by Latheef Farook
Ever since the senseless beheading of Rizana Nafeek without a proper trial, questions are being asked about Saudi Arabia’s tribal rulers, who, for far too long, have exploited Islam to entrench their autocratic regime, which many people regard as un Islamic and the most oppressive in the planet.
A tribal system of government, a repressive royal family given special treatment, looting of the nation’s wealth and wasting them in vulgar opulence while the bulk of the people live below the poverty line, denying basic freedoms, arbitrary arrests, torture and killings, oppressing women liberated by Islam, and all other such institutionalized brutalities are, needless to say, in complete violation of Islam.
The Saudi monarchy has its origins in the First World War when Britain and its allies joined forces to defeat the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which ruled most of the Middle East. The long term plan, which has now come into fruition, was to divide the Middle East into nation states and establish a Jewish State in Palestine.
As part of this plan, Abdel Aziz Ibn Al Saud, tribal ruler in Nejd, and Shareef Hussein of Mecca, who was appointed by the Ottoman rulers, were bribed to help the British to defeat and destroy the Ottoman Empire. For the treachery of Shareef Hussein of Mecca, the British rewarded him with a princely sum of seven million sterling pounds. Abdel Aziz Ibn Al Saud, who signed a Treaty of Benevolent Neutrality with Britain, was paid a sum of 5,000 pounds a month. Thus, it was that both Shareef Hussein and Abdel Aziz sold their souls to the devil.
The Saudi tribal family rule
In the aftermath of World War I, the British and the allies got the Islamic caliphate abolished in Turkey. Four days later, Shareef Hussein of Mecca declared himself the new Caliph. Alarmed, Britain and its allies acted swiftly and gave their puppet client Abdel Aziz ibn Saud the green light to attack their other client Shareef Hussein and take over Mecca. They replaced Shareef Hussein with Abdel Aziz Ibn Al Saud’s monarchy which even today prevents the restoration of the caliphate.
Thus came into being the Saudi tribal family rule, with the blessings of Britain and its allies, in what we now call Saudi Arabia, which was later promoted and protected by the United Sates, especially in the aftermath of the discovery of oil, which gave tremendous financial clout to the Saud family to entrench its rule. In the process the Muslim holy lands came under the control of the Saud tribe.
Since then the unholy link between Saudi Arabia and the sworn enemies of Islam and Muslims continues unabated. On the one hand, the Saudi ruling family projects to the Muslim world an image as the guardians of Islam, while remaining an active partner in all US wars against Muslim countries.
This includes the eight-year Iraq-Iran war, which destroyed two Muslim countries besides killing almost a million Muslims, and the Kuwaiti crisis of August 1990, which virtually destroyed Kuwait and Iraq. Saudi Arabia alone spent more than US$ 55 billion on this needless war.
Then came the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Most American planes, which bombed Iraq, killing thousands of innocent Iraqis – women, children and the elderly included, took off from Saudi air bases. Thus, the Saudi ruling family assisted this US-led destruction of Iraq, not to mention the use of depleted uranium by American warplanes, which is still causing many thousands of Iraqi children to die of cancers, like childhood leukaemia.
The latest Saudi-Zionist collaboration, according to London-based Arabic dailies, was their contribution to the Israeli destruction and killings in Gaza during its 2008/2009 invasion, when it chose to remain absolutely silent on the massacre.
The height of this shameful collaboration was when Saudi King Abdullah travelled all the way to Washington to award Saudi Arabia’s highest national award to US President George W. Bush, a man deemed responsible for more than a million and half of Iraqi deaths. The Saudi King did this as the self-claimed custodian of the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina, provoking unprecedented fury among Muslims worldwide.
“It was the most shameful event in the history of Islam and no Muslim would ever forgive him for this treachery” said millions of embarrassed, dejected and helpless Muslims worldwide, who vehemently condemned King Abdullah for insulting the religion.
Besides this disgraceful behaviour, the Saudi regime has done, and is still doing, tremendous damage to peace loving Muslim communities worldwide by their policy to propagate their version of Islam. Under this policy, they pick a handful of people in villages and cities where Muslims are living in harmony, finance them, put up a mosque and divide the Muslims. They spend billions of dollars in this campaign of creating disunity among Muslims in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and even the Central Asian republics.
An Azerbaijan born Toronto-based journalist told me last year that this Saudi policy had done tremendous harm to Islam, which is just trying to raise its head in Central Asian republics after almost three quarter century of atheist communist rule. This is being done corrupting Islamic scholars by offers of money and perks.
