What explains the Saudi regime’s visceral hatred of Islamic movements struggling to establish fairness and justice in society based on Islamic principles? The question is especially pertinent in view of the fact that successive Saudi rulers have arrogated to themselves the title of Khadim al-Haramayn (Servant of the Two Holy Cities). By so doing, they claim special status among Muslims. In their innocence, many Muslims have unfortunately fallen for this gimmick.
Israel’s barbaric assault on tiny Gaza launched officially on July 8 (it had started on July 1), however, has exposed more than the ugly faces of Zionism and US imperialism. It has also laid bare the criminal nature of a number of Arabian regimes. Leading this pack of villains are the tribal regime in Saudi Arabia and the military dictatorship in Egypt. Both have made their position clear in word and deed as staunch enemies of Islamic movements globally and therefore, of Islam itself.
In the past, these rulers resorted to rhetorical volleys against Zionist aggression in order to camouflage their impotence and complicity in such crimes. Now even that pretence has been abandoned as both regimes and their putative allies among the tribal sheikhdoms and emirates have openly sided with the Zionists. Israeli officials have publicly admitted that Arabian regimes have told them to “finish the job” in Gaza — meaning, eliminate the Islamic resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Such messages have not been communicated secretly: the Saudis and Egyptians are quite open about them. In an interview published in the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat (July 27), the former Saudi intelligence chief Turki bin Faisal (he owns the paper!) said Hamas was responsible for “the crimes Israel has committed in the Gaza Strip following its bad decisions in the past, and the haughtiness it shows by firing useless rockets at Israel, which contribute nothing to the Palestinian interest. The Hamas rockets pose no threat to the Israeli occupation, even when they reach Tel Aviv.” He offered no solution to the ongoing Zionist occupation of Palestine and onslaught on Gaza but went on to castigate Turkey and Qatar for their mediation efforts because they undermined Egypt’s “leadership role” in the Arabian world.
What precisely is this Egyptian“leadership role”? Under the heels of a military dictator who was awarded the highest Saudi medal, the King ‘Abd al- ‘Aziz Necklace, on August 10, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been exerting pressure on Hamas and the Palestinians to accept a cease-fire with Israel without addressing the underlying causes of Palestinian anger: the tight siege of Gaza that is strangling its 1.8 million inhabitants to death. The Sisi dictatorship has not only refused to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza even for injured Palestinians to seek medical help but also destroyed the tunnels through which the Palestinians get much needed supplies. For his services to the Zionists, the Sisi regime has earned the title of Israel’s “most friendly neighbor.”
Saudi King Abdullah has been no less nasty with the Palestinians. In a message delivered on Saudi television on August 1, he blamed “terrorist groups” bringing a bad name to Islam. Of course he also referred to the “terrorist regime” without once mentioning Israel by name. One wonders what disrepute has Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Hizbullah brought to Islam? One can cite many examples of the Saudi ruling family bringing disrepute to Islam. For instance, it is financing the terrorists in Syria and Iraq that are slitting people’s throats and stoning women to death in public, allegedly for committing adultery without meeting even the minimum requirements before inflicting such punishment. Besides, such punishment cannot be meted out by hoodlums brandishing Kalashnikovs.
There are other examples that prove the Saudi regime’s anti-Islamic practices. There is no freedom for people in the Kingdom when Islam grants such freedom to everyone; women are oppressed and not even allowed to drive cars. There is massive corruption in the Kingdom; the thieving “royals” are rotten to the core and indulge in numerous vices —gambling, adultery, drinking etc. — all prohibited in Islam and for which there is severe punishment.
While the Saudi regime has spent billions financing the terrorist mercenaries in Syria and Iraq that incidentally have not lifted a finger against the Zionist criminals murdering innocent Palestinians in Gaza, the king announced a donation of a mere $30 million to the Palestinian Health Ministry to help the people of Gaza. The ministry is controlled by the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas and dominated by Zionist and imperialist stooges. The people of Gaza are not likely to see a penny of this money once it gets into the grubby hands of the PA opportunists. In any case, $30 million is peanuts for what is needed in Gaza. The Saudi “royals” drop more than this in tips in one night when they visit the brothels of Europe!
The Saudis’ hate-filled language against Hamas is identical to that of the foul-mouthed Zionists. Israeli Knesset’s deputy speaker Moshe Feiglin has called for the “annihilation” of the Palestinians in Gaza. A member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s neo-Nazi Likud Party, Feiglin wrote on his Facebook page on August 2 to re-occupy the entire Gaza Strip. He also called for expelling all the residents of Gaza and for putting them in concentration camps in the Negev desert before shipping them across the world. To achieve this, he said water and electricity should be shut off to the Palestinians to force them to leave their homes. He called for their “extermination,” the precise word used on his Facebook page.
Even Saudi court ‘ulama have been pressed into service against the Palestinians and their supporters. They are always ready to issue whatever “fatwa” the regime wants. The latest “fatwa” of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Aal al-Shaykh denounced marches in support of the brutalized people of Gaza as “useless” and “demagogic.”The grand mufti who is blind, is the President for Scientific Researches and Fatwas. Denouncing marches in support of the Palestinians in Gaza is necessitated by the Saudi regime’s fear of its own people. If they are allowed to march in support of Gaza, people are bound to raise questions about their own lack of freedoms. After all, there are more than 30,000 political prisoners in the Kingdom.
Does the Saudi Grand Mufti’s fatwa have any basis in the Qur’an or the Sunnah of the noble Messenger of Allah (pbuh)? The noble Qur’an says, “And how could you refuse to struggle in the cause of Allah and of the utterly helpless men and women and children who are crying, “O our Sustainer! Lead us forth [to freedom] out of this land whose people are oppressors and raise for us, out of Your grace, a protector, and raise for us, out of Your grace, one who will bring us support!” (4:75).
Let us also consider an episode from early Islamic history when Muslims in Makkah were persecuted because they were weak. Abu Jahl, a particularly nasty member of the Makkan elite, was torturing two early Muslims — Sumayya and her husband Yasir. While the noble Messenger (pbuh) could not rescue them, he did not abandon them either. Every day the noble Messenger (pbuh) would come out and stand at a distance expressing solidarity with them. He would say to them, “Isbiru ya aal Yasir! Inna maw‘idakum al-jannah: Have patience, O family of Yasir; verily, your reward is Paradise! The two were tortured to death becoming the first martyrs of Islam. If the noble Messenger (pbuh) expressed solidarity with the oppressed Muslims in early Islamic history even when he was unable to save them from torture and death, how can the paid preachers of Saudi Arabia denounce solidarity marches for the oppressed Palestinians in Gaza?
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