Misogyny Meet Irony: Saudi Arabia Elected To United Nation’s Women’s Rights Commission

Photo Opportunity: The Secretary-General with H.E. Mr. Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Jonathan Turley’s blog, by Jonathan Turley, April 24, 2017:

If you like your misogyny with a heavy serving of irony, you could do no better than the United Nations this week after Saudi Arabia was elected to a  2018-2022 term on the Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency that, according to its website, is “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”  As with Iran being put on the Commission, the irony would be humorous if there were not millions of victims over decades of abuse by these countries.  Previously, Saudi Arabia taking over the top spot on the Human Rights Commission was viewed as unbelievable, but the entry on the Commission on the Status of Women sets a level of irony that may be unsurpassable.

Notably, various groups demanded to know what countries voted for the inclusion.  Only 7 of 54 ECOSOC states opposed the inclusion and many want the EU countries to reveal their votes. It is absurd that such votes should be taken on secret ballots.

Now that Saudi Arabia is a protector of women’s rights, it may want to immediately call for an investigation of the country responsible for:

Barring women from being able to travel without the permission of men;

Flogging women for driving;

Jailing a man for protesting the treatment of women;

Arresting women for ripped jeans or “Western haircuts“;

Stoning a woman to death (while just giving her male love flogging) for sex outside of marriage;

Sentencing human right activists to death;

Persecuting lawyers who help rape victims; 

Flogging rape victims;

Permitting child bride arranged marriages;

Closing Women’z health clubs as UnIslamic;

Arresting women without head coverings;

Arresting even foreign women who sit next to unrelated men in public places;

Flogging women over use of bad language; 

Enforcing the right to beat wives; and

Barring women from a Women’s Rights Conference.

That is only a partial list for the new Saudi Commissioner and it does not even require going outside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

***

Also see:

Middle East: A Shift from Revolution to Evolution

Gatestone Institute, by Najat AlSaied, April 8, 2017:

  • The lesson the Trump administration might learn from the disastrous mistakes of its predecessor is that the main sources of terrorism in the region are political Islam and all its related religious groups. All these radical groups, including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Hamas have been spawned by a political Islam driven by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • The fight, therefore, should not be against Islam, but against political Islam. Islam needs to be practiced the way other religions are, as a private personal faith that should be kept separate from public life and politics, and whose expression should be confined to worship only.
  • Mosques, whether in the Arab and Muslim world or in the West, should be places of worship only and must not transformed to centers for polarizing society or for recruitment by political religious groups.

After each Islamist terrorist attack in the West, the public is divided into two camps: one angry and one indifferent. The problem with defeating Islamist terrorism seems to be that either it is attacked by conservatives who call Islam an evil cult or it is forgiven entirely by liberal apologists. What, then, is the answer?

One of the main failures in Western analyses of the origins of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa is that the West attributes them to a lack of democracy and a lack of respect for human rights. This is, indeed, part of the cause, but the root of the problem is a lack of development and modernity. U.S. President Donald Trump did not exaggerate when he said that the Obama administration’s foreign policy was disastrous. It was catastrophic mainly for two reasons. One was the knee-jerk support for the “Arab Spring” and for extremist Islamic political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The second was the alliances the Obama administration built with unreliable countries such as Qatar, which supports radical political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, Obama made the mistake of continuing to try to appease Iran’s theocratic regime.

The Arab Spring’s uncalculated, hasty attempt to establish so-called democracy only generated more turmoil and chaos in the region. Certain radical political groups simply exploited the elections to serve their own political and sectarian agendas; that swoop for power only resulted in more authoritarian and dictatorial regimes, as have played out, for instance, in Egypt, where we have witnessed the murder of civilians and police officers by the Muslim Brotherhood. In other countries, the situation is even worse; attempts to install democracy have totally destroyed the state and facilitated the spread of terrorist militias, as in Libya.

