Saudi Arabia: American Bedu is in Agreement with Grand Mufti

Grand Mufti Sheik Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Aal Al-Sheik addressed Taif university students this past Saturday.  During his presentation to the students he talked about the governments scholarship programs which allows Saudi students to go abroad for further studies. The Grand Mufti stressed the importance of how Saudi students are viewed as representatives of the Kingdom and therefore need to set a good role model.  It is imperative that prior to their travel they are aware of the customs, culture and traditions of the country to which they are traveling.  He further suggested that it would be wise if pre-travel courses were required for each student before traveling abroad.  For once I find myself in full agreement with the Grand Mufti and would be honored to assist in formulating or teaching a pre-travel course.

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39 Responses

  1. Since the inception of the State, every Mufti has been blind and that’s why they think nothing changes and the earth is flat. He and his establishment are responsible for oppression of women, lack of progress, incitements against non-Muslims and the lack of human development in that Beauregard country.

    His idea of classes for students before they leave the country is to poison the students’ mind against social freedom, drinks, sex (and anything that could reduce fear of the unknown and the Mufti), freedom of choice, expression, acceptance of the other and spread of his most rigid brand of Islam, the Hambali/Wahhabi brand.

    As Princess Basma Bint Saud Said, the religious establishment must be dissolved and replaced by enlightened entity to liberate the people from the yoke of religious terrorism. I whole-hardheartedly solute and agree with Princess Basma.

  2. @Ali, can you provide her comments? I don’t believe I’ve seen them.

  3. @Ali
    I think this negative way of thinking is exactly the problem here. it is the reason why women cant drive for example. but you sound like an educated man so you shouldn’t think this way. so im gonna go with carol here. i approve of what the Mufti said. hopefully he meant it in a good way and not like what youre thinking Ali. (Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him said: find to your brother muslim 70 excuses before judging him)

  4. I suspect Ali is unfortunately correct. Classes would be about not to get corrupted by sinful western ways, making sure they keep themselves uncontaminated and only learn what is necessary for their degree- not about learning and appreciating what another culture has to offer.

  5. dear @Sandy:
    id like to point out that learning about other cultures and respecting them is a part of islam. the prophet peace be upon him was sitting inside the holy mosque once and some people from Habasha came and started doing their dance like a little show. so people gathered around them and kept watching. then the prophets Wife Aisha came and leaned on the prophets shoulder and watched too. the holy mosque is a sacred place and its not meant for dancing. but yet the prophet peace be upon him didnt say anything about it and didnt interrupt them or yell at them. he even let his wife watch until she said she saw enough.
    im only saying this just to show that islam actually is not against other cultures at all!. and the grand Mufti should represent the religion and his views should be based on it. But he’s only human so he could be right or wrong sometimes. at least we should expect that what he says to actually agree with `islam!. especially this time since we dont know what he meant for sure. and islam has a good role about other cultures. i just dont understand why you and @Ali are assuming the worst.

  6. Praise the Lord. I see absolutely nothing wrong with teaching people how to live a pure life in a culture that is manifestly impure. And I bet that this man has the good sense to teach males in particular that no, the fact that a Western woman is appearing in public in something other than abaya and niqab does NOT mean that she is ‘fair game’. The fact that she is not his wife is fully sufficient reason for them to keep their hands and eyes off of her.

    I would also hope he would teach them that a marriage certificate is not just a license to have sex – it is much more than that. It entails a HUGE, lifelong responsibility. And that sex itself also entails that, which is why one needs to be well and truly married before doing it.

    I think that in principle, until a man understands and lives all of this, he should not be allowed to go anywhere (including his own home) without supervision even in his own country, much less someone else’s. That’s what parents (and homeschooling 🙂 ) are for.

    If the mistakes we are talking about just concerned the man himself, that would be one thing. But unfortunately, mistakes in this area have the potential to do great harm to others as well. Surely we must take every step possible to prevent this type of harm.

    I am sure the Saudis think that is what they are doing by shutting women up in their homes and clothing them head to toe. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t work, it’s not the victim who should be shut up at home, but the perpetrator. Which means… an awful lot of men on this planet (in Saudi and elsewhere) who should spend their days in the privacy of their own home under round-the-clock supervision.

