Saudi King Abdullah’s message of peace in NYC leaves his subjects back home in pieces.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia played New York City for a sucker yesterday with his homily about peace and mercy.
Even in a city that thrives on chutzpah, Abdullah’s lovefest publicity stunt has no equal.
The king was so polite right from the start of his speech yesterday at the U.N. Peace Through Dialogue meeting:
“Peace and the mercy and blessings of God be with you.”
And now a word from the U.S. State Department’s March 11, 2008, human-rights report on the peace and mercy during 2007 in the Saudi Arabia of King Abdullah:
• [Ministry of Interior] officials were responsible for most alleged incidents of physical abuse and torture of prisoners, including beatings, lashings, and suspension from bars by handcuffs.
• During the year according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the press reported 153 beheadings of individuals who were convicted of murder, narcotics-related offenses, and armed robbery, as well as of rape, sorcery and adultery.
Sorry, King Abdullah, were you saying something about “instruments to cause misery”?
“Human beings were created as equals and partners on this planet; either they live together in peace and harmony, or they will inevitably be consumed by the flames of misunderstanding, malice and hatred.”
No wonder it’s so hot in Saudi Arabia. All those flames of misunderstanding. According to the State Department report on 2007 events:
• On June 1, a member of the religious police reportedly arrested Ahmad al-Bulawi in Tabuk on suspicion of being in “illegal seclusion” with an unrelated woman. An autopsy revealed he had been beaten on his face before dying at the religious police center. On July 30, the Tabuk General Investigation and Prosecution Authority ruled that the arresting authorities, members of the religious police and a security guard, were not guilty of any wrongdoing.
• During the week of August 5, a Bangladeshi man died in Medina while in the custody of the religious police. They arrested him for allegedly washing a car while he should have been attending prayers. The head of the religious police, Ibrahim al-Gaith, claimed that the man had fainted and that there were no signs of assault. At year’s end the case was pending with the Shari’a court of Medina.
If washing your car is a sin punishable by death then I’ll live forever. But that’s another story. Sorry, King, I was preoccupied. What were you saying?
“It is high time for us to learn from the harsh lessons of the past and concur on the ethics and ideals in which we all believe. Matters on which we differ will be decided by our Omniscient Creator on the Day of Judgment.
“Every tragedy suffered in today’s world is ultimately a result of the abandonment of the paramount principle enunciated by all religions and cultures: The roots of all global crises can be found in human denial of the eternal principle of justice.”
If there is an Allah, he’ll remember for eternity this episode cited in the State Department report:
The perpetrators were sentenced to between eight months and five years in prison and between 80 and 1,000 lashes. The same court also sentenced the woman and her ex-boyfriend to 90 lashes for being unmarried and alone in a car with an unmarried person of the opposite sex at the time of the incident.
On November 14, after her lawyer requested a review of the case, the Higher Court of Justice sent the case back to the Qatif General Court which increased the woman’s sentence from 90 lashes to 200 lashes and six months in prison and increased the perpetrators sentences to between two and nine years each.
The court also suspended her lawyer, Abdulrahman al-Lahem, for “insulting the Supreme Judicial Council and disobeying the rules and regulations,” reportedly for his efforts to publicize the woman’s case. The court confiscated al-Lahem’s license and asked him to appear before a disciplinary session at the Judicial Investigation Department of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
On November 24, the MOJ issued a statement “clarifying” the role of the two victims who “exposed” themselves to the crime because of their behavior. The statement stated that because the victims were alone in the car, they had violated Shari’a and were thus liable for punishment. On December 17, King Abdullah pardoned both victims, citing his authority to overrule judgments not specifically prescribed by Islamic legal code.
Now that’s what I call tolerance, King. Fill me in:
“Our dialogue, conducted in a constructive manner, should, by the grace of God, revive and reinstate these lofty ideals among peoples and nations. No doubt, God willing, this will constitute a glorious triumph of what is most noble over what is most evil in human beings and will grant mankind hope of a future in which justice, security and a decent life will prevail over injustice, fear and poverty.”
The State Department report does agree, King Abdullah, that your minions are constantly searching for evil:
[In 2006, Saudi officials] received numerous complaints of beatings, humiliation, confiscation of personal property and unnecessary body searches and the use of coercion to sign confessions. . . .
The government and/or its agents did not commit any politically motivated killings; however, several individuals died after beatings that took place while in the custody of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), also known as the religious police or Mutawwa’in. . . .
The government also punished persons for various offenses with amputations for theft, and lashings, including for alcohol-related offenses or for being alone in the company of an unrelated person of the opposite sex. In contrast to previous years, there were no reports of lashings in the women’s prisons.
I cut you off, King Abdullah. Were you saying something about a hand?
“In conclusion, I would like to remind all of you, and myself, of the words of the Holy Qur’an:
” ‘O Mankind! We have created you from a single pair of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that ye may know each other. Very, the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you.’ “
Or, self-righteous. Whatever.