It is ironic that Western countries and their advocates stress the need to apply democratic practices in Arab countries, but evidently do not recall that development and secularism preceded democracy in Western Europe. The United Kingdom, which has the oldest democratic system, did not become fully democratic until 1930. France became fully democratic only in 1945, 150 years after the French Revolution.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, at the Arab Summit in Jordan on March 28, 2017 delivered a speech in which he indicated his continuous support for the Muslim Brotherhood:

“If we are serious about focusing our efforts on armed terrorist organizations, is it fair to consider any political party we disagree with as terrorist? Is our goal to increase the number of terrorists?”

Many Arab leaders were infuriated by his speech; at the forefront was President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who left the Arab Summit Hall during the speech to meet King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Most Arab leaders and analysts, in fact, are enraged by Qatar’s continuous support for Islamist political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, because these groups are a threat to their national security.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt speaks at the Arab Summit, on March 29. The previous day, Sisi walked out of a speech by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Sisi was infuriated by Al-Thani’s declaration of support for the Muslim Brotherhood. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

Another consequence of Obama’s foreign policy — in particular attempts to get close to Iran’s hostile regime — has been a fraying of relationships with old Arab allies of the United States. Some of Obama’s advisors thought that replacing Saudi Arabia with Iran was somehow “better” for the United States, if Iran “is beginning to evolve into a very civilized and historically important country” — an analysis that can be described as completely short-sighted.

The Saudi regime, with all its flaws, is a monarchy run by princes; the Iranian regime is a theocracy run by clerics. The Saudi regime is not a theocratic regime but a hybrid structure, which is neither wholly secular nor wholly religious. As such, the religious class functions under the authority of the ruling class. Princes are driven by self-interest; clerics are driven by ideology. In terms of extremism, the Iranian regime is pushing for hegemony, whilst Saudi Arabia has been taking only a defensive, rather than an expansionist, position.

The motivation of Saudi Arabia in exporting mosques world-wide and installing radical Saudi imams is defensive, not expansionist as in Iran. Saudi Arabia’s impetus is to confront Iran’s hegemony and the spread of its hostile ideology. It is this strategy, which Saudi Arabia has practiced since 1979 to balance Iran’s power and to combat its rebellious ideology, that must change.

That Iran’s Khomeini regime sought to embarrass Saudi Arabia — a country that is home to Islam’s two holiest mosques, in Mecca and Medina — by portraying it as not sufficiently Islamic, meant that the foundational Islamic Wahhabism of the Saudi Kingdom was aggressively reinforced. This emphasis resulted in even more constraints being put in place in Iran: especially on entertainment. Since the Khomeini revolution in 1979, all plays, fashion shows, international events, and cinemas have been banned. As for women, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has increasingly harassed them. As for minorities, especially Shia challenging the Iranian Shia regime and its support for Shia militias — particularly the dominant Revolutionary Guards — books were published attacking the Shia:

More books appeared, attacking the Shias and especially Khomeini’s views. These books – like the arguments of Khomeini’s followers – rejected modern thinking as an “intellectual invasion.” Saudi Arabia, considered the guardian of Sunni Islam, spent billions of dollars on challenging the Khomeini-backed Shiites.

This religious one-upmanship — a competition over which body can be the “most religious” — must stop. Saudi Arabia would do well to understand that in order to confront the hegemony of the Iranian theocratic regime, the answer is not to radicalize Saudi society but to return to the way it was before 1979.

The best way to defeat the rebel hostile regime in Iran might be through creating an inclusive and tolerant society in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia needs to change its approach towards Iran because the current strategy has not worked. The current strategy has done nothing except to strengthen the Iranian regime’s dominance; distort, globally, the image of Saudi Arabia and accelerate terrorism.

The lesson the Trump administration might learn from the disastrous mistakes of its predecessor is that the main source of terrorism in the region are political Islam and all its related religious groups. All these radical groups including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra and Hamas have been spawned by a political Islam driven by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Extremist jihadists such as Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam and Ayman al-Zawahiri were all taught by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Political Islam practiced by the Iranian theocratic regime has been comfortably generating Shia radical militias, including the terrorist group, Hezbollah. The fight, therefore, should not be against Islam, but against political Islam. Islam needs to be practiced the way other religions are, as a private personal faith that should be kept separate from public life and politics, and whose expression should be confined to worship only. Mosques, whether in the Arab and Muslim world or in the West, should be places of worship only and must not transformed to centers for polarizing society or for recruitment by political religious groups. Unfortunately, Western countries have turned a blind eye to the political activities inside these mosques.

