Commentary Magazine


Topic: al-Areefi

Don’t Wait for Obama’s Condemnation

Another day in the Middle East, another vilification of Israel:

A Saudi cleric has announced on his television show that he will visit Jerusalem next week to bolster Muslim claims to the city. … [Sheikh Mohammed] al-Areefi told his viewers Sunday on the religious satellite channel Iqra that the next episode of his show would be about Muslim claims to Jerusalem and Palestine. Al-Areefi said he would visit the city next week, though he did not specify when. He said he was not afraid of any “treachery from the Jews,” as he had put his trust in God. Officials in Israel, which is in the midst of the Passover holidays, could not immediately be reached for comment. Al-Areefi is viewed as a comparative moderate among Saudi Arabia’s conservative clergy.

That’s the moderate face of Saudi Arabia. Has anyone told Maureen Dowd? And don’t expect much of a reaction from the Obami either. That’s simply par for the course, the accepted provocation and hate talk as far as the administration is concerned. After all, if they started talking about Saudi behavior where would it end? They’d have to bring up child brides, honor killings, brutality toward women, state-sponsored anti-Semitism, Wahhabi school indoctrination, and the like. Makes the whole ingratiation with the “Muslim World” so much more complicated.

Another day in the Middle East, another vilification of Israel:

A Saudi cleric has announced on his television show that he will visit Jerusalem next week to bolster Muslim claims to the city. … [Sheikh Mohammed] al-Areefi told his viewers Sunday on the religious satellite channel Iqra that the next episode of his show would be about Muslim claims to Jerusalem and Palestine. Al-Areefi said he would visit the city next week, though he did not specify when. He said he was not afraid of any “treachery from the Jews,” as he had put his trust in God. Officials in Israel, which is in the midst of the Passover holidays, could not immediately be reached for comment. Al-Areefi is viewed as a comparative moderate among Saudi Arabia’s conservative clergy.

That’s the moderate face of Saudi Arabia. Has anyone told Maureen Dowd? And don’t expect much of a reaction from the Obami either. That’s simply par for the course, the accepted provocation and hate talk as far as the administration is concerned. After all, if they started talking about Saudi behavior where would it end? They’d have to bring up child brides, honor killings, brutality toward women, state-sponsored anti-Semitism, Wahhabi school indoctrination, and the like. Makes the whole ingratiation with the “Muslim World” so much more complicated.

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