    But then again, no doubt someone will try to game the system, will the supervisor really be so pure himself, how to test and make sure a man really understands, etc.? I don’t even understand that mentality of trying to get away with things in one’s personal life, much less subscribe to it, but it appears that I’m in a tiny minority in this matter. Ah well. Ultimately it is our responsibility to see to our own lives.

  7. very good idea, i like that, i think it should be done for all other countries as well.

  8. @Ali, if i hear a Saudi Sunni believes in what you’re saying, and what you always say, i will also believe you. Don’t base your opinion on what sect you belong to, and don’t attack others because they belong to this sect or that. By the way, this doesn’t mean i disagree with all what you say.

  9. @American Bedu: I would be interested in teaching one too.

    I try to prepare my English students for the reality that what they learn in class about how to speak in English can greatly differ from what they may hear in the U.S. from Americans (and others of other naitionalities). When teaching English, I often tell my students to understand that the standard/textbook English which they learn in class is important and very good for them to learn because when they learn it, they can understand almost anyone who speaks English. However, I also tell them not to be surprised if they go to America or speak to a native English speaker and what they hear does not sound like what they learned. I let them know that many people do not speak using standard textbook English and that what is spoken can vary due to upbringing, region, dialect, accent, slang, etc. I also relate this to other English natives or second language learners who speak English, as many students will say they don’t like a certain group of people’s English or say that it’s bad or incorrect. I try to help them understand why there are some differences in the way people talk and stress the importance of being able to communicate with others. Therefore, if they can get a good grasp of the English language, they can better communicate with others in English despite those differences, and instead of focusing on the differences (and writing people off whom they cannot understand), focus more on themselves making as best an effort as they can to effectively communicate with others through listening an speaking.

    So, just like I try to do in my English classes, teaching the standard English and making them aware of English spoken outside of what’s considered standard, I think it would be good for them to be taught about other cultures which are different from theirs while also teaching them their own culture. Just like learning English (and knowing that there’s so much more to it than what they get in the textbook), learning about other cultures in which they will be interacting with will help them to be more successful.

  10. All praise the FSM, creator of the universe. But Carabosca, the Saudi culture itself is impure and obsessive to the border of insanity.
    I don’t know what you think should constitute a ”pure” society, but it sounds scary. Borg-like.

    I think a bit of healthy preparation (like a class taught by Carol) would not come amiss. Maybe emphasize some social standards in how to treat other people, especially women. You know? show a bit of respect and empathy towards women, not just use them and throw them away.
    But that would be opposite to the fatwa by Bin Baz, which expressly encourages Saudi Students to marry foreign women while studying so they can have halal sex and have somebody to do the housework cheap, and then divorce/dump them the day they go home, wouldn’t it?

    And I still think they already do get a class somewhere on how to fool young ingenue western girls, how to tell them they are the” love of their life”, and then when things get sticky how to start whining about how they can’t tell their families, but how they don’t ”want to give up on their love” etc. etc.
    Until they go back home to their wife or arranged marriage.

  11. Carol, I think you are dreaming. I agree with Ali’s comments and I will further guess that these students will be advised to not become involved with non-Muslims and if they must then they should do their best to spread the Islamic word.

  12. Praise the Lord. Aafke, I didn’t like to make a generalization, but I certainly have heard lots of tales of impure behavior in Saudi – and for that matter in other countries. I don’t think the people you are speaking of need a fatwa or a class to do what they are doing 😛

    A really pure society would not require the kind of supervision of which I speak, because everyone would automatically do the right thing – even if no one else was watching besides God – because it would be in their hearts to do the right thing, not because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t.

  13. Praise the Lord. Wendy, I think it is actually a very good idea for them to discourage these students from becoming involved with non-Muslims. The priorities and beliefs are so at odds with each other that no real relationship can come of it. Even if we are talking about People of the Book. It is very questionable whether a Muslim is able to contract a marriage that would be religiously lawful for either a Christian or a Jew.

