The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

The start of the Second Saudi Civil War 

The first was when King AbdulAziz, back in the last century, unified Saudi Arabia (or stole it from the Hashemites, depending on your point of view. However the victors write the history).

The second is starting now. Am I being over-dramatic? Some may think so. However I do not believe that I am.

Saudi Arabia has always nurtured religious extremists thru its Wahabbi state religion, its educational system, and its introverted attitude to the outside world. The advent of oil provided the finance for these extremists to practice what they preached.

At first they operated abroad, in Afghanistan, in Chechnya, in the Yemen. And we Saudis regarded them as brave adventurers, the late 20th century equivalent of volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

Then came 9/11. It had become more serious. But Westerners were the target. And, at all levels, we never really condemned it. Indeed, many cheered.

Then they attacked within the Kingdom. But it was housing compounds, for Westerners. And, at all levels, we never really condemned it. And still many cheered.

Then they attacked more housing compounds. This time, Arabs, Muslims, got killed. So we didn't cheer. But they were Egyptians and Lebanese, so we didn't care that much.

Now, all of a sudden, they are attacking Saudis. OK, Saudis from the ruling tribes, part of the security forces. But we all look the same. And suddenly we are the targets. The terrorists are not going to leave us alone, because we're not part of the government apparatus. And now we are faced with the sudden realization that we should have done something about this a long time ago.

I've been reminded of the poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

A week ago we were all having a laugh at our "Keystone Cop" security forces, endlessly surrounding but never capturing. Now all mayhem has broken loose.

More Terrorists Killed

Shaken Jeddah Residents Speak of Their Ordeal

Suffering Continues After Blast

So what word of comfort and encouragement do we have from our religious leaders?

Haram Imam Urges People to Help Foil Terror Attacks

EXCUSE ME? Are we only condemning those who kill Muslims? Is that why you said nothing after 9/11, and in May 2003, and November 2003? Now I have not had the benefit of an education at our finest theological college, but I can read what it says in the Quraan. And where it repeats Moses' (Mousa's) 7th Commandment, the unequivocal "Thou shalt not kill", it says in Surah 5 Verse 32

"Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind..."

Now that's a bit more qualified, but nowhere does it say that this applies to Muslims only. It applies to all mankind. So excuse me Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, and all the rest of your legalistic and sanctimonious breed, if I regard you as being the root cause of our present troubles. And I've no doubt that you wash your hands at least five times a day.

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