The danger of these religious political groups is that they do not believe in democracy or human rights; they just use elections to grasp power in order to impose a system of “Islamic Caliphate” as their only form of government. Most of these groups use religion as an ideology to oppose governments other than their own, and when they are criticized or attacked, they play the role of the oppressed.

The Trump administration needs to take advantage of the fact that the majority of people in the Middle East and North Africa have lost faith in religious political groups, especially since the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia.

Before the Arab Spring, support for these groups was huge; now it stands at less than 10% of the population. This study was conducted in the Arab world, not including Turkey. The Muslims who support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are the Muslim Brotherhood.

Most recent polls indicate that the majority of people in Arab and Muslim countries prefer religion to be kept separate from politics.

The country that is working the most systematically to fight these religious political groups in the region is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There are several institutes and think tanks researching how to combat these groups. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), has given a robust analysis of these groups and how to combat them in his book, The Mirage. In it, he cites a study on public opinion on political religious groups: A survey of the UAE population, on how these groups are able to influence the public by taking advantage of certain flaws in the system: 53.9% because of corruption; 47.9% because of poverty and 29.1% because of an absence of civil society groups that confront these opportunists.

The Middle East-North Africa region will undoubtedly have to go through several stages before it can successfully establish democracy. An evolutionary developmental approach will definitely be better than the failed revolutionary democratic one pursued by the Obama administration.

Secularization is also crucial in the fight against terrorism. Trying to build a democracy before going through the stages of secularism and political reformation — which includes rectifying existing flaws, such as corruption; modernization which means the liberation of the region from extremist totalitarian religious dogma and all other forms of backwardness in order to kick-start a renaissance; and scientific development — will not only be inadequate but will actually generate more terrorism by helping radicals to keep gaining power. It would be like a farmer who wants to plant roses in arid desert soil full of thorns.

Najat AlSaied is a Saudi American academic and the author of “Screens of Influence: Arab Satellite Television & Social Development”. She is an Assistant Professor at Zayed University in the College of Communication and Media Sciences in Dubai-UAE. She can be reached at: najwasaied@hotmail.com

Families of 9/11 victims file suit against Saudi Arabia

Getty Images

New York Post, by Emily Saul, March 21, 2017:

Families of 9/11 victims filed suit in Manhattan against Saudi Arabia Monday, claiming the Arab country knowingly facilitated the devastating terror attacks.

The consolidated action was filed in federal court on behalf of 2,500 spouses, children, parents and siblings of those who died when 19 al Qaeda insurgents hijacked four airplanes and flew them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to retake control from the hijackers.

In total 2,977 innocent victims were killed.

“It’s become much clearer for the American public that the Saudi government and Saudi officials exhibited a pattern of support for al Qaeda, and that 9/11 would not have been possible without their support,” said attorney Andrew Maloney, whose firm is one of the five behind the suit.

The papers claim Saudi Arabia raised and laundered money to support al Qaeda activities, funded terrorist training camps “where al Qaeda taught their hijackers the skills they used to carry out the Sept. 11 attacks,” and actively supported al Qaeda in its final preparations.

The suit give several examples of how the country — a longtime ally of the US — is linked to al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 during a raid on his compound in Pakistan.

