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Wahhabi U.
November 11, 2005 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Wahhabi U. A top U.S. diplomat recently revealed Saudi Arabia still teaches students to hate non-Muslims and the West. So why are we making it easier for Saudi students schooled in that hatred to visit the U.S.?
posted by Postroad (24 comments total)

 
Pff, everyone knows the 9/11 hijackers came from Iraq. Why do we need to worry about the saudis? They're to busy worrying about being in the online in crowd to be planning to blow things up.
posted by delmoi at 7:59 AM on November 11, 2005


Wow. I mean...fucking Christ-on-a-crutch wow. That was one shitty, hateful article. Is all of Investors.com like that? And am I missing the name of the author somewhere? Odd...
posted by Cyrano at 8:05 AM on November 11, 2005


A top U.S. diplomat recently revealed Saudi Arabia still teaches students to hate non-Muslims and the West.

Shame you didn't put in a link to this, might have lent some weight to the frothy blather.
posted by biffa at 8:15 AM on November 11, 2005


Saudi Arabia still teaches students to hate non-Muslims

So, focussing on a couple books and phamplets leads to assuming the entire country sends their kids to Hate U.?

This post is an excellent poster child for the Hasty Generalization fallacy.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:16 AM on November 11, 2005


Cyrano,

Where do you get hate out of that article. Saudi Arabia is not our friend. They have one of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East and our government treats them like country cousins.
I'm getting so tired of this attitude that anything negative spoken about anyone is "hate". The fact is that Saudi Arabia supports terror and under the President's policies on states that support terror should be considered a terrorist state. If you don't believe that, do some research.
posted by waltb555 at 8:20 AM on November 11, 2005


So why are we making it easier for Saudi students schooled in that hatred to visit the U.S.?

Why aren't we just "inviting" these hostile ragheads to "universities" for "scholarships" and then locking them up and giving them a taste of American life, Gitmo-style? Why aren't we opening vast internment camps to imprison US "citizens" of Saudi decent? -- that bold, unsentimental approach sure kept the Japs from launching another Pearl Harbor at WaterWorld. In fact, why aren't we launching another Final Solution, but this time against the real enemies of humanity -- the ones in the turbans with their hummus, Korans, and weird music?

Maybe because the last Final Solution didn't work out so well.

Maybe after all that propaganda from "Wahhabi U.," meeting real Americans in dorms -- waving their Bibles and chatting about intelligent design -- will make these Saudis realize that racism, racial intolerance, and outright stupidity are not restricted to one country or another.
posted by digaman at 8:23 AM on November 11, 2005


*religious intolerance
posted by digaman at 8:24 AM on November 11, 2005


The real problem is that the evidence doesn't justify the recommendation. So the Saudi government funds what are effectively hate groups and hate education. Why is that a good reason to cut off scholarly and cultural exchange? The suggestion that these exchange students will "riot like the young French Muslims who have been torching Paris" is insanely alarmist, if not racist.
posted by grobstein at 8:24 AM on November 11, 2005


Oh, it's racist -- in fact, thank you, Postroad, for providing us with such a clear example of how racism can not only ram one's head firmly up one's ass, but obscure the real dynamics at work in the so-called war on terror, making future terrorist attacks more likely, rather than less.

This is a classic example of how dangerous misdirection is: pointing to university exchange students as "the problem," rather than focusing on the Bush administration's disturbingly intimate relations with the Saudi royals, which included flying their relatives out of the country on secret planes in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
posted by digaman at 8:34 AM on November 11, 2005


A friend recently sent me an email titled "The Wisdom of Investors Business Daily." Needless to say, their writers have some interesting statements peppered in a lot of their political articles, not just this particular one.

The answer is easy: why let Saudi students into the United States? Because students attend university to learn, and much of the learning takes place outside of the classroom. It's a form of cultural exchange that might need closer monitoring, but I think it's worth pursuing.
posted by mikeh at 8:42 AM on November 11, 2005


Whatever. I could write an article using the exact same attributed quotes and slant it as, "And isn't it wonderful that these Saudi students, who grew up learning hate at school, can come here and learn the truth about freedom, tolerance, and democracy?"

Shame that this fella has to hide behind a no-byline.
posted by mkultra at 8:44 AM on November 11, 2005


Why would we want to exchange anything "cultural" with a culture the believes that women are second class citizens and shouldn't even be allowed to drive let alone vote, that a thief deserves to have his hands cut off and that people should be beheaded for insulting Islam.
posted by waltb555 at 8:52 AM on November 11, 2005


Wtf. An article with no author accusing all kinds of groups of promoting hate, without any citations or references to back it up. Lots of vague generalizations in that article, I didn't see too much proof. And how is this on Investors.com?

