There is a disgraceful spectacle unfolding in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in which some of the leading lights of the West are playing the role of medieval court jesters, singing platitudes to tyrants in a demonstration of subservience that shames the rest of us.
Ostensibly, the American, British, French and other European leaders travelled to the medieval monstrosity we call Saudi Arabia to offer condolences to the family of the late King Abdullah.
But the reality is different. They are there because the Saudis have money and oil. On one hand the West claims it is fighting to destroy Islamic State (ISIS), yet it strengthens its ties with the very people who have spent an estimated $100 billion to spread Wahhabism, the foundational Islamist creed of ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and the Taliban.
The West is strengthening ties with the very people who have spent an estimated $100 billion spreading the foundational Islamist creed of ISIS.
How such statesmen and personalities of the free world as President Barack Obama, Prince Charles, French President Francois Hollande, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury could be taken in by the Saudis is mind-boggling. But the hypocrisy and chicanery of Western leaders has not gone unnoticed.
Alastair Crooke the former MI-6 agent and author of the book, Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution, has been trying to educate Western Liberals. Writing in the Huffington Post, Crooke says, “You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia.”
Saying there is little difference between the Saudis the West supposedly admires and the Islamic State (ISIS) it is fighting, the former MI6 agent explains his argument by citing a historic slaughter the Saudis and their ISIS-like allies of the time committed:
Their (Saudi) strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear …
In 1801, the Allies (Saudis and Wahhabis) attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children … A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: ‘They pillaged the whole of it (Karbala) … slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above 5,000 of the inhabitants…’
While Crooke relied on history and his knowledge of the area to nudge Western leaders out of their intoxicated slumber, English author and former Conservative MP Louise Mensch launched a tirade on Twitter to express the feelings of millions of us in the West who felt betrayed by their leaders.
Liberal blogger Raif Badawi, perhaps the number one enemy of ISIS in the Kingdom, will be subjected to ritual torture by the Saudi state.
Mensch was furious when Cameron said he was “deeply saddened” by the Saudi king’s death while Obama’s boasted of his “friendship” with him.
She tweeted: “F— you Saudi Arabia and shame on the supine male leaders of the West @David_Cameron @BarackObama #Freethe4 #JeSuisFemme”.
The hashtag #Freethe4 was in reference to the four daughters of King Abdullah whom the Saudi tyrant had imprisoned under house arrest for many years.
As Western leaders lined up to pay homage to a new dictator in Riyadh, they pretended they didn’t know that just two weeks before his death, Abdullah’s government had lashed liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi 50 times for the “crime” of defending atheists. Up to 950 more lashes could await the brave Badawi.
While Prime Minister Stephen Harper also praised Abdullah upon his death, at least he knows cola in a can is the same thing as cola in a bottle.
**Tarek Fatah is a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a columnist at the Toronto Sun, host of a Sunday afternoon talk show on Toronto’s NewsTalk1010 AM Radio, and a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of two award-winning books: Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.