Specifically, the plaintiffs allege:

  • Since 1986, Saudi Arabia used nine state-run charities to fund terrorism by collaborating with Osama bin Laden to establish al Qaeda. A “top ranking Saudi Arabia official,” along with close bin Laden pals, also joined in on this effort. One of those charities, al Haramain Islamic Foundation, provided funds to support al Qaeda, according to the US Department of Treasury.
  • The kingdom adopted Wahhabism, an “extremist version of Islam,” as the state religion and used the faith to “justify [al Qaeda’s] campaign of anti-American violence.”
  • Since at least the early 1990s, Saudi Arabia knew that “al Qaeda had begun to pursue and carry out terrorist attacks against the United States.”
  • The kingdom also knew that between 1988 and 1990, bin Laden made speeches at his family’s mosque in Jeddah and other Saudi locations where he “declared that the United States was the primary target of al Qaeda.” In 1990, he allegedly stated, “The Americans won’t stop their support of Jews in Palestine until we give them a lot of blows. They won’t stop until we do jihad against them.”
  • For years prior to Sept. 11, Saudi Arabia and its embassies, Ministry of Islamic Affairs and its Ministry of the Interior had a “relationship and communication with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda’s operatives, associates and activities throughout the world.”
  • Saudi Arabia had knowledge of al Qaeda’s previous terror attempts on the US, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people.
  • The Sept. 11 attacks were avoidable because since 1996, the US “urgently told Saudi Arabia that it needed background and financial information and other assistance regarding al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden in order to disrupt or interdict the threat of al Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States and its nationals.”

The suit follows a congressional override of then-President Barack Obama’s veto in September, which enacted a law allowing an exception to the legal principle of sovereign immunity in cases of terrorism on US soil.

While the first suits against Saudi Arabia were filed a month later, this is the first consolidated action filed against the Middle Eastern kingdom.

“We are grateful to our members of Congress for not only passing [the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism ACT], but also overriding the veto of former President Obama,” Maloney said.

“We would hope to continue to enjoy the support of President Trump, and we hope he meant what he said,” the attorney added, referencing Trump’s September 2016 statement that Obama’s veto was “one of the low points” of his presidency.

Neither the Saudi Arabian embassies in New York or in Washington, DC returned messages. ​

Also see:

Vets say they were duped into helping Saudi Arabia dodge payouts to 9/11 victims

Former US Marine Sgt. Timothy Cord Kim Raff

Former US Marine Sgt. Timothy Cord Kim Raff

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, March 5, 2017:

Agents of the Saudi Arabian government are using US veterans as pawns in a scheme to gut a new law clearing a path for 9/11 families to sue the kingdom for its alleged role in the attacks, several vets complained in interviews with The Post.

“I joined the Marine Corps as a direct result of 9/11, so to be wined and dined by the very people I joined to fight against, that was sickening,” said Timothy Cord, who served as a Marine sergeant in Iraq.

Vets say the Saudi scam involves soliciting them to go on all-expenses-paid trips to Washington — including lodging at the posh new Trump hotel near the White House — to help pressure lawmakers into amending the recently passed bill, Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).

Trip organizers Qorvis MSLGROUP, however, are allegedly failing to disclose to participants that the Saudi government is funding the trips through some 75 paid foreign agents it’s hired across the US to oppose the law, which passed unanimously in September.

Vets complain they’re not only being misled but openly lied to. During one recent trip, an organizer denied any “Saudi involvement” in sponsoring the trip, even though federal filings show the organizer has a $100,000 contract with the Saudis and is a registered foreign agent for the kingdom.

In their recruiting pitch to vets, the Saudi lobbyists, who pose as veteran advocates, claim that JASTA exposes them as well as “150,000 [US] military personnel stationed in over 150 countries” to “retaliatory lawsuits” in foreign courts — even though international law experts note that JASTA deals only with the immunity of foreign states, and poses little if any risk to individuals.

Vets felt shock and anger when they found out they were duped into doing “the Saudis’ dirty work,” as one put it.

Thomas J. Hermesman, who was deployed in Afghanistan as a Marine sergeant, joined the Jan. 23-26 trip to Washington flown out of Durango, Colo.,with nearly 50 other vets. “The organizers were definitely keeping stuff from us,” Hermesman said. “We didn’t get the full story. It was pretty shady.”

He said organizers told the vets if they ever traveled again in Iraq or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, they could be stopped at a checkpoint and taken into custody as a terrorist thanks to JASTA.

A briefing paper for the DC meetings drew some suspicion. In tiny print at the bottom of the second page, it reads: “This is distributed by Qorvis MSLGROUP on behalf of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.”

