Saudi Arabia: Infidels and Terrorists

I was speaking with some individuals over the weekend and the discussion was on closed minds.  There are Americans who see or hear talk about Muslims and will automatically lump all Muslims as terrorists.  At the same time, there are Muslims who will view and refer to Americans or Westerners as infidels.

These same close minded individuals think that all Muslims are fanatics, against the West and wish to create harm.  They think that all Americans or Westerners are immoral, loose, drink and promote vice.

At least in America, it seems that those who are close minded have seldom traveled and have probably never traveled abroad.  In Saudi Arabia those we are close minded are from a conservative area or tribe, may not have traveled and sadly may have witnessed poor behavior of an expat within the Kingdom.  Both sides will be heavily influenced by media.


Yet the truth of the matter is, the majority of both Muslims and Americans (regardless of faith) are in the mainstream, meaning they are very similar in outlooks and values.  The mainstream lives a happy and trusting life and does not judge others by their nationality or religion.  They are able to see beyond whatever the media is portraying about the Muslim terrorist fanatics or the immoral Western infidels.

American Bedu blog is about bridge building and attempts to point out the fallacies between both cultures – the good and the bad. Nov


21 Responses

  1. I agree completely. You cannot changed the people with closed minds but you can demonstrate how much the rest of us have in common,

  2. Dunno about that. I’ve probably traveled even more than you, and I’m pretty close-minded. At least, that’s what I heard from your blog commenters 😛

    Anyway, as most of your posts, it seems to be that your intention here is to convince Saudis that American expats are not as bad as Americans in the USA. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ll bet Saudis who live in the US try to convince Americans that they aren’t as bad as Saudis who live in Saudi Arabia, too.

    They think that all Americans or Westerners are immoral, loose, drink and promote vice.

    That’s all absolutely true. And we’re also violent.

    At the same time, there are Muslims who will view and refer to Americans or Westerners as infidels.

    And this is a misconception, how? 🙂

  3. People are still asking my significant other how he is with an American, or asking me how I’m with someone of a different culture. For some reason, it’s rarely ever about how did two people meet in an ordinary way and fall extraordinarily in love; it’s about how did an “Arab” man end up with an “American” woman in America? “Are you sure she’s American?” “Where is her family originally from?” (What the….?) It’s getting to the point where both of us are getting sick of it. These are average, every-day people: American/other Western citizens, immigrants, and non-citizens. I want to start asking them how he/she is with someone of the same culture as him/herself.

    Some of them even ask for advice on how to “catch” or “meet” an American. Hmmm….I don’t know…there’s only roughly 150 million American women, most of whom reside in the US…gee….I don’t know…maybe talk to one?!

    My point is that although extremists and religious fanatics usually have a hard time building bridges, so do every-day ordinary people and it’s truly frustrating at times.

    I think the main thing is to understand that although there are different cultures, religions, media stereo-typing, etc., people are still people no matter where you go. They still value family and friends, work/study hard, make time for relaxing and socializing, religion (if applicable), etc. There are both “loose” and conservative women (and men) in every society, even if the women (and men) may dress differently.

  4. StrangeOne, they don’t get to come over here and take our women unless we get to go over there and take theirs. That’s just how it works! You’re breaking the social contract! Grrrrr….

  5. @Craig,
    Depending on the country, you just might be able to do that! 😛

  6. I doubt that no more than 2 % of the US population is Muslim, so in a very real sense we are all infidels to Muslims. In the same way most Saudi Muslims would be regarded as extreme (at least in their belief if not in actions) but Americans. We need to be honest about what we both think.

    We can learn to get along only if we understand that we really do disagree.

  7. I’m all for building bridges and realizing how much we have in common. Even the things that we don’t share, it’s good to learn other ways of thinking and what makes others tick.

  8. I’m not sure how this article helps in building bridges…I digress.
    Most if not all Muslims regard Christians and Jews as People of the Book (Ahl Al Kitab), not as infidels. That term, infidel, is a term in Christianity to differentiate those who were baptized and those who follow other beliefs. The Arabic term Kafir merely means disbelievers or non Muslims. Literally, kafir means the one who conceals. In fact the term infidel is considered offensive and punishable according to Islamic law and majority of Muslim scholars especially if used against the People of the Book.

  9. Ironically, the term infidel is hardly used by Muslims but ALWAYS used by the westerners (media, writers etc) to describe non Muslims. The Arabic word Kafr is historically older and merely means “a person who hides or covers the truth”. It was also used to describe farmers burying seeds in the ground, ‘covering’ them with soil while planting.

  10. Whatever the correct term is (infidel etc) does not matter. Conventional Muslims regard non-Muslims as non-believers. Whether or not they are people of the book seems to be immaterial.

  11. What we need to do is ignore the close minded and move on. Everyone judges.. We re all human. Some judge based on religion, some on nationality, some on intelligence , some by wealth and a host host of other stuff… Ignore and move on. They may hurt your feelings but cannot do anything more than that.

    I can’t understand why you need instructions on how to treat whom. Treat all human being alike — with respect. Irrespective of what religion they follow.

  12. It wasn’t that long ago that Americans or non Muslims were not allowed into Saudi Arabia. Those who have been educated outside of their country see a different side of life, still love their country, their religion, but would also like to see change in their country. Things are getting better.


  14. When were non Muslims or Americans not allowed in Saudi Arabia? There have always been non Muslims living here.

  15. Sadly many Muslims today DO count Christians as Kafir or Infidel. They claim Christians used to be “different” and now they are Kafir.

  16. CNN/ORC Poll. Nov. 16-18, 2012. N=1,023 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.

    “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?”

    Israelis Palestinians Both (vol.) Neither(vol.) Unsure
    59% 13% 3% 11% 13%

  17. Sandy, there are many stories about why Christians are unbelievers. The one that virtually every Muslim I’ve ever talked to about it subscribes to most is that the Christian bible is a forgery and that we’d be people of the book if we still had the correct scripture, but since we don’t, we aren’t. I don’t really see what the big deal is, though. As far as I know Christians consider anyone who isn’t a Christian to be an unbeliever, and same with Jews. Seems a bit silly for there to be exceptions in Islam for Christians and Jews when virtually no Muslim believes and Christian or Jew qualifies for those exceptions, and I don’t think any Christian or Jew would complain if those exceptions just didn’t exist anyway. Nothing to do with our own beliefs, is it?

  18. Hi moderator. I have answered this post many times and it is unclear to me where my answers have gone. If you have multiple ones waiting in some limbo please just publish the last one and delete the rest. I’m now assuming this will show up and the others not at all.

  19. I don’t understand. I tried again to post and it wouldn’t.

  20. Sandy – I’m confused as I’m seeing all of your posts from my end!

    On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 6:26 AM, American Bedu

  21. hmmmm. Well all the ones on the same topic- all the rewrites- you can just save the last. But I can’t see any of them.

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