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"hospitable, welcoming and tolerant?"

Reader comment on item: Uniting to Exclude Saudi Arabian Airlines

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Aug 22, 2007 at 11:33

Why does the Saudi Government prohibit the existence of Christian worship or places of Christian worship in Saudi Arabia, and enforce it with thousands of ‘religious police,' the Muttawa? who often break into the homes of migrant workers, breaking up Christian worship, and arresting and imprisoning the Christians, where they are often ill-treated. They claim to do this in loyalty to several ahadith which demand the exclusion of the ahl-ul-Kitab - 'People of the Book' (or any other religious confession) - from the Jazirat al-Arabi (Arabian Peninsula), and in keeping with Muhammad cursing Jews and Christians on his death-bed.

Islamic historians claim that Muhammad uttered the prohibition excluding the ahl-ul-Kitab, near the end of his life, and that it was enforced during the reign of the second Caliph, 'Umar.

Muhammad spoke the following words during his last sermon on 7th.March 632AD in Mecca:-

"I am leaving you with the Book of Allah (the QUR'AN), and my SUNNAH (the life style and the behavioural mode of the Prophet), if you follow them you will never go astray."

Muhammad is Islam, and Islam is Muhammad, so what he said and did, trumps human rights for the observant Muslim, which is why Saudi Arabian Airlines ("Saudia"), declares on its English-language website, their Government's detestable policy of banning "Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David."

The website of the Royal Saudi Arabian Embassy in London , has the following introductory remarks alongside a photograph of the Ambassador, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, "Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland."

http://www.mofa.gov.sa/Detail.asp?InSectionID=2304&InNewsItemID=28849

"Welcome to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia's website!

Since its creation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always aimed at being a hospitable and welcoming place. Arabian custom dictates that a host welcomes guests into his home with "marhaba" or welcome. With this in mind, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia welcomes you to its website with a sincere marhaba!" the page concluding with, "I hope that you enjoy your time here and through the website's resources are able to deepen your understanding of how the strength of the friendship between our two countries has been a force in our world for peace and tolerance."

On its "Travel and Tourism" webpage

http://www.mofa.gov.sa/Detail.asp?InSectionID=51&InNewsItemID=1756

the following appears, under "Import Restrictions."

"Forbidden items include alcohol, narcotics, weapons, ammunition, pork and pornography. Prescription drugs must be documented. Makkah and Madinah hold special religious significance and only persons of the Islamic faith are allowed entry."

Although not explicit here, I believe non-Muslims found in Mecca and Medina, are in big trouble, with "transgressors subject to severe punishment if caught."

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=32627

"Charles L. Glatz of the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia researched the question, "Are there any exceptions and what is the punishment for visiting Mecca and being caught as not being a moslem?" and the reply received is the following: As far as the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia, there are no exception for non-Moslems to visit Mecca. Only Moslems and converts to Islam may visit Mecca. In order to cross from Jeddah to Mecca, a person must show Saudi police that he or she is Moslem. Proof is a Saudi igama (residency permit), which lists one's religion, or a hajj or umrah visa. If a person is caught who is not Muslim and managed to enter Mecca, he or she will be arrested and held in detention. On extensive investigation, the Minister of Interior decides the punishment based on a recommendation of a Shari'a judge. There is no set punishment for this offense. Of course, this dodges the question of a death penalty but as there is no set penalty and the death penalty is so common in Islam, this is a possible outcome..." None of this sounds very "hospitable and welcoming" or "tolerant" does it?" Lactantius Jr.
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