Former Sgt. Cord said the trip leader, Jason E. Johns, shot down any concerns about Mideast sponsorship as soon as the vets arrived in DC. “He stood up the first night to announce that ‘there are rumors going around about Saudi involvement, and they absolutely aren’t [involved].’ ”

Johns’ bio describes him as president of No Man Left Behind Veterans Advocacy Group. But federal records also list him as a registered Saudi agent making $100,000 to mobilize vets to lobby against JASTA. The primary registrant on his disclosure form is Qorvis MSLGROUP, the Saudi government’s top PR firm in Washington.

“It really pisses me off that vets are being lied to by other vets that are in the Saudis’ pocketbook,” said Cord, who says he wants to alert others in the veteran community that they’re being targeted and set up by the Saudi government. Johns did not respond to requests for comment.

Cord calls the trips to Washington a form of bribery. All travel expenses were covered for his group’s four-day trip — including airfare and taxis, as well as meals and rooms at the $560-a-night Trump International Hotel, where the vets were welcomed with a “reception in The Patton Room.” Even “complimentary drinks will be provided,” the itinerary states.

In exchange, it says, vets were expected to storm Congress and “make members fully aware that veterans have serious concerns regarding JASTA and convince them that JASTA needs to be amended.”

Marine Sgt. David Casler, who was flown in from Sacramento, says a prime target was the House Armed Services Committee. Casler says he and the other vets were warmly received by lawmakers and their staff, some of whom expressed an interest in “fixing” JASTA. “Who is going to turn down a vet?”

President Trump, who strongly supported JASTA during his campaign, would have to sign any amendments into the law.

The head of Qorvis denies he or his Arab client are trying to hide anything from vets they’re recruiting. “My understanding is everything is fully above board and everyone is fully informed of the issues,” Qorvis Managing Director Michael Petruzzello said.

JASTA has cleared a path for two large lawsuits against the Saudi government that could end up in millions of dollars in Saudi assets being seized in a court settlement. The suits will be aided by the recent release of the classified “28 pages” documenting Saudi government officials’ funding and other support for the Saudi hijackers. Saudi Embassy spokesman Nail Al-Jubeir did not return calls seeking comment.

Sperry is the author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

“Can I criticize Islam without fearing for my life”?

Sandra Solomon at Masjid Toronto mosque. Photo: screenshot video VladTepesBlog

Sandra Solomon at Masjid Toronto mosque. Photo: screenshot video VladTepesBlog

CIJ News, February 26, 2017:

A week after she protested against the “Islamization” of Canada outside of Masjid Toronto Mosque, Sandra Solomon, an ex-Muslim who became a human rights activist, took advantage of the mosque’s open house on Saturday, February 25, 2017 to deliver a direct message to the Imam Ahmed Shihab and the Muslim community.

Police are investigating possible hate crimes by the protesters who called for banning Islam and an imam at the mosque who recited supplications for the annihilation of the enemies of Islam and purification of al-Aqsa Mosque from the “filth of Jews.”

The following is the message that Sandra Solomon read in Masjid Toronto Mosque (February 25, 2017):

My name is Sandra Solomon. I am an ex Muslim who lived in the Saudi Arabian society governed by 100% Sharia law.

I suffered a lot in Saudi Arabia from the teachings of Islam because of the lack of women rights.

I was neglected, ignored and forbidden to sharing my thoughts on Islam to the point where I was always under risk of being murdered by honor killing from my brother, who attempted to kill me just because I refused to wear the hijab [head scarf].

They forced me into a marriage. Islamic forced marriage is nothing less than institutionalized rape. Do not dare to think otherwise.

I took my child and escaped Saudi Arabia because of the imminent threat of my execution for not following Islamic Sharia [Islamic Law] without question and came to Canada for its freedom.

I came to Canada to live under secular and Constitution Democratic system of law. A law that respects me as a free human being that has the right to live and think and be critical of anyone and anything without living in fear for my life and my child’s life .That is why I am in Canada. I am a subject of Canadian law. Not Sharia [Islamic] law.

