“urged the nearly three million faithful who came for 2007’s Haj as well as Muslims all over the world to respect the common values of different religions and cultures in order to create a new world of peace and understanding.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but what happens inside the Saudi Kingdom itself, speaks more loudly than the lofty words spoken by the caretaker of Islam. For an example, Daniel Pipes wrote last Aug-Sept, that:
“Saudi Arabian Airlines declares on its English-language Web site that the kingdom bans “Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David.” Until the Saudi government changes this detestable policy, its airline should be disallowed from flying into Western airports.”
“Dropping the offending paragraph would be very welcome if it indicated a shift in policy by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one that now permits “Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David.” It is less welcome if it merely cleans up the Saudia act for the outside world, as primerprez speculates is the case: “I doubt the Saudis have actually changed any of their obnoxious policies; they’re just not publicizing them on the Saudi Arabian Airlines web site.”
Then there is the case of an Egyptian doctor, Dr Mamdooh Fahmy, who was working as a surgeon in Saudi Arabia, and was being intimidated by his fellow co-workers to convert to Islam. After telling them politely that he didn’t have any intention in doing so, they called the religious cops on him, and accused him of being a missionary.
I doubt very seriously that the King’s declaration itself didn’t contain the usual “double meanings” that wow the naive in the West, while the rest of the house of Islam nods its collective head to what he really meant. Only deeds will prove whether or not Islam changes, not pleasant sounding words. More here. *L* KGS