Saudis are the main shareholders in the global media empire owned by Australian born Jew and Israeli citizen, Rupert Murdoch, who hates Muslims and uses his media empire to demonize Islam, cover up all US-Israeli crimes and atrocities and help create an environment justifying US and European invasions and destruction of Muslim countries.
This carefully planned and orchestrated conspiracy strikes at the very root of Muslim societies worldwide. They demonize anything and everything about Islam, portray every Muslim man with beard and Muslim woman with headscarf as potential terrorists and subject them to painful and humiliating harassments in the West. Arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention and torture, besides pitting Christians against Muslims in the West have become daily occurrences.
Saudis are active collaborators in the campaign against Islam and Muslims. The Saudi regime never helps Muslim countries. For example, across the border Yemenis suffer in abject poverty. But the Saudis have done nothing to help them. Instead together with President Barack Obama, Saudis are involved in bombing and killing them.
The Sudanese Foreign Minister once told me in Bahrain, his country has the largest fertile lands in Africa and they could produce food to supply the entire Middle East, provided the Saudis give them a billion dollars in aid. However, the Saudi’s who spend US$ 60 billion to purchase arms from America will never invest in Sudan. This is the ridiculous state of affairs.
Within Saudi Arabia, the fascist attitude of the rulers affect the country’s democratic spirit, as extremists rail against democracy despite the fact that Islam recognized democracy well over 1,400 years ago. Rather than Islam, these extremists look up to the dictatorial Saudi rule, which deprives people of even basic freedoms, where those who have tried to raise their voices against injustice have been arrested, detained indefinitely in unknown places, tortured and even killed. A non-Saudi knows that if he gets caught saying something unflattering about a member of the royal family, he could simply vanish.
The Saudi regime’s oppressive policies towards women in a land where Islam liberated women more than 14 centuries ago, has done lot of damage to project Islam as a religion oppressing women.
Few have penetrated the closed world of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, with its enormous wealth, the lavish lifestyles of its princes and their private passions. Those who do know the truth of the family are usually well rewarded to hold their tongues. And it certainly is a big family. A legion of 8,000 Saudi princes occupies the most important and high-paying jobs and keep the economy in a chokehold of nepotism.
Ill-treatment of people of Middle Eastern, Asian and African origins has been a common topic of discussion for a long time. There has been a common and widespread feeling among people all over the world that though the regime claims that the political, economic and social systems are based on Islamic Sharia, what they see in their day to day life is quite the contrary.
The ruler controls the colossal wealth the country is blessed with. The members of the ruling tribe, styling themselves the Royal Family, are given an enormous monthly payment simply for being a member of the family. These concepts are in complete violation of Islam, which insist on the equal distribution of wealth for all.
Saudi Arabia faces a severe problem of poverty and unemployment among its people. The situation is so bad that early this month, a Jazan father was forced to marry off his little daughter to an 84-year-old man. The man who, along with his 13 sons and daughter live in a house made of hay said it was the money that persuaded him to marry off his little girl to the elderly man.
Millions of Saudis struggle on the fringes of one of the world’s most powerful economies, where jobs and welfare programmes have failed to keep pace with a population that has soared from 6 million in 1970 to 28 million today.
And this in a country whose investment in the US some believe constitutes around six per cent of the whole US economy, raising questions in many circles as to why the Saudi regime invests such colossal amounts of its wealth in a country which is spearheading a global campaign against Islam.
Saudi Arabia has also been under severe criticism from several rights organizations over its human rights records. Time and again, the London-based Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other such organizations have condemned the country’s criminal law and the strict punishments it carries out.
Calling on the United Nations to break its ‘wall of silence’ surrounding human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International Spokeswoman Stephanie Farrior once said, “The UN Commission for Human Rights simply cannot turn its back on Saudi Arabia and it is time the international body put aside political and economic considerations and publicly scrutinize its appalling human rights record.
“Executions are normally carried out by the sword and Amnesty has previously said it knows of cases in which prisoners were unaware until the last minute that they were to be put to death. It had one of the highest rates of executions in the world. Inadequate trial procedures and feeble evidence requirements employed a range of torture techniques, including beating of the soles of the feet, use of electric shock devices and the extraction of nails to obtain confessions. ”
Condemning the Saudi criminal justice system and the strict punishments, many accused the regime of following one law for the Westerners and another for poor Asian and African workers. A case in point was when two British nurses convicted of murder in 1997, were allowed to go home following a visit to the country by Tony Blair. The widespread belief is that there is no law for the ruling family, which considers itself above the law.