I am a victim of Islam and it is my duty to warn others of its true nature. But unfortunately Sharia law is not leaving me. I was surprised when I found that it has followed us here to Canada. There are three Canadian imams on Canadian soil calling for my execution. Their names are, Shahryar Shiakh [“Punishment for apostasy is death”], Ahmad Abdul Qader Kandil [who said that enemies of Islam to be killed, crucified or their limbs cut off] and Said Rageah [who said that person who insults Mohammad may face execution in Islamic State]. All three of them in Canada are openly calling for my execution. Relying solely on the teaching of Quran and Hadith plus the book called human right in Islam distributed at Dundas square [“Islamic Shari’ah decrees execution for the person who apostatizes”]. [For more information on “Quebec, Ontario imams say apostates to be executed by The Islamic State” click HERE].

Ladies and gentlemen, criticism of an ideology and political authority is the most important aspect of free democracy. And for this, the imams all call for my death they do so on the Islamic grounds that I speak truths about Islam, its founder, Mohammad, and that I no longer accept the Islamic ideology, all of which are death penalty crimes under Islamic law, and which Islamic States like Iran, Saudi Arabia, The Islamic State, Afghanistan, Pakistan and dozens of more convict and execute. We see it here in Canada when Muslim girls refuse the hijab like the Shafia girls.

I am standing here in your mosque today, asking for you to show me the tolerance you ask of all Canadians. To accept me for whom I am and the free choices I made to be something other than Muslim. My God, is a God of love and mercy. I offer it to you, and ask you for it in return .My criticism of Islam are [sic] of the ideology, the teachings and scriptures. Not any individual Muslim. Criticizing ideology is not just legal in Canada; it’s the foundation of democracy. Whether it is a religious authority, or political, no person, book, or ideas are above criticism and scrutiny.

I want to thank the Mayor of Mississauga Bonnie Crombie for her answer when she comforted me about my concern regarding M-103, when she said to me, “this is Canada. We have one set of laws there is no Sharia law. The beauty of Canada is that we are free to openly criticize anyone and anytime. We have one set of laws and there is no Sharia law in Canada and there will not be Sharia law in Canada.” [click HERE]

When I asked her if I’m I allowed to criticize Islam and Muhammad the founder of Islam without fearing for my life, she said “this is your right. This is Canada “.

Therefore I’m here to ask you the same question. Can I criticize the Quran and Muhammad the founder of Islam, without fearing for my life and my child’s life?

And I would love to get the answer form the Imam [Ahmed Shihab] and it’s really, I’m here with the message of love and peace. I don’t hate Muslims. I’m here to deliver these flowers to you with all respect and I’ll continue my journey in Canada. I have concern about my life and I would love to get an answer from you Muslims to tell me: Am I going to be killed, or my child is going to be killed or harmed by anyway for me openly criticizing Islam? I want to be comforted.

A member of the mosque congregation said to Sandra that she is free to choose her faith emphasizing that her problem is not with Islam but with the Saudi regime.

Sandra Solomon is planning a tour across Canada (click HERE) to tell her personal story and encourage women from all communities to speak up and fight for their right to live free from religious or cultural oppression.

Published on Feb 16, 2017 by Vlad Tepesblog

The use of the three short clips by imams in Canada are 100% WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF FAIR USE. Furthermore, exposing the crime of these imams calling for the deaths of law abiding Canadians who left the Islamic religion is not just legal, but is a moral obligation. To know about this, and not inform others is a moral crime, if not a defacto one.

And in fact it may be one. It could be aiding a conspiracy to murder to NOT expose what these men are saying once you know about it.

CIA Awards Saudi Crown Prince Counter-Terrorism Medal

Saudi air force personnel at the King Salman air base. (Photo: © Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi air force personnel at the King Salman air base. (Photo: © Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s state sponsorship of the hardline Wahhabi ideology exacerbates global extremism, medal or not.

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, February 12, 2017:

The CIA awarded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, deputy prime minister and minister of Interior, with a medal for his services to “counter-terrorism.”

