If you're the King of Jordan, if you're a part of the royal family in Saudi Arabia and he's made this deal with Iran which gives them $150 billion to wage a war and try to extend their empire across the Middle East, why would you want to do it now? When I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan and I say to him, "You have a friend again sir, who will stand with you to fight this fight," he'll change his mind.
Looking more deeply at the emergence of ISIS or the chaos that exists in Syria, Yemen and Libya would clearly raise crucial doubts about reliance on military intervention and drone warfare as adequate counterterrorist responses and would call attention to the detrimental effects of US "special relationships" with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Is there any wilderness of sand in the deserts of Arabia, is there any prospect of desolation among the ruins of Palestine, which can rival the repelling effect on the eye, and the depressing influence on the mind, of an English country town in the first stage of its existence, and in the transition state of its prosperity?
If religion is a reaction of man, and nothing more, it seems to me that it represents a human desire for wrongdoers to be punished. I hate the idea of Idi Amin living in Saudi Arabia for the last 25 years of his life. That galls me to no end. I feel some sort of need for biblical atonement, or justice, or something. I like to believe there is some comeuppance, that karma kicks in at some point, even if it takes years or decades to happen. My girlfriend says this great thing that’s become my philosophy as well. 'I... Read more »
If you ask a Saudi Imam why women in Saudi Arabia can't drive, he'll say, 'Because Islam demands it.' But that's absurd, because - first of all - Islam demands no such thing; and secondly, the only country in the world in which women can't drive is Saudi Arabia. The inability to understand the difference between a cultural practice and religious belief is shocking among self-described intellectuals.
Take a look at the Supreme Court decision that just authorized an effort by U.S. claimants against Iran for terrorist acts. What are the terrorist acts? The terrorist acts are bombings of U.S. military installations in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, which Iran is claimed to have something to do with. Well suppose they did. That's not terrorism. I mean if we have a military base in Lebanon that while we're shelling Lebanese naval ships, the Navy is shelling Lebanese installations and somebody attacks [that's not terrorism].
What we argue in the piece is that the headscarf has become a political symbol for an ideology of Islam that is exported to the world by the theocracies of the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Just like the Catholic Church in the 17th century did religious propaganda to challenge the Protestant Reformation, these ideologies are trying to define the way Muslims express Islam in the world.