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Behind the Veil: Saudis Aren't As Bad As Painted

Behind the Veil

Saudis Aren't As Bad As They Are Painted

by Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed

Having lived and worked with my husband in Jeddah Saudi Arabia for the last 18 years, maybe I can shed a little light on the subject of recent revelations concerning the alleged funding of 911 terrorists by members of the Saudi royal family.

The true criminals are the unscrupulous ones who misrepresent why they ask well-to-do Muslims, such as a princess (who might be easy prey) for funds. They may describe many noble causes which do indeed deserve charity such as orphans, schools, food for the poor, help in small villages, and building of mosques and water wells, etc.

No one can fault donors for wanting to help noble and good causes. Actually it is formally a Muslims duty to help others who are less fortunate, just as it is the duty of a good Christian to do so.

My husband flies for the Saudi Royal Family and has said that there isn't one of the royal family that he knows that would willingly support the Al-Qaeda and unjust terrorism. In fact, they are dismayed and outraged by that behaviour.

Those who are truly to blame (and certainly this is not the generous, kind-hearted Princess Haifa), are the criminals who swindle money out of honest Muslims and instead send it to fund horrible deeds.

They will be accountable to Allah ("God" in Arabic) for their murder of innocent lives.

We Muslims think Al-Qaeda is like a group of Timothy McVeigh's friends. We believe Prophet Muhammed would never have agreed with Al-Qaeda's methods either. He taught us to take the middle road in religion - not too far to the liberal , wrong, or sinful way, nor too far to the right (and extremism) as that results in people hating the religion.

Islam is a religion which is meant to comfort and bring peace to the heart. The word "Islam" itself comes from the word "peace" and "submission to God."

Prophet Muhammed also taught us that in times of war that women and children are not to be attacked, nor even are crops and trees to be destroyed, as it is people’s livelihood and food source. What a difference there is between this and the age of the Christian crusades which took place after the prophet died, when those who weren't willing to profess the trinity or convert to Christianity were burned alive at the stake!

We have come a long way since those times, but we must become even more open minded.

The Saudi's have "chosen their side." It is God's side, the middle road, and not as radicals or extremists as the western media keeps trying to portray them.

For their party Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda are more politically oriented than religiously motivated. They attack America because of frustration and anger over America's biased pro-Israeli viewpoint , as well as the fact that America is seen to be more interested in securing a stable oil supply that the welfare of the citizens of those countries with which it trades.

Meanwhile many people still don't realise that many of the passports used in the 9-11 tragedy were stolen.

Several of those named were fellow employees of the same airline as my husband, and are still alive and well since this tragedy has occurred. One was even already deceased when CNN first said he had participated!

A fact little known is that many, many Saudi passports have been stolen and sold on the black market. These include my brother-in-laws, stolen in Thailand from his hotel room while he was asleep, and my children’s who are teenagers, stolen at NYC airport while we were talking on the telephone and the bag was right next to us.

Now the Saudi government has wised up and finally uses the plastic covered paged instead of the previously glued -on photo that was so easy to lift off and replace.

Thankfully, there are many peaceable, honest and trusting Muslims, such as ourselves and our friends, just as there are peaceable and good Christians.

We need to be reminded that there are many kinds of people on this planet, and Saudis as a group aren't as bad as they are being painted to be.


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