Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
No Hurry
Really, take your time Bush. There's no need to interrupt your daily bike rides and early bedtimes:
RIYADH: A group of prominent Saudi clerics have called on Sunni Muslims around the world to mobilise against Shiites in Iraq, although a statement they issued fell short of calling for a jihad, or holy war.

The statement appearing on Saudi Islamist Web sites on Monday said Sunni Muslims were being murdered and marginalised by Shiites, backed by Iran, and the US-led forces.

Saudi Arabia, a bastion of Sunni Islam, backs the Shiite-dominated government of Nuri al-Maliki largely because it fears that sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites could lead to the break-up of its northern neighbour and spill over its borders.

“We direct this message to all concerned about Shiites in the world: the murder, torture and displacement of Sunnis ... is an outrage. We don’t think you would accept to be treated like this,” said the statement, dated Dec 7.

“Muslims must stand directly with our Sunni brothers in Iraq and support them by all appropriate, well-studied means ... Muslims generally should be made aware of the danger of the Shiites,” it said.

“Clerics and intellectuals should not stand hands folded over what’s happening to their Sunni brothers in Iraq; all occasions should be used to expose the Shiites’ practices ... What has been taken by force can only be got back by force.”

The statement was signed by 38 clerics and Islamic preachers, including Abdel-Rahman al-Barrak, Safar al-Hawali and Nasser al-Omar, leading figures of Saudi Arabia’s hardline school of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism. Many Saudi clerics of the austere Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam dismiss Shiites as virtual heretics and the kingdom’s Shiites have long complained about second class treatment.

Populist preachers who regularly appear on Saudi state television did not sign the document, which repeated fears expressed by Jordan’s King Abdullah of a “Shiite crescent” stretching across the Middle East, as Iran allies with Shiites in the Arab world after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. reuters
Make no mistake. The Wahhabi's have a very very large say in Saudi Arabian politics. If this sentiment spreads further to the most mainstream Saudi Sunni's, there will be much larger problems.

Update: You gotta wonder if this is somehow related:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has abruptly resigned after 15 months on the job, an embassy official said on Tuesday.

"The embassy can confirm that he is leaving. He wants to spend more time with his family," said the official, who asked not to be named as the announcement had not been made by the Saudi government
Ahhhh the ubiqutious "spend more time with my family" resignation. It's reported that his brother is ill so it may be legit. But given the manuvering of the Saudi's, it's all up for scrutiny.