Monday, November 10, 2003

BAD MUSLIM VS BAD MUSLIM: I couldn't pass without discussing this weekends' bombings in Riyadh, which Tacitus mischaracterizes as a battle between "fanatical extremists" on both sides. No doubt that al-Qaeda's terrorists are fanatical extremists, but I think he's wrong when he paints the House of Sa'ud as fanatical extremists. A majority of Saudi princes are all Westernized, modernized, pro-capitalist, pro-American members of al-Sa'ud. Hence they are no different than the infidel Americans, in bin Laden's view. However, al-Qaeda isn't the only Islamic extremist enemy the Saudis have faced. The Ikhwan turned against King Abd-al-Aziz in 1930 because of continued modernization and the increased number of non-Muslims in the Kingdom. Sound familiar? The only reason the Saudis signed a deal with Osama bin Laden, the devil himself, was because of his continued criticism of the House of Sa'ud and increased popularity. Al-Qaeda's attempt to bring insecurity in the Kingdown, by targeting soft targets such as the Al-Nahkeel district, is also an attempt to bring down the House of Sa'ud.

The significance of this event is big. The BBC has a summary of responses to the bombings by Saudi and Arab newspapers. Some Saudi princes are asking the same questions we are asking. Islamists have condemned the bombing, including the Muslim Brotherhood. They've turned their biggest supporters into their worst enemy.

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