by Mordechai Kedar
Read the article in the original עברית
Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)
Read the article en Español (translated by Shula Hamilton)
The bottom line of all of these Internet efforts is that members of the royal Saudi family are described by their foes as non-Muslims and as traitors to Islam and its sacred affairs, such as having surrendered Palestine
One of the characteristics that define Middle Eastern culture is the importance with which people relate to history and how historical matters - even those from distant history - significantly influence the way affairs, and especially conflicts, are conducted in the modern Middle East.
For comparison's sake, everyone knows what occurred in the Second World War, but despite this, today - only seventy years later - Germany has reasonable relations with Israel - the state of the Jewish People, as well as with France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Britain and the United States, despite the history. The reason for this is that people of Western culture have the capability, the desire and the necessary skills to close this problematic chapter and turn over a new, clean leaf in the relations among them.
The ruling family of Saudi Arabia - members of the Saud family - "take fire" from several directions
To a certain extent Israel is different from Western culture: for thousands of years we prayed to return to Zion, and now we have returned to it and to the sovereignty that we had in ancient days. For us, history is alive and kicking, and if necessary, killing as well. Also, the story with Germany is more complicated for us as Jews.
In the Middle East, history has a decisive influence on daily matters, and today Saudi Arabia is cruelly attacked in the media as a result of this. The ruling family of Saudi Arabia - members of the Saud family - "take fire" from several directions:
From Saudis who are not part of the ruling family (such as the family of bin Laden) and are full of rage because of the Saud family's wealth, which is not shared with other citizens; from Shi'ites - those who are Saudis and those who are not – that hate the Wahhabis who view Shi'a as a type of heresy; from those who object to western culture and look with disfavor on the Saudi's many years of collaboration with the United States and Europe, especially in the area of energy and defense; from Islamic Purists, who know very well how many members of the royal family behave in matters related to sexuality, especially regarding "foreign workers" who come from Europe.
All of these factors join together to constitute a cruel and harsh media attack with the goal of undermining the legitimacy of the royal Saudi family.
These days, the Internet serves as the main arena for anti-Saudi propaganda, with intensive use of information connected to Islamic history.
Things are worse in Saudi Arabia. The members of the Saud family are accused of really being descendants of the Jews by the name Khaybar, who lived in the desert oasis near al-Medina until 623 CE
One of the main things that anger the royal House of Saud's opposition is the fact that King bin Saud named himself as "Keeper of the Holy Places" despite the fact that he is not originally from the area of the Hijaz, the western part of the peninsula, but from the elevated area of Najd, which is in the center of the peninsula. Everyone knows that he took the title to bestow on himself the legitimacy to rule, and to justify the removal of Sharif Hussein and his sons, Abdullah and Faisal, whom the British found jobs for during the "rich years", one as the prince of the Emirate on the other side of the Jordan and the second as ruler of the Kingdom of Iraq. The king of Jordan's foes still ask, even now, "where did he come from and who brought him here?" as a way to undermine his rule.
Things are worse in Saudi Arabia. The members of the Saud family are accused of really being descendants of the Jews by the name Khaybar, who lived in the desert oasis near al-Medina until 623 CE. They refused to convert to Islam and tricked Muhammad, so he slaughtered them. The Jewish forefather of the Sauds - according to this claim - was named Mordechai. The Sauds, being Jews, forged their lineage, pretended to be Muslims and now act unceasingly against Islam and its holy places.
One of the activists in the area of "exposing" the crimes of the Saud family uses the name Khaled al-Abdali. Khaled means "eternal", and Abdali means "the son of Abdullah". The concatenation means Muhammad - the prophet of Islam - himself, because the character is eternal and his father's name is Abdullah.
Khaled al-Abdali wrote an article entitled "The Criminal Case of the Sons of Mordechai, the Sons of Saud: the Destruction of the Holy Places and the Falsification of the Family Lineage". In this article, which is travels freely around the Internet, he writes (my comments in parentheses, M.K.): "The sons of Saud destroyed the house where the prophet Muhammad was born; the house of his wife (Khadija the daughter of Khuwaylid, the first wife who believed in him and his mission to humanity, M.K.); the house of Abu Bakr (the first man that believed in Muhammad and the first Caliph, M.K.); the house where Fatima (Muhammad's only daughter, mother of the Shi'ite leader, M.K.) was born; the house of Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib (the prophet's uncle and the first martyr in Islam, M.K.); the house that Ali (the founder of Shi'a, M.K.) and the sons of Hasan and Hussein were born in; the house of al-Arqam, the house where Muhammad would meet secretly with his friends-believers, where Amar (the second Caliph, M.K.) accepted Islam, and where the first call to prayer was heard; and the cemeteries of the prophet’s family and his close friends who were killed in jihad. The Saud family stole the gold that was inside the Green Dome and turned it into daggers, swords and buckles to tie their wives belts and to hide their privates, to slippers, shoes, rings, bracelets and chains, all of it from looted gold".
