What’s Worse: ‘Terrorist Groups’ or ‘Terrorist Nations’?
The ugly truth about the Pensacola murderer’s Saudi homeland.
By Raymond Ibrahim
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
One of the most meaningless statements made by CNN concerning the recent Pensacola naval air station shooting—where Ahmed Muhammad Alshamrani, a Saudi man, killed three people and injured eight—was to say “It does not appear Alshamrani had ties to terrorist groups, two sources told CNN. He had been training at the Florida base for two years, according to a spokesman for the assistant to the defense secretary.”
The fact is, just being born and bred in Saudi Arabia, as Alshamrani was, is enough to inculcate “terrorism”—that is, hate for and possibly violence against non-Muslims—into the hearts and minds of its inhabitants. One need not also have actual “ties to terrorist groups.”
Osama bin Laden, also born and raised in Saudi Arabia, is a perfect example. He was not eventually evicted for screaming bloody jihad or hate for infidels—both mainstream aspects of Saudi teaching—but for publicly accusing the Saudi crown of not practicing the jihad it preached.
If this seems exaggerated, consider some facts about our “good friend and ally,”™ Saudi Arabia. It has actually published online a fatwa, an Islamic-sanctioned opinion—in Arabic only—entitled, “Duty to Hate Jews, Polytheists, and Other Infidels” (my translation here). It comes from the fatwa wing of the government, meaning it has the full weight of the Saudi crown behind it. According to this governmentally-supported fatwa, all Muslims must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [polytheists], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him” (see Koran 60:4).
Unsurprisingly, not a single non-Muslim building of worship is allowed in Saudi Arabia; its highest Islamic authority decreed that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” Whenever Christians are suspected of secretly meeting in a house for worship—or as one Saudi official once complained, “plotting to celebrate Christmas”—they are arrested and punished. Any cross or other non-Muslim symbol found is confiscated and destroyed. Anyone caught trying to smuggle Bibles or any other “publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam” can be executed.
Such sponsored hate has thoroughly permeated Saudi society. A Colombian soccer-player “was arrested by the Saudi moral police after customers in a Riyadh shopping mall expressed outrage over the sports player’s religious tattoos, which included the face of Jesus of Nazareth on his arm.” A Romanian player kissed the tattoo of a cross he had on his arm after scoring a goal, causing public outrage.
It all starts with the Saudi education system, which indoctrinates Muslim children into believing that “the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.” “As early as first grade,” Human Rights Watch reports, “students in Saudi schools are being taught hatred toward all those perceived to be of a different faith or school of thought… The lessons in hate are reinforced with each following year.” Nor have any of Saudi Arabia’s promises for educational reform been fulfilled. According to a December 2018 report,
Saudi Arabia had previously pledged to remove all incitement content from its textbooks by 2008 and the government continues to allege that this issue has long since been resolved. However, other reports say otherwise. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a study this past March which says that the curriculum contains incitement content which had been thought removed. Examples of this content include demeaning non-Muslims and encouraging jihad against them. The execution of apostates is prescribed and children are encouraged not to associate with non-Muslims. Saudi Arabia not only continues to use these textbooks domestically, but exports them to other parts of the Middle East.
Indeed, Saudi-sponsored hate literature is found in mosques and Islamic centers all across the U.S.
Little wonder that one of 35 Christian Ethiopians who were arrested and abused in prison for almost a year—simply for holding a private house prayer—said after he was released: “They [Saudis] are full of hatred towards non-Muslims.” Or to quote novelist Hani Naqshabandi, “Our religious institutions do not give us room to exercise free thought…. They [Saudi institutions] said that the Christian is an infidel, a denizen of hell, an enemy to Allah and Islam. So we said, ‘Allah’s curse on them…. Christians [here] are in need of protection.”
Again, bear in mind that all of this hate is official Saudi policy, enforced by the heads of state themselves—not the aberrant beliefs of some random “terrorist group.”
In light of this, is it surprising to find that a Saudi, in this case, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, has committed an act of terrorism against Americans—that is, the infidels he was taught to hate from birth—even though he has no formal “ties to terrorist organizations,” as CNN observed? Is it surprising that ten other Saudis were arrested in connection and more are on the run?
Is it, for that matter, surprising to recall that 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis—and some of them, including Mohamad Atta, had also learned to fly in the U.S., ironically, also in Florida?
There is, however, some good news, that is, some common sense made manifest: the “Navy has grounded more than 300 Saudi nationals training to be pilots after the shooting rampage last week at Pensacola Naval Air Station.”
Is that because they all have possible ties to various and individual terrorist groups? Or is it because—and are U.S. authorities actually appreciating what it means that—they have ties to Saudi Arabia?