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Thread: Saudi Arabia Frowns on Christmas Cheer .

  1. #1
    Guest
    At Christmas, the cultural divide between the United States and Saudi Arabia reaches a high point, at least for American Christians living in a kingdom where puritanical Islam is the norm.

    There are no churches in Saudi Arabia. Public displays of Christian worship are unlawful and draw the attention of the Muttawa, government-paid agents who monitor religious deviationism. Customs officials confiscate materials considered offensive, such as Bibles.

    U.S. officials said Christians in the American diplomatic community were holding Christmas services in private homes on Wednesday, as they do every year. Other Christians in the kingdom do the same.


    Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, recalls the restrictions on Christmas services imposed on the hundreds of thousands of American troops deployed in Saudi Arabia in preparation for Desert Storm in December 1990.


    In an article in the current issue of The National Interest, Pipes says the Saudis decreed that Christmas services could be held, but only in places "where they would be invisible to the outside world, such as tents and mess halls."


    All citizens of Saudi Arabia must be Muslim. Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy and can be punishable by death. Christian missionaries are unwelcome.


    Christians who go to Saudi Arabia for other kinds of work are welcome, so long as they abide by religious rules. At least 500,000 Roman Catholics are believed to be in Saudi Arabia, including many women from the Philippines who work as domestics.


    A State Department report on religious freedom around the world, released in October, says, "Non-Muslim worshippers (in Saudi Arabia) risk arrest, imprisonment, lashing, deportation and sometimes torture for engaging in overt religious activity that attracts official attention."


    Christians lack religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, but Jews for the most part are denied entry. Timothy Hunter, a former U.S. diplomatic official assigned to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, says State Department policy was to avoid sending Jewish employees to the kingdom under an agreement with the Saudis.


    In a letter this past June, Hunter told Pipes that it was "the duty of the foreign service director of personnel to screen all Foreign Service officers applying for service in the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and to `tick' Jewish officers' names using the letter `J' next to their names, so that selection panels would not select Jewish diplomats for service in Saudi Arabia."


    Through it all, the United States has maintained close official ties with the kingdom for more than 60 years, although not without strain since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


    There is a debate, for example, about whether Saudi Arabia contributes to terrorism by giving money to extremist Islamic groups in South Asia and elsewhere, or whether they have joined hands with the United States in the fight against terrorism.


    The United States calls the kingdom a partner in the fight against terror but says the Saudis could do more. The Saudis say they have arrested more than 200 terrorist suspects, including those involved with al-Qaida, the network headed by Saudi-born expatriate Osama bin Laden. They say intelligence sharing has resulted in the freezing of more than $70 million linked to terrorist organization financial accounts.


    Washington seems determined to preserve good relations with the country, which has 25 percent of the world's oil reserves. The Saudis won points with the United States a year ago by issuing a formal proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


    But Pipes sees an obsequious U.S. policy toward the kingdom.


    "For decades," he writes, "U.S. government agencies have engaged in a persistent pattern of deference to Saudi wishes, making so many unwanted and unnecessary concessions that one gets the impression that a switch has taken place, with both sides forgetting which of them is the great power and which the minor one." ___

  2. #2
    Guest
    At Christmas, the cultural divide between the United States and Saudi Arabia reaches a high point, at least for American Christians living in a kingdom where puritanical Islam is the norm.

    There are no churches in Saudi Arabia. Public displays of Christian worship are unlawful and draw the attention of the Muttawa, government-paid agents who monitor religious deviationism. Customs officials confiscate materials considered offensive, such as Bibles.

    U.S. officials said Christians in the American diplomatic community were holding Christmas services in private homes on Wednesday, as they do every year. Other Christians in the kingdom do the same.


    Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, recalls the restrictions on Christmas services imposed on the hundreds of thousands of American troops deployed in Saudi Arabia in preparation for Desert Storm in December 1990.


    In an article in the current issue of The National Interest, Pipes says the Saudis decreed that Christmas services could be held, but only in places "where they would be invisible to the outside world, such as tents and mess halls."


    All citizens of Saudi Arabia must be Muslim. Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy and can be punishable by death. Christian missionaries are unwelcome.


    Christians who go to Saudi Arabia for other kinds of work are welcome, so long as they abide by religious rules. At least 500,000 Roman Catholics are believed to be in Saudi Arabia, including many women from the Philippines who work as domestics.


    A State Department report on religious freedom around the world, released in October, says, "Non-Muslim worshippers (in Saudi Arabia) risk arrest, imprisonment, lashing, deportation and sometimes torture for engaging in overt religious activity that attracts official attention."


    Christians lack religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, but Jews for the most part are denied entry. Timothy Hunter, a former U.S. diplomatic official assigned to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, says State Department policy was to avoid sending Jewish employees to the kingdom under an agreement with the Saudis.


    In a letter this past June, Hunter told Pipes that it was "the duty of the foreign service director of personnel to screen all Foreign Service officers applying for service in the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and to `tick' Jewish officers' names using the letter `J' next to their names, so that selection panels would not select Jewish diplomats for service in Saudi Arabia."


    Through it all, the United States has maintained close official ties with the kingdom for more than 60 years, although not without strain since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


    There is a debate, for example, about whether Saudi Arabia contributes to terrorism by giving money to extremist Islamic groups in South Asia and elsewhere, or whether they have joined hands with the United States in the fight against terrorism.


    The United States calls the kingdom a partner in the fight against terror but says the Saudis could do more. The Saudis say they have arrested more than 200 terrorist suspects, including those involved with al-Qaida, the network headed by Saudi-born expatriate Osama bin Laden. They say intelligence sharing has resulted in the freezing of more than $70 million linked to terrorist organization financial accounts.


    Washington seems determined to preserve good relations with the country, which has 25 percent of the world's oil reserves. The Saudis won points with the United States a year ago by issuing a formal proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


    But Pipes sees an obsequious U.S. policy toward the kingdom.


    "For decades," he writes, "U.S. government agencies have engaged in a persistent pattern of deference to Saudi wishes, making so many unwanted and unnecessary concessions that one gets the impression that a switch has taken place, with both sides forgetting which of them is the great power and which the minor one." ___

  3. #3
    Guest
    . . . and we allow the followers of their false religion of Islam to practice it openly in this country which was founded on Christian principles. When are we ever going to wake up in this country?

  4. #4
    Guest
    muhammed was a sex addict that is why he had so many wives. he make up some dotish story about an angel and we the end product today - a lot of chupid and donsy people.

  5. #5
    Guest
    this is what ah really want to say: muhammed was a sex addict that is why he had so many wives. he make up some dotish story about an angel and we the see the end product today - a lot of chupid and donsy people from the middle east.

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