I, Sultan abd al-Aziz bin abd al-Rahman bin Saud, express my full agreement to Mr. Percy Cox, the representative of Great Britain, to grant Palestine to the unfortunate Jews or to others, as Great Britain sees fit, and that I accept that decision forever and ever."
The writer accuses the Saud family of intending to erase the history of the Arabs by ruining their historic buildings, so that only the name of Saud will remain forever in the Arabian Peninsula. To this end they have invested great efforts and money in order to forge a family tree as "proof" that they are descendants of the prophet. The forgery of the family tree proves - in the writer's opinion - the fact that they in fact are Jews.
This matter relates to the claim that the founder of the kingdom, ibn Saud, surrendered Palestine to the Jews. The newspaper al-Shab, which speaks in the name of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, presented a hand-written note last August that reads: "in the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate. I, Sultan abd al-Aziz bin abd al-Rahman bin Saud, express my full agreement to Mr. Percy Cox, the representative of Great Britain, to grant Palestine to the unfortunate Jews or to others, as Great Britain sees fit, and that I accept that decision forever and ever."
The matter resonated widely this year, after Abd al-Fatakh al-Sisi, the Egyptian minister of defense, removed president Muhammad Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, from power in the beginning of July. Afterward, Sisi declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be illegal, defined the organization as a terror organization and stood its leaders to trial. Saudi Arabia openly supports Sisi and the steps that he takes against the Brotherhood, which is why the newspaper al-Shab, which expresses the Brotherhood's stance, accuses the founder of the Saudi kingdom of supporting the establishment of the State of Israel.
There are writers who accuse the royal house of naming Saudi Arabia for the father of the family, as if the kingdom belongs to the family and not to its people.
Using image editing software like Photoshop, people upload illustrations of King Abdullah to the Internet as a dog, monkey or pig.
Graphic arts are also enlisted in the Internet to undermine ibn Saud's legitimacy. People upload photographs of King Abdullah, even from the time when he was crown prince, where he is hugging western leaders, especially George W. Bush. In some of them - perhaps by using image editing software - Abdullah is shown with a goblet in his hand, and the impression is created that Abdullah was drinking alcoholic beverages with Bush, which is forbidden according to Islam.
Using image editing software like Photoshop, people upload illustrations of King Abdullah to the Internet as a dog, monkey or pig. This connects to the claim that the members of the Saud family are descendants of Jews, who are described in Islamic tradition as the "sons of monkeys and pigs". In other areas a Star of David is combined with a photograph of King Abdullah, in order to emphasize his supposed Jewishness.
There are writers on the Internet who emphasize the non-traditional aspect of the royal Saudi family, especially their alleged trend to hire European women in their palaces. There are those who upload photographs of the palaces of the royal family to the Internet in order to show their ostentatious wealth.
Seventy years of the rule of a tyrant is preferable to one night of anarchy
The bottom line of all of these Internet efforts - and only a small part is presented here - is that members of the royal Saudi family are described by their foes as non-Muslims and as traitors to Islam and its sacred affairs, such as having surrendered Palestine.
The Saudi regime does not remain silent. Religious figures who work under its auspices incessantly issue religious rulings that validate the regime of ibn Saud, and accuse their opposition of inciting terror and slandering Islam. They enlist Islamic sources such as the saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: "Seventy years of the rule of a tyrant is preferable to one night of anarchy". The anarchy in Iraq and Syria - in which the Saudis have a significant part in creating - proves the justice of their claim. According to this approach, even though the Saudi regime is not perfect, it is still preferable to the bloodbath that would occur in the country if the House of Saud falls.
It doesn't seem to me that the de-legitimization campaign presents a threat to the Saudi regime in the foreseeable future, because it maintains itself well and takes care of its enemies and its opposition without being hampered by the courts or human rights organizations. Nevertheless, apparently this campaign will have implications if and when the kingdom experiences turbulence, especially with the disappearance of bin Abd al-Aziz's generation and the transfer of the kingdom's rule to the next generation.
Dr. Kedar is available for lectures
Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.
Translated from Hebrew by SallyZahav with permission from the author.
Additional articles by Dr. Kedar
Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.