Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Religion of Tolerance: Memri has translated an article written by a Coptic Christian from Egypt, who described some of the experiences Christians have in Saudi Arabia, that peace-loving state.
* Saudi customs list of contraband material includes -- in addition to drugs, liquor, pornographic material and the like --anything in the shape of the cross, even if only in decorative formations, as well as any Christian books, pictures, or publications.
* A Greek young man who went to Saudi Arabia for business was harassed at Jeddah airport by the customs official who pulled off a cross pendant he wore about his neck and threw it violently in the waste basket.
* A European woman married to a Palestinian Muslim carried in her luggage an icon of the Holy Virgin that had been given to her as a child by her grandmother. Her luggage was searched, the icon confiscated and thrown into the waste basket.
* A Christian who was walking in the street in Jeddah was stopped by the Mutawa’ah [the Muslim Religious Police] and asked why he was not at the mosque for afternoon prayers. Upon replying that he was Christian, the Mutawi’ [policeman] cried out 'A’udhu Billah' [I seek Allah's protection!] and spat on the Christian's face.
* On a television programme that provides religious counseling [fatwa] a viewer asked the counseling Sheikh if he could travel to Egypt to hand an item he had in safekeeping over to a Christian friend's family. The Sheikh reprimanded the viewer for having a Christian friend in the first place ? Muslims were not permitted to take Christian friends. He then went on to advise the viewer to keep the item in question for himself, since all possessions of kuffaar [non-believers] were the rightful property of Muslims.
* The same Sheikh was asked for advice by a Saudi student who was leaving to the U.S to study, and feared for his virtue. The Sheikh advised him to marry an American as soon as he arrived to the U.S., on condition that he would not have any babies by that 'wife,' then divorce her once his scholarship was over and he was ready to head back home.
* Anyone found in possession of a Bible or known to have met with others in Christian prayer meetings is arrested, questioned, and deported.
If the Saudis are our "friends," I'd hate to see how people who hate us treat us.