More on the war on terrorism

I just wrote my reflections on September 11. I then saw that System i Addict (David) wrote about Remembering 9/11 & forgetting the terrorist. I just want to point out a few things, which are not talked about that often here in the US.

* 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, also the home country of Osama Bin-Ladin. {link}

* Saudi Arabia got the name from the family Saud, who "unified" (annected) several regions into one kingdom in 1932. The country is an absolute monarchy, which in this case is an autocracy (pretty much the same as a dictatorship). The king is the supreme ruler.

* Saudi Arabia is using sharia law (same as the Talibans promoted), with public flogging, amputation of hands and feet as well as beheading as punishments. Recently a 19 year old woman was sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison for being gang-raped by 7 men. Her crime? Being in the company of a man not her husband or brother…

* Human rights organisations are very critical of Saudi Arabia. Not only are women not allowed to drive cars, but recently the political police forced teenage girls back into a burning dorm building, using whips, because the girls were not wearing veils and thus were not properly dressed… An unknown number of young girls died from that.

* In 2002, the United Nations Committee against Torture criticized Saudi Arabia over the amputations and floggings it carries out under the Shari’a. The Saudi delegation responded defending its legal traditions held since the inception of Islam in the region 1300 years ago and rejected "interference" in its legal system. {link}

* Talking about schools:

The study of Islam remains at the core of the Saudi educational system. The Islamic aspect of the Saudi national curriculum is examined in a recent report by Freedom House. The report found that in religious education classes (in any religious school), children are taught to deprecate other religions, in addition to other branches of Islam. {link}


Education in Saudi Arabia has never fully separated from its Islamic roots. All curricula must conform to the Islamic Sharia laws and the Qur’an, and traditional gender roles continue to shape educational opportunities available to females. The education of females has increased dramatically in recent years, from 25 percent of all students in 1970 to 47.5 percent in 2001. However, education is largely segregated by gender. There are six Universities which have both male and female sections out of the nation´s eight universities. Certain subjects are not available for women yet.{link}

* There are reports that up to 90% of the money funneled to muslim fundamentalists around the world comes from saudi princes/royalty. The principle is similar to in the old catholic church, that you can buy yourself salvation in the after life by doing "good deeds for God", e.g. building a church if you are a christian or a islamic school if you are muslim. You can also support holy warriors (Crusaders in the 12th century, mujahedin in the 21st century). Much of Saudi Arabia’s aid has gone to poorer Islamic countries or Islamic communities in non-Islamic countries. This ‘aid’ has contributed to the spreading of a uniform and puritanical form of Islam, disregarding the needs and traditions of the different ethnic groups. {link} (Note: puritanical = fundamentalist) 

* Saudi Arabia is the biggest foreign buyer of US military hardware. Their Air Force has the third largest number of F-15 fighters after the USAF and the Japanese Air Force. Wikipedia again: "In 2005, Saudi Arabia was the foremost purchaser of US armaments in the world, with over $1.1 billion in purchases."

* On October, 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported that Crown Prince Abdullah sent a critical letter to George W. Bush on August 29. He warned that Saudi Arabia was being put in an untenable position and reportedly wrote: "A time comes when peoples and nations part. We are at a crossroads. It is time for the United States and Saudi Arabia to look at their separate interests. Those governments that don’t feel the pulse of their people and respond to it will suffer the fate of the Shah of Iran." {link}

It is interesting to hear comments like this: "Well, Saddam Hussein did not have any weapons of mass destruction, but he was an evil tyrant, oppressing his people. It was the right thing to invade to restore democracy and liberate the people of Iraq."

Using the same arguments, I think Saudi Arabia should been invaded long time ago and restored to democracy.


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