  14. I would love to give lectures and exercises to students before going abroad and specifically for those coming to the West. I’d do lessons for men and women and then have a group lesson (even if the women have to be separate but listening in where they can still participate). These lessons should inforce and explain the cultural nuances and ways on merging our cultures and traditions together towards greater understanding. I think it is necessary for the scholarship students to receive lectures on the lack of segregation and co-mingling in the West. This can be done in a manner that does not make Westerners or non-Muslims seem impure.

    When I have given English classes part of my teaching has been English lessons which also mix culture.

  15. This is real impurity:
    Saudi students are forced to live abnormal lives. They cannot go abroad, fall in love, and bring their girl home as their wife. The real problem with Saudi Arabia is that they create a situation where a Saudi student cannot love another person, if he finds a girl he loves and wants to act in an honorable way their society stops them from being so. Because they are not allowed to marry the girl and bring her home. He knows society will reject her and consider her a slut just for being a foreigner. Government will stop him form doing the right thing and marrying her.
    Add to that they are telling them that American women are impure, and that sex is bad.
    Having an honest relationship and maybe sex is not impure. Stopping people from developing and having honest relationships is impure.
    This is where Saudi’s impurity comes in.
    They teach them to be impure. Instead of living normally, meeting people, falling in love, and starting a relationship they give them no choice but to behave impure.

    Forcing rules on people which do not allow them to develop, and mature normally and have normal natural relationships breeds the real impurity.

  16. @Hussam Atef Odaibat

    It’s not a matter of believing or not, facts speak for themselves. For your information, I don’t see any difference between the Mullahs, Makarmah and hardcore Sunni clerks. They all prey on people, exploit them, enslave them and keep them backward. The Mufti lives in luxurious compound that could make Haroon Al-Rasheed turn and twist in his grave. I am not a religious person nor do I care who believes in what, as long as they don’t force it on me and use it to justify corruption, child marriage (molestation), wives’ beating and marginalization of half of society, women.

  17. @Abdulrahman Baqais

    I am not assuming, the Mufti and the Imam of Medina great Mosque said that democracy and individual liberty to demand his/her rights are un-Islamic and goes against the teaching of the Shariah. These men are the conceiver , incubators and nurturer of backwardness and injustice. If the were truly believers, they would be praying in simple mosques or caves and never interfere with people’s personal lives and choices. Saudi Arabia will never progress as long as these men are empowered to decide what’s right and wrong and how people should or should not live their lives.

  18. ali alyami, I think both you comments are spot on!

  19. @American Bedu,

    Princess Basma’s interview

  20. @Abdulrahman Baqais,

    I am not judging him, only reiterate what he said.

  21. @ Hussam Ataif. I am Sunni Muslim and I totally agree with Ali.

  22. Thank you, Ali, for posting.

  23. @Abdulrahman Baqais,
    I don’t assume the worst- I assume what is consistent with the religious authorities of Saudi Arabia. As a Muslim woman living in Saudi Arabia- I grant no excuses to those doing their best to oppress me and my fellow man/woman. Denying people their human rights is even worse in Islam than assuming a person is consistant with their previous statements and behaviors. Unless your making a case that Islam is not compatable with human rights?

  24. According to the Mufti and other prominent religious scholars, Islam is against equality for women, protection for all people regardless of beliefs under codified rule of law and the right of the individual to choose the religion he/she wants. These are documented facts.

    @Abdulrahman Baqais said earlier ” (Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him said: find to your brother muslim 70 excuses before judging him)”

    Muslim brother, how about Muslim sister or non-Muslims?

    Tell me how many reasons should the so called morality police have before arresting a business woman for conducting a business meeting over cup of coffee in a public place with a male associate? or attacking women authors who signing books in an international book show? Are not they being judged and condemned on the spot for no reason other than being women?

