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Tony Makara

There is a danger that belief in absolute free trade can become an orthodoxy in itself. I believe in free-enterprise and a free-market, but when it comes to absolute free-trade in a global economy I'm not convinced that such open trade between nations is entirely beneficial.

It is foolish for politicians to promise continual economic growth. Every economy has to expand and contract in line with market forces. At times when the economy is overheating and inflation is becoming a danger it is right to cool the economy. Incidently something the Labour government hasn't done and something Labour will pay for with inflation.

I certainly agree that health provision has to begin by supporting prevention rather than just trying to manage cure. I also like the public service ethic, very often politicians forget that they are here to serve.

Henry Mayhew

I would concede that the Saudis have made some mistakes in funding religious education overseas but would challenge his world-view that they have used their wealth against the West.

The Saudi government can't do a lot more in the local region because the US has become so dominant.


"I would concede that the Saudis have made some mistakes in funding religious education overseas but would challenge his world-view that they have used their wealth against the West"

Then you need a lesson in Wahhabism, The Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi petrodollars:


"Over time it became clearer how Saudi Arabia could have provided the ideological
backdrop that spawned al-Qaeda's attack on the United States. In a series of articles
appearing in the Egyptian weekly, Ruz al-Yousef, Wael al-Abrashi, the magazine's deputy editor, attempted to grapple with this issue. He drew a direct link between the rise of much of contemporary terrorism and Saudi Arabia's main Islamic creed, Wahhabism, and the financial involvement of Saudi Arabia's charitable organizations:
Wahhabism leads to the birth of extremist, closed, and fanatical streams, that accuse
others of heresy, abolish them, and destroy them. The extremist religious groups have
moved from the stage of Takfir [condemning other Muslims as unbelievers] to the stage of "annihilation and destruction," in accordance with the strategy of Al-Qa'ida - a local Saudi organization that drew other organizations into it, and not the other way around. All the organizations emerged from under the robe of Wahhabism..."


A Madrassaj in Bridgeview, Illinois:

"...A preoccupation with foreign policy rounds out the picture:

"They are obsessed with foreign politics," says Steve Landek, the mayor of Bridgeview. "I come to talk to them about better sidewalks. They want to know how to run for Congress so they can change America's Israeli policy."

Assigned in English class to write about his American Dream, a 15-year-old wrote that the territories under Israeli control should be returned to the Palestinians and "the Jews should be left to suffer."

I finished Marguerite Michaels's article doubly dismayed. First, that a veteran Time journalist cannot see an American madrassah before her very eyes, replete with the alienation, resentment, supremacism, and isolation that feed the Islamist temperament. Secondly, that this "model school" quietly and openly churns out graduates hoping they will create an Islamic States of America."


WASHINGTON — A congressionally mandated panel that promotes religious freedom is recommending the Bush administration close a Virginia-based Islamic school run by the Saudi government if school officials don't comply with demands to turn over textbooks that may include lessons on jihad and intolerance toward other religions.

"Significant concerns remain about whether what is being taught at the (school) promotes religious intolerance and may adversely affect the interests of the United States," said a report released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Henry Mayhew - Ukipper

Atheling - I have just conceded that overseas madrassahs have been a mistake. That is all you can dredge up against the Saudis.

The rest of my musing compares KSA with other local regimes, not Belgium.

Being relentlessly anti-Saudi is a terrible idea. Anyway, Abdullah is a good guy. Fahd was always in a weak position vis a vis fundamentalists because of the time he spent in the West being a little bit naughty every now and again (allegedly). Then, he was very ill for a decade. Abdullah has really cracked down on nonsense. Please take your blue and white tinted spectacles off if you are going to tell us what's what.


Henry Mayhew:

Do you want more examples? If you do a little homework you will find more about the Saudis' funding Wahhabism in the US... I won't do any more work for you.

If you take your rose tinted glasses off, you might find some eye opening information. Until then, I'll leave you to your fantasies.

Henry Mayhew

Not fantasies Atheling, not fact either; solid, fact-based opinion. Now get off your horse and drink your milk, Cowboy.

p.s. You've never done any work for me, and I would actually have to think twice about commissioning you. What is your area of expertise?

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