CIA Director Michael Pompeo presented the George Tenet medal to Prince bin Nayef during a trip to Riyadh in the presence of other senior members of the Saudi government.

Accepting the medal, bin Nayef told media that religion was completely separate from the actions of extremist groups, who misuse religion for their own purposes.

“We, God willing, continue to confront terrorism and extremism everywhere, and with thanks to God we have managed to thwart many terrorist plots from occurring,” he said. Bin Nayef and Pompeo also discussed many issues of mutual concern to the United States and Saudi Arabia, including but not limited to the fight against terrorism.

Clarion Project cannot comment on the specifics of this award to Prince bin Nayef, since we are not privy to the details of security cooperation against terrorism between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

However, Saudi Arabia has certainly been instrumental in spreading an ideology which gives rise to Islamist terrorism.

Here are three things you need to know.

1. The State Sponsored Religion of Saudi Arabia Is Very Similar to the Creed of ISIS

Saudi Arabia as described by Algerian writer Kamel Daoud in The New York Times as “an ISIS that has made it.”

The Gulf kingdom is a theocratic absolute monarchy governed in accordance with the puritanical version of Islam known as Wahhabism. This arrangement has been in place since 1744, before the creation of the state, when the Muhammed ibn Saud, the progenitor of the House of Saud, made a deal with the founder of Wahhabism, Muhammed ibn abd al-Wahhab, that the descendants of Ibn Saud would rule the political sphere, while the descendants of al-Wahhab would control theology. That deal remains in place today, with the Ash-Shaikh family controlling Saudi theology. The two families are closely intermarried.

This state sponsored form of Islam mandates the death penalty for blasphemy, homosexuality, sorcery and several other crimes. It prohibits women from going outside unless covered head to toe, prohibits women from driving, as well as a host of other activities such as working or getting a passport without permission from their male guardian. It also mandates the brutal hudud punishments, which include chopping off hands for stealing and lashes for crimes such as adultery.

Wahhabism preaches loyalty to the Saudi state. Jihadists differ in that they regard the Saudi state as a corrupt Western stooge. They adopt the puritanical ideology of Wahhabism, but merge it with a political revolutionary bent.

This synthesis is identified by scholars as salafi-jihadism. Groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS share this ideology.

2. Saudi Arabia Has Spent Billions Exporting Wahhabism Globally

Last year, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned Saudi Arabia was funding mosques in Germany linked to extremism.

Since the 1960s, Saudi Arabia has spent an estimated $100 billion on exporting the ideology of Wahhabism. It has funded mosques, madrassas and academic fellowships and chairs in universities across the world.

These include grants of $10 million to top American universities such as Harvard and Yale.

This money has been used to smother local pluralistic forms of Islam and has fueled a global upswing in religious puritanism and conservatism. This money has created and continues to create the milieu in which extremism can thrive and grow.

3. Saudi Arabia’s Regional Power Struggle With Iran Is Fueling Terrorism

Sunni jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq refer to Shia Muslims (among other pejorative terms) as “safawi,” referring to the Iranian Safavid dynasty which once ruled the region. The confluence of Sunni-Shia sectarianism with a geopolitical struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran has seen both countries fund opposing sides in wars throughout the region.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a war in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi rebels in support of a Sunni president. Although the war is more complicated than that, it is being used by Saudi Arabia and Iran as an opportunity to fight against each other’s’ interests.

Saudi Arabia also supported Sunni Islamist rebel groups against Iranian-backed President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

This power struggle is fueling armed conflict across the region which creates a fertile breeding ground for more, rather than less, terrorism and empowers extremist groups.

In the light of these three things, whatever the personal and strategic merits of Prince bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s long-term commitment to countering Islamist terrorism should be questioned.

Also see:

9/11 Families Group: McCain & Graham ‘Stabbed Us in the Back”

911-hijackers-museum-ap-640x480

Breitbart, by Lee Stranahan, December 23, 2016:

Terry Strada, the National Chair of the group 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism says that her group was “stabbed in the back” by Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who attempted to cut key provisions recently in the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act aka JASTA, passed by Congress earlier this year after overriding a veto by President Obama.