  25. dear @Sandy.
    I agree with you. I grant no excuses to those doing their best to oppress me and my fellow man/woman. But -as i see it- if they do something good or come up with a good idea I won’t allow myself to be blinded with my hatred and expect the worst. I’ll admit what’s good and I’ll even thank them for it.
    I agree with you again about denying people their human right is far worse than assuming the worst in people! But again, we shouldn’t face bad with bad. we should always be good and do what’s right. That’s what I think at least.
    thanks for responding to me btw.

    dear @Ali.
    I’ve never really said I approve of whats going on over here. I really don’t approve of alot of things. And im sure you and I will have a lot of things we dislike in common. And again, I was just saying they are only human so they could be right or wrong. And about the hadith. It’s just a saying! When the prophet said it, it was directed to a man and about a muslim brother. It doesn’t mean others are not included. But you’re arabic and im sure you know that.
    I agree with you though! and it is exactly what i said earlier. negativity and judging people is our problem right now. They’re judging women and assuming all of them are gonna go out and be inappropriate and that horrible things will happen if they can drive for example. See, I have six sisters and I don’t like people judging them like that.
    So we should know better than that. We should accept everything good they do. And we should disapprove of what we think is wrong. Simply.
    Best wishes Ali.

  26. @Abdulrahman Baqais

    Best wishes to you too brother, Abdulrahman. Transformation of all institutions in the motherland is due for all concerned sake. The people are boiling and it’s a matter of time before eruption occurs and that can be prevented if modern and visionary men and women are put in place to veer their country from the looming internal and external threats.

    The people and demands of the 21st century are diametrically different from that of the seventh century when the first Muslim entity was established in Medina. This is what the wealthy Mufti and his extraordinarily detached handlers and followers insist in maintaining, seventh century ruling methods.

    I constantly hear Muslims complaining about the West’s attacking and misunderstanding Islam and Muslims. It’s enough for non-Muslims to see what’s happening in Muslim lands, lack of freedoms, individual liberty, marginalization of women, especially where reside, oppression of minorities fraudulent judicial systems, intolerance of other faiths, lack of accountability, sharing of power and above all freedom of choice.

    FYI, I have no ambitions to rule, enrich myself or be famous for what I do and have done most of my adult life. I live in a free country, with free people who never praise of condemn me because of my belief orientation, dress code, or ethnicity. The “Saudi” people deserve, better than the stone-age methods of ruling and this why I am doing this work. See below:

    July 11, 2011, Washington

    ما لا يقال عن تصريحات الأمير تركي الفيصل الأخيرة في بريطانيا

    تحليل مركز الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان في السعودية – واشنطن

    نقلت العديد من وكالات الأنباء والمواقع الإخبارية تصريحات الأمير تركي الفيصل في جامعة كامبريدج البريطانية التي قال فيها إن نظام البيعة لا يختلف عن الديمقراطية وذكّر الأمير بالحديث النبوي الشريف الذي يقول “من مات ولم يبايع فليس منا” وأن أهم مبادئ السياسة الخارجية السعودية عدم التدخل في شؤون الآخرين وأن بلاده قطعت خطوات كبيرة في حماية حقوق الإنسان واحترام حقوق المرأة وأن أهل الحل والعقد في السعودية هم العلماء ومجلس الشورى والعائلة الحاكمة ورؤساء القبائل والأكاديميون والتجار.

    http://aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issueno=11910&article=630097&feature

    إن تصريحات الأمير تركي الفيصل أثبتت بما لايدع مجالا للشك صحة ما يقال منذ سنوات من أن العائلة الحاكمة تستخدم الدين لخدمة مصالحها الخاصة فقط والدليل على ذلك استدلال الأمير بحديث “من مات ولم يبايع فليس منا” لتوفير الغطاء الديني لاستمرار سيطرة العائلة الحاكمة على الشعب وممتلكاته وإخراج كل من لم يبايع من الإسلام بحسب التفسير المتطرف المطبق في السعودية، في الوقت الذي تتجاهل السلطات كل الآيات والأحاديث التي حثت على العدل والمساواة وكفلت الحقوق والحريات، فهل يعقل أن يقارن الأمير تركي المعروف بذكائه بين نظام البيعة الذي لا اختيار فيه وبين الاقتراع الذي يكفل للمواطن حرية الاختيار ومساءلة من يختار فهل يتيح نظام البيعة للمواطنين انتقاد أولي الأمر؟

    أما تصريحه بأن السعودية لا تتدخل في شؤون الآخرين فهو أمر يكذبه واقع التواجد العسكري السعودي في البحرين واستقبال السعودية للرئيس التونسي المطرود زين العابدين بن علي وللرئيس اليمني علي عبد الله صالح كما يكذبه دفاع السعودية عن الرئيس المصري المخلوع حسني مبارك وتهديدها بوقف المعونات عن مصر وطرد المصريين المقيمين على أراضيها في حال إصرار السلطات في مصر على محاكمة مبارك، وليس خفيا تأييد المملكة للعمليات العسكرية التي يقوم بها حلف شمال الأطلسي ضد النظام الليبي ومساندتها لمعارضي الحكومة المنتخبة ديمقراطيا في العراق ودعمها لكتلة الحريري في لبنان.

