NY Times: Saudi Is A Kingdom of Backwardness And Religious Extremism

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Al-Thawra Net

New York Times considered  Saudi Arabia a source of intolerance and extremism and such attitudes of Islamophobia  contradict humans values and make them look like a bastion of intolerance.

Nicholas Kristof, writer, said “I’m glad that President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia, for engagement usually works better than isolation. But let’s not let diplomatic niceties keep us from pointing to the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in sowing instability, and, for that matter, in tarnishing the image of Islam worldwide.”

Kristof added  that the truth is that Saudi leaders do far more to damage Islam than Trump or Cruz can do, “we should be as ready to denounce their bigotry as Trump’s.”

According to the article, Americans are abuzz about the “missing 28 pages” — unsupported leads suggesting that Saudi officials might have had a hand in the 9/11 attacks.

“But as far as I can tell, these tips, addressed in a still-secret section of a congressional report, were investigated and discredited; Philip Zelikow of the 9/11 Commission tells me the 28 pages are “misleading”; the commission found there was “no evidence” of the Saudi government or senior officials financing the plot,” he said.

Kristof confirmed that much better reason to be concerned with Saudi Arabia is that it has promoted extremism, hatred, misogyny and the Sunni/Shiite divide that is now playing out in a Middle East civil war, “Saudi Arabia should be renamed the Kingdom of Backwardness.”

Kristof also explained that It’s not just that Saudi women are barred from driving, or that when in cars they are discouraged from wearing seatbelts for fear of showing their contours, or that a 19-year-old woman who was gang-raped was sentenced to 200 lashes (after protests, the king pardoned her). “It’s not just that public churches are banned, or that there is brutal repression of minority,” he added.

NY Times said “As the land where Islam began, Saudi Arabia has enormous influence among Muslims worldwide. Its approach to Islam has special legitimacy, its clerics have great reach, its media spread its views worldwide and it finances madrasas in poor countries to sow hatred.”

The article mentioned that from Pakistan to Mali, these Saudi-financed madrasas have popped up and cultivate religious extremism — and, sometimes, terrorists.

According to him, the State Department cable released through WikiLeaks reported that in Pakistan these extremist madrasas offered impoverished families a $6,500 bounty for turning over a son to be indoctrinated.

To be blunt, Kristof said “Saudi Arabia legitimizes Islamic extremism and intolerance around the world.” He added “If you want to stop bombings in Brussels or San Bernardino, then turn off the spigots of incitement from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.”

The article contained a new survey finds that young Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa want to modernize, with 52 percent saying that religion plays too big a role in the Middle East. Kristof comment “that’s true of many, many Saudis as well, and some have tried to start a desperately needed conversation about tolerance”.

“In the past I sometimes defended Saudi Arabia on the basis that it was at least moving in the right direction, but in the last few years it has been backtracking while also starting a brutal war in Yemen,” Kristof said.

He added that Obama’s biggest mistake with Saudi Arabia was providing arms for that war, implicating America in what Human Rights Watch says may be war crimes.

Bill O’Reilly has denounced Kristof as a “chief apologist” for Islam, and he will continue to decry what he sees as Islamophobia in the West ,as the article said.

“let’s acknowledge that Saudi Arabia is more than our gas station; it is also a wellspring of poison in the Islamic world, and its bigotry fuels our bigotry,” Kristof emphasized.