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September 28, 2006


Precharge projectnet

This is totally true, the pope issue was handled by some who want to gain some benefits, not to stand for Islam.


Interesting point, but I wonder if you're not going all functionalist on their asses. The core legitimacy of the Saudi regime (like the Ottomans before them and the Mamluks before that) is in part based on the king's status as khadim al-haramayn.

Far be it from me to defend the Saudi rulers (a sociological monstrosity if ever there was one). But they can see themselves as having a special responsibility to defend the honor of the Prophet without it needing to be as explicitly craven as you're portraying it here.

John Burgess

How about some content analysis? How many of these pieces were "anti-Pope" as opposed to, say, "anti-overreaction"?


That reinforces my observation from a few weeks ago that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf regimes were taking the lead on the Pope issue, probably because it was an ideal symbolic storm to shift attention away from their unpopular stances on the Lebanon-Israel war.

You've discovered that, too. In point of fact--which was said to me by an Israeli--despotic Muslim regimes (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, even Iran, and I'm sure there are others) use Israel as a whipping boy, not so much because they (the regimes) want to get rid of Israel, but because they want to deflect attention from their despotic policies at home. It's probable that the existence or non-existence of Israel wouldn't matter a bit to the people on their respective streets--something like the classic tale of the Pea and the Princess.

Abu Sinan

I actually think it is in the best interest of many of these countries to keep the Israeli/Palestinian issue burning. It distracts from people noticing what they are doing.

No Preference

It's probable that the existence or non-existence of Israel wouldn't matter a bit to the people on their respective streets

Abu Aarvark was postulating that the Saudis are hyping the Pope controversy to draw attention away from their unpopular stance on the Lebanon War. Unpopular because public feeling is anti-Israel despite the fact that the Saudi government was neutral in its initial response. That contradicts the point you're trying to make.

Why do people say that Arabs wouldn't care about Palestinians unless someone was whipping them up? By that logic it's unimaginable that a Jew in Ohio could care about a Jew in Israel.

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