    أما تصريحاته باحترام السعودية لحقوق الإنسان وحقوق المرأة فإن الأدلة على عدم صحتها لا يمكن إحصاؤها، فالآلاف يقبوع في السجون بدون تهم أو محاكمات بحجة الحرب على الإرهاب. أما وضع المرأة فيكفي القول بأن المرأة السعودية هي الوحيدة في العالم التي ليس لها الحق في التصويت والانتخاب والوحيدة في العالم التي لا يحق لها قيادة السيارة والوحيدة في العالم التي لا يحق لها العمل كمحاسبة في المحلات التجارية والوحيدة في العالم التي لا يحق لها التنقل بدون محرم والوحيدة في العالم التي لا يحق لها المشاركة في المنافسات الرياضية على الرغم من أن الدين الإسلامي كفل لها جميع تلك الحقوق.

    أما حديثه بأن أهل الحل والعقد في السعودية هم العلماء ومجلس الشورى والعائلة الحاكمة ورؤساء القبائل والأكاديميون والتجار، فهو أيضا غير صحيح لأن الملك وأشقائه هم من يتخذون القرارات ولا يملك مجلس الشورى إلا الموافقة عليها

    والسؤال الذي يطرح نفسه الآن هو: إلى متى يستمر استخفاف السلطات السعودية بعقول الشعب وإلى متى يستمر استخدام الدين لخدمة مصالح خاصة وهل يرجع صمت الشعب السعودي لجهله بالحقائق أم لخوفه من السلطات؟
    ===============

    ما لا يقال عن استعمال السلطات السعودية للدين كأداة لمنع التقدم في البلاد
    تحليل مركز الديمقراطية وحقوق الانسان في السعودية
    إن أكبر دليل على استعمال السلطات السعودية للدين كأداة لمنع تقدم البلاد هو الفتاوي الدينية الرسمية التي تصدرها اللجنة الدائمة للبحوث العلمية والإفتاء ضد المرأة في السعودية، وما الفتوى الأخيرة بتحريم عمل المرأة في كل الأماكن التي يتواجد فيها الرجال إلا مثال واضح على ذلك. فكيف يمكن للمجتمع السعودي أن ينهض في ظل وجود جهاز حكومي يمنع نصف المجتمع من المشاركة في بناء وتطوير الوطن؟
    المثير في الأمر أن الفتوى صدرت بعد مرور يوم واحد على المرسوم الملكي القاضي بتوفير 40 ألف وظيفة للمواطنات السعوديات في قطاعات مختلفة. وبحسب نص الفتوى رقم 32601419 بتاريخ 28-6- 1432هـ والتي نشرها موقع “المسلم” الالكتروني فإنه يحرم على المرأة العمل كسكرتيرة أو موظفة استقبال أو عاملة في خطوط الإنتاج أو محاسبة في المراكز والمحلات التجارية أو الصيدليات أو المطاعم.
    فهل هذا يعني أن على السعوديات الانتظار حتى يتم توفير 40 ألف فرصة عمل في مواقع لا اختلاط فيها مراعاة لهذه الفتوى؟ وما تفسير تزامن الفتوى مع المرسوم الملكي؟ وهل هناك تنسيق بين السلطات السياسية والسلطات الدينية لإسكات المواطنات السعوديات اللواتي يناضلن لنيل حقوق أساسية كالحق في العمل وقيادة السيارات؟

  27. @Carol – ‘I’d do lessons for men and women and then have a group lesson (even if the women have to be separate but listening in where they can still participate). These lessons should inforce and explain the cultural nuances and ways on merging our cultures and traditions together towards greater understanding.’