JASTA, which took 13 years to pass, would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for their role in terror funding. U.S. intelligence has long suspected that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia financed terrorist groups.

After years of working to pass the JASTA, Terry Strada’s group believed they finally might receive justice when Senators McCain and Graham attempted to cut key provisions just before Congress adjourned for the winter recess. Strada told Radio Stranahan that McCain and Graham “were trying to sneak something in that would definitely turn everything around. It’s the defense the Saudis want to use.”

Strada explained that Saudis “want to be able to say, as you said earlier, ‘Yeah, we gave money to terrorist organizations—we’re not gonna deny it—but what they did with it isn’t our fault,’ and that’s simply not true.”

The 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism were also shocked because Sen. Graham was one of the early supporters of JASTA. Strada said, “Senator Graham was an original co-sponsor on the bill when it was introduced seven years ago. He’s been on the bill ever since. When it was being voted on to come out of the Senate back in May earlier this year he put a hold on the bill specifically to look at it close and make sure that everything was accurate and fine and when he lifted the hold, that’s sending a signal that ‘I’m fine with the bill, no issues here’. And the bill went forward.”

Strada added, “To come around now and try to do this is very, very upsetting to the family.”

Graham and McCain have been acting alone in their attempts to introduce a discretionary clause to the bill, added Strada, who said that neither Senator responded to the group’s criticism. “I haven’t heard anything from them,” said Strada.

Strada also spoke about her experience dealing with massive, wealthy foreign lobbying by Saudi Arabian causes that have opposed JASTA and repeatedly threatened the United States in the event of the bill’s passing:

So the Saudis have hired I think 14 lobby firms and PR firms in the Washington D.C. area, and they’re spending upwards of 1.4 million dollars a month to try and change our law that we already enacted. So they have this very strong lobby presence in Washington D.C.. And you know, economic warfare is always one of their threats. They threaten to not work with us any longer to fight ISIS. They’re empty threats, clearly the economic one, they would financially ruin themselves and we would barely be affected. And as far as the fight on ISIS goes they need us more than we need them, so I don’t see where that would ever come to fruition either. They’re desperate not to be held accountable for the 9/11 attacks so they are using every tool they have, which is pressuring people.

Strada makes it clear that the goals of family members of 9/11 victims working to put JASTA into legal effect are not primarily goals of retribution or revenge, but a forward-looking attempt to stem the tide of terror, saying that “even a lone wolf can be stopped if JASTA is effective and starts to stem the flow of money, because they will not have the ability to recruit like they do now. And that’s really what the families hope for in the long run, that we will see the tide turn and that Saudi Arabia, who is the biggest funder, will stop funding terrorist organizations.” [emphasis added]

Strada continued:

(Lone wolf terrorists) do not come out of nowhere. There’s a network around these lone wolves that’s never reported on. When they start investigating their laptops or their cellphones, they have been in contact with someone who probably a lot of times recruited them in a mosque. I’m not saying every mosque is filled with them but many, many, many are filled with people put in place to recruit and to incite, and it’s a very frightening thing. And again, if you go after the financing and the funders, eventually this lifeblood of money is dried up and gone. The ideology can’t live without someone financially supporting it, because terrorists don’t have 9-5 jobs, they don’t collect a paycheck, they are funded solely by their wealthy paymasters in the Middle East.

When asked about whether she felt Donald Trump’s presidency would be helpful to her organization’s goals of getting justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, Strada responded positively, “I do believe Donald Trump is on our side, he did vocally support JASTA during the election — it didn’t get a lot of coverage but he certainly was in favor of it,” and she added how disappointed she was with President Obama, saying, “We were hopeful when he took office, we thought okay, new administration. He ran on transparency, we thought we were going to get what we want — we didn’t. We barely got the 28 pages.”

In a recent article in Politico, Saudi Arabia admitted to a former U.S. official that they both funded terrorism and misled the United States about it in the wake of the 9/11 attack.

Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.