Destruction of heritage
Since the House of Saud’s takeover of Arabia, following its foundational alliances with British imperialists , it is an open secret that the princes-cum-businessmen are waging a war against great signposts of Islamic history that even neo-Qurayshi dictators like Yazid ibn Mu‘awiyah had dared not disturb.
Columnist Zainab Cheema stated in an article: “A list is in order here — a mere slice of the nearly 300 Islamic structures that have been dynamited, bulldozed, and paved down in the past 80 years. It is a remarkable testament to Muslims’ gifts of preservation that the homes and other intimate structures of the early Makkan period of Islam have stood secure through the long centuries of dynastic change and political uncertainty,”
These landmarks of close associations and fraternal bonds through which a fledging Islam gained a social presence have now disappeared in the region’s necro-commercialization. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq’s house is now the Makkah Hilton Hotel. The Prophet’s (pbuh) mother, Aminah bint Wahb’s grave was paved down and burnt with gasoline. His first wife Khadijah’s house, where the Prophet’s (pbuh) children were born, is now a public lavatory. Archaeologists now estimate that less than 20 structures dating from the Prophet’s (pbuh) time are left in the Hijaz. Yes, that means 80% of Islamic sites have now disappeared, a memory of a memory. Construction underway has already partitioned the graves of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Abu Bakr and ‘Umar from the rest of the Masjid in preparation for razing them into rubble. A pamphlet published in 2007 by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and endorsed by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia reads: “The green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet’s Mosque”. The removal of the iconic Green Dome from over the graves is a preliminary step to this plan that has already been checked off the to-do list. Even the body of the Prophet (pbuh), the medium of Allah’s (swt) mercy to the worlds, is to disappear under the rubble and dust of Saudi demolition.
A recent report by a columnist stated that “disrespectful Saudi authorities have launched an expansion project of Masjid an-Nabawi, which includes razing of Riyad-al-Jannah (Garden of Paradise) and the graves of the Holy Prophet (upon Him peace and blessings) and caliphs Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar (Allah be pleased with them)
Muslim silence over the destruction of Mecca and Medina is both disastrous and hypocritical. The recent movie about the Prophet Mohamed caused worldwide protests… and yet the destruction of the Prophet’s birthplace, where he prayed and founded Islam has been allowed to continue without any criticism.
Three of the world’s oldest mosques are about to be destroyed as Saudi Arabia embarks on a multi-billion-pound expansion of Islam’s second holiest site – Medina. But concerns have been raised that the development will see key historic sites bulldozed. Anger is already growing at the kingdom’s apparent disdain for preserving the historical and archaeological heritage of the country’s holiest city, Mecca.
Heritage campaigners and many locals have looked on aghast, as the historic sections of Mecca and Medina have been bulldozed to make way for gleaming shopping malls, luxury hotels and enormous skyscrapers. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 % of the 1,000-year-old buildings in the two cities have been destroyed in the past 20 years.
The Jabal Omar Project
In Mecca, the Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam and a place where all Muslims are supposed to be equal, is now overshadowed by the Jabal Omar complex, a development of skyscraper apartments, hotels and an enormous clock tower. To build it, the Saudi authorities destroyed the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress and the hill it stood on.
The situation is such that Saudi regime is the most hated regime by Muslims worldwide. It has done tremendous destruction and harm to Islam and Muslims. The question is whether they are fit to be custodians of Mecca and Medina when they cannot even properly try Rizana or for that matter anyone else under the Sharia law they claim to follow.
Prof. M. Haris Z. Deen analyzing Rizana Nafeek’s killing has pointed out, “If Saudi Arabia followed the law of the country in beheading Rizana, it is their law and should not be compared with the Islamic Sharia.”
There has been growing unrest demanding political reforms to return the country to genuine Islamic teachings and the withdrawal of US troops from Saudi Arabia. People are demanding reforms as there is no effective public participation in the nation building programmes or in building civil society. Civil institutions are almost non-existent and there has been a stark contradiction between official statements and reality.
Analysts are of opinion that the Saudi family is sitting on a time bomb that will inevitably explode. The only question is when.COURTESY:CEYLON TODAY