Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Dialogue is the key to peace"

In a worthy opinion piece in Arab News discussing the Saudi King Abdullah's rejection of a U.N. Security Council seat, Abdulateef Al-Mulhim advocates:

"In my opinion, the Arab world instead of relying only on official contacts between the US and their respective governments, should find new ways to engage in dialogue with the American people. The US is one of the most open societies in the world and the American people are good listeners and open to political and social discussions -"

I don't doubt King Abdullah has similar thoughts, though the course of action he advocates is rather different. Five years ago he sponsored an "Islamic Conference on Dialogue" that was attended by prominent Muslims throughout the world . The resulting dialogue guidelines include:

1) Most important: is to spread Islam.

2) Refute "the suspicion that Islam and Muslims are responsible for terrorism, extremism and hatred."

3) Reject "the oppression and exploitation of poor people under the excuse of liberating them or guarding their human rights. "

4) Giving "priority to issues of protection of values and ethics against the calls for demoralization on grounds of defending individual freedom" - meaning, I suppose, that Muslims should turn a deaf ear to the complaints or differing priorities of non-Muslims and that Muslims who do listen should be denounced or their interaction with foreigners suppressed from the ears of Muslims.

5) Urge that Muslims worldwide respect their host nations but obey Muslim governments and organizations.

6) Work to ensure that "the United Nations and human rights organizations to criminalize the abuse directed at Islam and its Messenger."

7) Denounce "odious claims of superiority" that one group of people can be superior to another on the basis of race.

Conveniently, the Saudi King believes "dialogue" should be redefined as proselytization, its refinements, and the sort of propaganda needed for himself and his clan to remain in power; Muslims anywhere should obey their leaders - no matter how oppressive; and Muslims should have no hope that improvement could come about through political action of their own, nor that the rest of the world can serve as an example.  


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