    Perhaps the first ‘lesson’ would be to have them NOT separated? If they are unable to sit in a mixed setting then, I’d have to say, they are NOT ready to venture out into the world, eh?

  28. baby steps…

  29. I’d have to say there is no time for ‘baby steps’ if they are about to go off on an international scholarship.

  30. The year is 2011, baby steps are for babies. AB…you are indicating that the men who are abusing, oppressing, segregating, and otherwise treating women as second class citizens need to be handled with kid gloves when in reality they need to be dragged, kicking and screaming if need be, into this century. Baby steps just prolong the misery of the women….but then again..women have always been the ones to suffer while men get their morals and closed minds up to speed with where (most) women have always been..in the here and now.

  31. Ali,
    Re your quote: “I constantly hear Muslims complaining about the West’s attacking and misunderstanding Islam and Muslims. It’s enough for non-Muslims to see what’s happening in Muslim lands, lack of freedoms, individual liberty, marginalization of women, especially where reside, oppression of minorities fraudulent judicial systems, intolerance of other faiths, lack of accountability, sharing of power and above all freedom of choice.”

    Thank you. That is basically one of two things that say it all and make a strong case for condemning Islam (The other is the hate and violence in the Quran and hadith – which Muslims refuse to consider or condemn).

    It would be nice if Muslims would change their ways instead of blaming everything on non-Muslims (you know, because we are critical of Islam and Muslims, they say we are hateful, ignorant, islamophobic, racists and we kick puppies, too)

    Yeah, thinking about it, that would be a really mean trick. Imagine if Muslims were to abolish all apostasy and blasphemy laws, stop discrimination, allow freedom of speech and respect human rights – that would really piss off a bunch of people that condemn Islam, including that preacher in the video that Carol posted yesterday. that

  32. Nooooo!!!! I never kick puppies!!!!!!!!!! 😦

  33. The very purpose of going to foreign lands is to explore, enjoying new things, smell new flowers, drink new water and it is the duty of students to enjoy and also learn at first hand what the other countries offer. You see something better and something worse.They are not babies to spoon feed. Bedu you are wrong about this.

  34. I think my comment of spoonfed may be misunderstood. Because the Saudi culture with its segregation is so different from Western culture, that is where I think a class which helps “spoon feed” or better introduce the youth to the culture is necessary.

  35. this post is very interesting to me, because recently at a convenience store here in Florida I overheard people speaking Arabic and in English asked them about learning to speak Arabic, and they were so friendly that I found out they were students from Saudi Arabia and marveled to myself, “what great citizen ambassadors these gracious young people are,” and I blessed them in my prayers.

  36. Dear @Ali,
    I take off my hat in respect to you and everything you said. I totally agree with you. And i told you, I don’t approve of what’s going on over here. This is not islam. Actually it makes me so sad that these people made Islam seem violent and unreasonable.
    Did you hear last friday’s speech from the holy mosque in Makkah? Anyway, you and I both know this is NOT Islam. Islam guaranteed rights to everyone. And guaranteed freedom of speech and people gathering up to decide what they want (Shura)..etc. So using it to the government’s advantage is really not okay. And as you said, people are boiling. Hopefully they’ll realize that before its too late. I always pray for the time when the real Islam is practiced here again. And may Allah guide these people to his right path. May you always be safe.
    best wishes.

  37. @Abdulrahman – Amen!

  38. Abdulrahman Baqais: “I always pray for the time when the real Islam is practiced here again”.

    Extremely wishful thinking! There are 1.2 billion versions of Islam out there. Which version is the “REAL ISLAM”????

    Since there is no religious/clerical heirarchy in Islam, who decides what the REAL ISLAM is. No one has been able to define the REAL ISLAM the last 1400 years and ferocious wars have been fought in the name of REAL ISLAM and are still being fought throughout the muslim world.

  39. @Abdulrahman Baqais,

    Thank you, Sir.

    Two things, people in the motherland can do to help (save) themselves and Muslims around the world: One demand reinterpretation of Muslim text books and Two, leave religion to the individual to decide for him and herself.

    Saudi Arabia is the birth place of Islam and home to its holy shrines. Change has to start with the Saudis.

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