BY SUSANA AL HALABI – MARCH 25, 2012 – POSTED IN: INTERNATIONAL
Saudi Arabia: New Fatwa forbids the construction of churches and urges demolition of already existing churches.
Saudi Arabia has particularly excelled, in addition to Qatar in the Arab League, when it was about actions to against the Shiite leadership in Syria. Again and again, there were rumors or unconfirmed information that Saudi Arabia supports the Syrian insurgents (e.g. Free Syrian Army / FSA) with arms and money.
It would be absolutely no surprise, if all these not confirmed news about the support of Saudi Arabia for the Syrian opposition forces be confirmed. You just have to recall, that Saudi troops were and are used in Bahrain to crackdown peaceful protests. In Bahrain, the royal family is in distress through demonstrations and the demands of the predominantly Shiite majority.
Of course, also in Saudi Arabia itself, the Saudi royal family is not squeamish with peaceful protests. The Shiites in Saudi Arabia, which belong to the minority in the Sunni-led country, are taking part in protests for their demands, again and again.
Although the international mainstream media seems to ignore these demonstrations within Saudi Arabia a bit, one is able to find some new articles about these protests in the Saudi-ruled monarchy. This has to do with the fact, that the level of aggression and violence, while those protests of Shiites, has obviously increased.
At least, there are a few references to the situation in Saudi Arabia in some international newspapers. After the demonstrations of the Shiites in Saudi Arabia were again and again brutally suppressed by the Saudi government, the protesters seem to rely on attacks now – as revenge. In recent weeks, there were again and again conflicts, mainly in the oil-rich east of Saudi Arabia.
The fighting between Shiites and Sunnis seem also to spread itself in the birthplace of Islam now. In Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabism is the ruling religion, a particularly strict interpretation of Islam, as state religion of this monarchy.
Shiites are not recognized as Muslims in this interpretation of Islam. Saudi Arabia has a bitter fight against the Shiite Iran for decades, and thus this is also about (and against) the expansion of the Shiite body of thought. The Saudi royal families, especially the religion scholars in Saudi Arabia, determine the lives of the people and they implement the existing rules in an extreme form.
Although, human rights are not respected in Saudi Arabia, although democracy is not even in a whiff evident in Saudi Arabia, this Sunni-led monarchy is one of the closest allies of the West, especially of the United States and the European Union (EU). This is sure one of the main reasons why e.g. Germany doesn`t hesitate to deliver some tanks to Saudi Arabia.
There was even no long discussion about this delivery of tanks to Saudi Arabia in the German government. The German chancellor even has protected this delivery of tanks to Saudi Arabia with some very questionable statements.
The level of tolerance in European countries seems to be related on the interests of the United States. Not to mention the importance of oil, of course. But has this European tolerance, or should we better use the word “dependence”, really no end? The fact that Saudi Arabia does not allow churches, is already known, but the Saudi Grand Mufti goes even further now – with a new strange Fatwa.
In Saudi Arabia, a new Fatwa (Islamic legal) was implemented by the Saudi Grand Mufti. This Fatwa says that already existing churches in the Arabian Peninsula should be demolished and this Fatwa also prohibits the construction of new Christian churches.
The argument by the Saudi Grand Mufti was simple. In the opinion of the Saudi Grand Mufti, there are too many churches in the Arabian Peninsula. A thorn in the eyes of Wahhabism. The Catholic Church has expressed shock and explained that this would further destabilize the already fragile situation within the Middle East.
Above all, this could also give a boost to the armed Islamists within Syria, who already persecute, kidnap, torture and kill Syrian Christians. Like Goethe’s Faust would say at this point: “So this, then, was the kernel of the brute!” But this has long been known, it only seems that Western governments do hard to recognize it – because of some questionable reasons and intentions.
Saudi Arabia’s religion scholars and the Saudi ruling family continue to work on the limitation of religious freedom and cheer on the persecution of other religions and minorities.
The current bishops` conference won’t be able to do more than to express its outrage. However, this should be alarming. While Saudi Arabia uses a Fatwa to ban the construction of churches and also calls for the destruction of already existing Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula, they finance the construction of many mosques in Europe.
Then the implication for Europe would actually be to prohibit the construction of new mosques. This would lead to a enormous outrage and storm against this ban in Europe.
The openness of the West is misused by Saudi Arabia. Liberal principles are trampled and also the Western governments are to blame for this, mainly. When will these governments in Europe notice that their close relations with Saudi Arabia are dangerous and reprehensible? But perhaps they already know and are just not able to act differently because of pressure and questionable intentions.
It seems that Europe sells its ideals very cheap – over the oppression of the Saudi dictatorship, just because Western governments are dependent on oil and Saudi money.
For this reason, these Western governments are also involved in the propaganda against Syria and Iran. The smear campaign against Syria and Iran, because some Gulf States want it that way. Not to mention the Israeli factor, the USA with its huge AIPAC Lobby and some other (e.g. geo-politically) interests, also questionable intentions.
Considering democracy, freedom and human rights – nothing can really excuse these hypocritical stances of Western governments. It`s also to condemn that they are willfully puppets of false propaganda. Iran is a bitter enemy of Saudi Arabia. Europe and the United States are puppets of these interests behind this conflict. Willfully.