Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | Saudi Arabia | oil | King Abdullah | Salman

Muslim Activist: New Saudi King to Continue 'Corrupt' Rule

By    |   Friday, 23 Jan 2015 04:12 PM

A Muslim critic of Saudi Arabia's monarchy told Newsmax TV on Friday that the death of King Abdullah and the succession of his brother, Salman, will not end repression in a country that is governed under a strict Islamist code and ruled by a "corrupt" royal family.

"Meet the new King Salman, same as the old King Abdullah," Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV.

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"Abdullah had 30 sons and over 12 wives, and it's a corrupt culture," said Jasser, one of several human-rights activists who signed on to a letter volunteering to take the 1,000 lashes to which a liberal Saudi blogger was sentenced.

"They believe that somehow God identified them as the custodians of our Holy mosques, which is a corrupt classism," he said, "And they are hypocrites."

And we look like hypocrites for embracing them, said Jasser, who ridiculed President Barack Obama's tribute to Abdullah — who died recently at age 90 — as a leader with "the courage of his convictions."

Jasser has often charged that the religious justification for jihadist terrorism emanates from Saudi Arabia, which he said exports a punitive and antiquated brand of Islam by funding schools — called madrassas — around the world to teach it.

"King Abdullah oversaw — when he took over in the '90s — the radicalization of a population that created the ideology that created al-Qaida, that led to 9/11, led to Fort Hood, led to the Paris attacks," said Jasser.

"If you look at the ideology of ISIS," said Jasser, referring to the Islamic State and its bloody rampage through Iraq and Syria, "Saudi Arabia has beheaded people who want to be free in the last few months — over 20 of them. No different than what ISIS does."

The United States, he said, tolerates Saudi radicalism and brutality because of American dependence on Saudi oil and the need for U.S. military bases in the region, and ignores true Saudi reformers like the blogger Raif Badawi — whose lashing sentence was postponed under international pressure.

"He should be released immediately," said Jasser, "and we hope this also wakes up President Obama to utter his name, Raif Badawi, from his lips, just as [President] Reagan used to utter the name of Natan Sharansky and others who wanted to be free under the Soviets."

Jasser said the ruling al-Saud family "may be our allies against common enemies," including Iran and al-Qaida. "But we certainly don't share common allies with them."

"I'm not saying that we need to abandon them," Jasser said of the U.S.-Saudi alliance. "But we need to call a spade a spade."

He agreed with Berliner that officially confronting the Saudis on radicalism and human rights will cause a furor.

"It's going to be a painful dust-up," he said.

"But there's an opportunity happening in the Arab Awakening," said Jasser, "and … we want to be on the right side of history."

He also said that a harder U.S. line on Saudi Arabia has practical, national-security implications.

"The creators of al-Qaida are the petrodollars that are fueling radicals and interpretations of Islam that are radicalizing Muslims in America, let alone in Saudi Arabia, so we have to change that policy," he said.

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A Muslim critic of Saudi Arabia's monarchy told Newsmax TV on Friday that the death of King Abdullah and the succession of his brother, Salman, will not end repression in a country that is governed under a strict Islamist code and ruled by a "corrupt" royal family.
Saudi Arabia, oil, King Abdullah, Salman
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2015-12-23
Friday, 23 Jan 2015 04:12 PM
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