Prominent Saudi Journalist Accuses Kingdom of Promoting Jihad

TEL AVIV – The former editor of two Saudi government newspapers harshly criticized the Saudi Arabian government for promoting extremism and allowing Saudi youth to become “criminal murderers in the ranks of ISIS.”

In a two-part article published in the Saudi government daily Al-Watan and translated by MEMRI, journalist Qenan Al-Ghamdi, the former editor of Al-Watan and of the government daily Al-Sharq, wrote that extremism is present in every mosque and school in Saudi Arabia. He also slammed the Saudi government for not enacting any laws criminalizing the promotion of terrorist ideology.

Al-Ghamdi writes that Saudi Arabia contributes the highest number of its youth to terrorism all over the world. He also notes that school children are so indoctrinated with fanaticism by their “illiterate mothers and grandmothers” that they accuse their peers of heresy for watching movies.

“Our sons are still marching en masse to become cannon fodder in civil wars and [to serve as] criminal murderers in the ranks of ISIS in every war or terrorist crime around the world. [Saudi youths] form the majority in every arena of so-called jihad. The wellsprings of extremism and fanaticism still [exist] everywhere in our country, to the extent that some boys and girls in our schools accuse other boys and girls of heresy or of straying from the right path just for mentioning some pictures [they liked] or some movies they saw.”

He also says that Saudis have become obsessed with trivial matters relating to Muslim modesty such as how one dresses, if a man shaves his beard, or if a woman styles her eyebrows.

He notes that despite the fact that Saudi Arabia “maintains amicable ties with all the world’s countries, excluding the aggressive Zionist Israel,” the country has still not found a logical and intellectual reason to criminalize fanaticism.


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