Federal agents just last year raided the offices of the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, which was chaired by former Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar.

That is a standalone paragraph in the article. Yup, federal agents raided the offices. Umm, what did they find? Guess they didn't find anything, otherwise the author would have mentioned it. The only thing that this article seemed to verify to me is that the author doesn't like groups converting American college students to Islam. Not really quite sure what's wrong with that - there's groups converting students to any number of religions/ideologies (jesus, how many socialist clubs are there across US college campuses?).
posted by antifuse at 8:52 AM on November 11, 2005


Saudi Arabia is not our friend.

If you don't believe that, do some research.

I lived in the country for eleven years. Hell, I grew up in that country. Is that enough research?

Saudis are far from perfect when viewed as a big mass of folks that you define by where the line on the map is drawn. But even in the admittedly expat-heavy city (Dhahran) where I lived, I went to school with a lot of Saudi kids. If you picked out ten of them you'd have the same prick-to-cool ratio that you'd have with any group of Americans or Brits. Hell, most of them wore Def Lepard and Ozzy shirts to school every day. And not one of them that I've kept in touch with over the years is in Quantanamo.

(Totally irrelevant: There's an 1980 issue of National Geographic where the cover story is Saudi Arabia, and inside is an aerial photo where you can see my old house. It's been quite the coffee-table, awkward silence-once-you-finally-got-her-home savior over the years...)
posted by Cyrano at 8:53 AM on November 11, 2005


Why would we want to exchange anything "cultural" with a culture the believes that women are second class citizens and shouldn't even be allowed to drive let alone vote, that a thief deserves to have his hands cut off and that people should be beheaded for insulting Islam.

Why would I want to exchange anything "cultural" with a culture that believes that my husband and I are second-class citizens who shouldn't be allowed to marry, that looks the other way when civilians are burned to death with weapons banned under the Geneva constitution, and whose religious leaders preach that Hurricane Katrina was divine retribution for sin?

Because it's my culture.
posted by digaman at 9:01 AM on November 11, 2005


I think the question of how to balance national security with the value of extending our "soft power" through education is an important one that deserves some careful thought.

Unfortunately, the author of this article couldn't be bothered to give it any. It's filled with loaded language and most of the points clearly had no thought put into them. Typical example:

"What better way to spread their hate than to export thousands of young Islamist zealots to the U.S., who, even if they don't carry out 9-11-scale attacks, could riot like the young French Muslims who have been torching Paris?"


The rioters in France are poor, unemployed French nationals, the children of North African imigrants. Most Saudi students are extremely well-off.
posted by justkevin at 9:03 AM on November 11, 2005


Because it's my culture.


Also because exchange can be one way for distasteful nationalistic behaviours to fall by the wayside.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:34 AM on November 11, 2005



Just to add a few more facts here. I agree that the Investors Daily article was poorly written. However there was a hearing on this very issue before the Senate Committe on the Judiciary this past Tuesday. I watched most of it on C-Span.

There were witnesses on both sides. But I felt there was a credible case to be made that the Saudi government was financing extremist literature. If anything, the argument was really about how long this was happening and how extensively the literature was disseminated. So I don't believe that the concerns about the Saudi government are based solely on anti-Arab polemic.
posted by Scooter at 10:14 AM on November 11, 2005


The rioters in France are poor, unemployed French nationals, the children of North African imigrants.

And they're not all Muslim.
posted by NoMich at 10:24 AM on November 11, 2005


And they're not all Muslim.

Where can I find precise demographic data on the rioters? You sound like you know.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:23 AM on November 11, 2005


waltb555, we'd want to exchange things that are "cultural" with them because our "culture" includes ideas about equivalent rights regardless of gender. While cultural exchange is a two-way road, I would like to think that Americans are a little better at cultural imperialism. That can be a good thing. In return we can absorb different ideas in art, literature, food, etc. unless you really are concerned that Americans are going to pick up the cultural mores of Saudis, come up with a better response.
posted by mikeh at 11:25 AM on November 11, 2005


^^
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:10 PM on November 11, 2005


“So why are we making it easier for Saudi students schooled in that hatred to visit the U.S.?”
Because a diversity of opinion is necessary to a healthy debate and crucial to understanding.
But others here have expressed that viewpoint better.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:53 PM on November 11, 2005


Are there any programs for Americans (or other foreigners) to study in Saudi? This doesn't really turn up much of anything. Anyone know one way or the other?

Just curious.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:40 PM on November 11, 2005


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