Friday, January 19, 2007

Saudi British mosque vid

ZeroBoss linked this video on a hardline mosque in Britain, funded by the Saudis, that is teaching jihad, sharia on European soil, execution of khaffir (infidels). Although one could legitimately argue that maybe hardline is the wrong word and rather more mainstream.

Islam has not made a major leap into modern theology and social (even if still very conservative) reality. Islam's greatest strength and possible greatest flaw (on the theory that one's strength is one's weakness) is instruction-law-communal justice. This form of theology pronounced by the imam is just a very extreme form of imperial religion. The weakness of course is what happens when the Muslims, the ummah, al-Islam, is weak relative to the infidels, as it were? I'm focusing mostly on Sunni Islam for the moment, since the mosque in question is Sunni. Some of the worst charges against Sunni Islam---non-trustworthiness in treaties, for example--come out the position of weakness. At least historically. If one could argue, and I'm not arguing in this either pro or con, that such activities were necessary for survival in the time of Muhammad and the Early Companions, then are those standards still applicable today? Islam qua tribal-imperial Islam is under attack and should be. Islam itself should not be under attack--and sometimes sadly is.

Islam was the last and in terms of size the greatest of the "blue" imperial regimes. But that time is past and for the religion and its people to have a real future, it has to move forward--and that will only happen twinned with economic liberalization. Particularly in Europe where such trade does exist but Muslim youth by and large are kept out of the loop--socially as much if not more so than economically. Which is far more dangerous. Well educated, with some means, but humiliated young men=radicals. Not just Salafi jihadist ones, but definitely they are part of that trend.

In terms of the video, I'm in favor of its dissemination. I'm not for governmental anti-free speech measures--as interestingly some conservatives have called for putting them in a difficult position to both defend censorship of these views and promotion of Danish cartoons for example.

In American law, which doesn't apply in Europe obviously, but as an example--in American law free speech can be limited if it represents a "clear and present danger" to society. Whether such things as calling for the executions of homosexuals is a clear and present danger is a very valid question--but just so we are keeping score, that would mean certain very extreme Christian fundamentalists in America should be shut down bc such views are promoted.

My point is that the increasing transparency of video capability runs both ways--the young men in the mosque get live feeds from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia but their group has been infiltrated by a Muslim (presumably) and is equally being shown around the world. I'm all for protests and public pressure (moral sanction) put on say this mosque to can this imam. I'm not a big fan of government censorship-the clear and present danger line is a fine one to determine in many cases. It's not as simple, in this case, as yelling fire in a theater kinda thing.

But to get back to Saudi Arabia politically for a second. Bush's invasion of Iraq was always about Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But Bush ignorantly thought it should have been about Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah as well--and tangentially showing such power to Russia and China to keep them at bay.

If this is WWII all over again, then the Salafi jihadis are the Nazis and the Iranians are the Communist Soviets. The Allied Powers did not and would not have won without Joe Stalin, the Russian winter, and millions of dead in places like Stalingrad. Period.

The Palestinian-Israeli issue is separate. Even if Palestine gets a state, Saudi Arabia will still be a mess. The Palestinian issue is painful but mostly an excuse for Arabs, seems to me. Getting the Palestinians a state and removing the Israeli occupation, which I"m in favor of, will not take care of Riyadh or Cairo. That is why this week the Saudis and Egyptians supported the surge, barely, and said they would offer no real help in the matter. Why they fear Iran so much--it represents not only the rise of the Shia but the realization that this can not go on this way forever. Their last ditch efforts to get the populace behind them will likely be to attempt nuclear weapons programs. Hosni Mubarak's son (Gamil), who Mubarak is attempting make his successor--aka a monarchical dynasty, how "moderate" is that in this day and age?--gave a speech calling for Egypt to go after the bomb. Smart politics on his part.

You make a deal with Iran, Russia, and China--with or without a surge I don't really care at this point--Iraq breaks down and the pressure goes to where it has always needed to go: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.

Al-Qaeda is an almost purely Saudi and Egyptian organization that only recently is trying to pull in Pakistani British.

Salafi jihadism has to be isolated and attacked from all corners: market flooding (and all that comes with that), police type actions, intel, and military interventions (read: sub-Saharan Africa) where needed. All of which will work with a simultaneous alliance-containment strategy on Iran, itself predicted on Chinese-Russian-US normalization of relations. This is what Nixon would have done, so says Jim Pinkerton.


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