What can I say on starting this post, except perhaps to advise you to prepare to face-palm.
So the news, as reported in the New York Times, is that a Saudi sponsored meeting of Islamic “Scholars” in Mecca have come up with a recommendation for tackling extremism …
…they counseled strict, Muslim religious observance of the kind practiced in Saudi Arabia. “Apply Islamic Shariah in all life’s affairs,” they recommended, referring to Islamic law, which they said had the capacity to “accomplish justice, maintain dignity, uphold rights and meet the aspirations of the people.”
The state-sanctioned conference, called “Islam and Countering Terrorism,” was an effort by the Saudi government to burnish its anti-extremist credentials and promote its religious establishment as an alternative to the savage leadership of the Islamic State.
So let me translate that for you – their recommendation for tackling religious extremism is to …
- Ban rights for women
- Ban all political rights
- Ban freedom of belief
- Suppress LBGT rights
- Suppress freedom of the press
- Ban any form of Justice
.. because that is how it all manifests itself in Saudi Arabia, and so apparently their “solution” for combating religious extremism is to impose the most strict form of religious extremism on the planet, one that tramples all over every single human right we have, and anybody who has an objection will be beaten or have their head chopped off.
In what way exactly is any of this different than the islamic state?
This is of course absurdity on steroids because it is the exact same extreme philosophy that has inspired the supposed Islamic State.
Just to drive this point home, in the name of “tolerance”, this conference was attended by …
- exactly zero women … so half the human population was not represented
- exactly zero non-Muslims … so the vast majority of humanity was not represented
- exactly zero Shiite Muslims … so vast swathes of the Islamic community were not represented
… not because they opted to not attend, but rather because they were all banned from attending, and so this absurd attempt by Saudi Arabia to “burnish its anti-extremist credentials and promote its religious establishment as an alternative to the savage leadership of the Islamic State” has ended up doing the complete opposite. This entire conference was not simply as functional as a chocolate tea pot, but was such a bizarre thing to do that it ends up being a parody of itself …
Human rights advocates have pointed to a spate of beheadings and other executions this year in Saudi Arabia, for crimes like drug smuggling and murder, as evidence of practices barely distinguishable from those of the militants.
“Their idea of a soft approach is more religion — more religion with specific interpretations supported by the state,” Mr. Ashour said. “The idea of reforming the state via less religion is not even on the radar.”
Now here is a home truth, apparently one prominent Saudi scholar criticised their lack of action after similar conferences, saying, “Many people have stopped listening to us.” … er yes, that is what happens when you take such an absurd stance.
So why is it like this?
Well perhaps the answer to that is best illustrated by the observation that the word “Scholar” is not generally a word we normally apply to people who only ever read just one very badly written book that nobody can ever actually agree upon what it actually says.