This writer knows from many encounters with fervent Muslims belonging to different shades and colors of the global Islamic movement that there are those who fault the Islamic Republic of Iran on matters that extend from its form of government (where is the khalifah?) all the way to “Iran is our primary enemy, Israel follows” and everything in-betweeen.
You bring up the issue of Saudi Arabia with most of them, and find that they don’t get as worked up about the tribal-ruled desert kingdom as get about Iran. Why are these Islamic movement Muslims steaming and screaming when it comes to Iran, yet as cold as ice when it comes to Saudi Arabia? Writers and ardent readers of the Crescent know exactly what I am talking about.
Let us display some non-emotional (as much as we can) actualities about the Saudi regime that has arrested critical thinking in the minds of the sons of the Islamic movement, and Islamic Iran that has engaged those willing to think about what it means to be a committed Muslim in today’s world.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, officials are modest and humble. You may run into them in a downtown restaurant or at your local deli. In Saudi Arabia officials keep to their security contingents and roam the upper class and decadent joints and disreputable places of entertainment at home and abroad.
All Muslims agree that shura is an Islamic-Quranic principle and a feature of governance. The Islamic Republic of Iran attempts to fulfill this concept through elections, a parliament, and other organizations and assemblies that try to solicit and capture the input of its citizenry. Saudi Arabia considers elections and parliaments and any other means of drawing people into the decision making process a bid‘ah.
All Muslims know that the lifestyle of the Prophet (pbuh), the khalifas (with the arguable exception of Uthman) lived like commoners. No wealth, no luxury, no extravagance, and no pomp and pride. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the president receives as salary what is equivalent to a few hundred dollars each month (what he used to receive as a professor at the university before becoming president); while the income of the Saudi King is off the books! It is anyone’s guess, and it would be safe to assume it is at least a few million dollars a month! The income of Iran’s president is on the accountant’s book; but the Saudi King’s financial gain is a state secret!
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, officials are modest and humble. You may run into them in a downtown restaurant or at your local deli. In Saudi Arabia officials keep to their security contingents and roam the upper class and decadent joints and disreputable places of entertainment at home and abroad. On the very rare occasions when they visit the Haram in Makkah, this is what happens. The House of Allah (swt), referred to as Balad al-Ameen (the abode or city of peace) in the noble Qur’an (95:03) is emptied of all devotees and guests of Allah (swt). Armed guards enter the Haram before “His Royal Majesty” or “His Royal Highness” makes his entry into the holy precincts. These self-appointed royals do not feel secure even in the most secure of places on earth. Who do they fear? It is clear that they do not fear Allah (swt) — nastaghfirullah — but ordinary Muslims because they have nothing in common with them. Did the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) ever have the Haram emptied of people when he came to perform the tawaf? Why are the Saudis allowed to get away with such mega bid‘ahs? Where is the outcry from members of the global Islamic movement?
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, through government arrangements people are in possession of their petroleum and natural resources. In Saudi Arabia it is the foreign oil companies along with the royal Saudi family who own the oil fields and split unevenly the oil wealth. The Islamic Republic of Iran is in command of nuclear technology; in Saudi Arabia there is no technology.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is positioning satellites into orbit around the earth; Saudi Arabia’s previous highest ranking religious scholar ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Baz said that the earth is flat! No orbit possibilities in his or his students’ understanding of the earth!
The armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran have made huge strides in building their military industrial base, military technology, military infrastructure, and military capabilities. The imperialist and Zionist officials think twice before they contemplate any hostile acts against Islamic Iran. On the other hand, the Saudi military cannot manufacture even a bullet. It buys tons of weapons, paying for them with wealth stolen from the people, and then parks them on the sands of Arabia to rust and corrode. The Saudi military could not defeat Yemeni tribal warriors at the end of 2009 when for the first time in their existence, they actually engaged in combat! The warriors from Northern Yemen took over a Saudi military base during that clash and thousands of Saudi soldiers deserted their posts! When Saddam Husain occupied Kuwait, all the Saudis could do was run to the Americans for help. And then we had American men and women stationed in Arabia to defend the scared-to-death amirs and their royal families.
The Islamic Republic of Iran offered whatever assistance it could to Hizbullah in Lebanon to fight the Israeli aggressors and occupiers. And Hizbullah fought until the Zionist army had to retreat into its Israeli burrow. All of Hizbullah’s weapons are facing the Israeli aggressors and occupiers. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia financed the individuals and outfits that were to become al-Qaeda with all its accompanying terror-mongering. To the behind-the-scenes giggles of the Israelis, al-Qaeda has not fired a single bullet against the Zionists.
When Armageddon-seeking-Israel attacked Hizbullah in Lebanon (July–August 2006) and Hamas in Ghazzah (December 2008–January 2009) to finish them off, the Islamic Republic of Iran stepped in with public and private assistance: humanitarian, military, financial, and moral support. During those earth-shaking and history-making days the Saudis and their mouthpieces were directly and indirectly siding with the Israelis. Al-‘Arabiyah, cut out to be the major Saudi satellite news channel at the time of those attacks, was echoing and complementing Zionist propaganda. One of their correspondents even went live on the air to disclose one of the Palestinian sources of missile fire in Ghazzah!
A marriage ceremony of a typical official in the Islamic Republic of Iran may cost, at most, a few thousand dollars — or even several thousand dollars. For those who have investigative skills, we challenge you to look up what the wedding cost of the royals in Saudi Arabia are. Good Luck. The figures are in the millions!
The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran has a doctoral degree and is a professor. The king of Saudi Arabia is an elementary school graduate with failing grades and wouldn’t know how to teach a toddler! The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran has one wife, the mother of his children. The kings of Saudi Arabia have numerous wives and mistresses and concubines; some of them as young as the king’s grand-daughters. They legalize this by saying these wives are their “right hand’s possessions”. Call them Larry Flynt without the scriptural jargon.
Look closely at the dress of the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran: simple, modest, and ordinary. And look closely at the dress of the royals of Saudi Arabia: Versaci, Italian and French tailors, plus the gold and jewelry that bedecks their garments and fabrics. The president of the Islamic Republic spends about a minute of his time combing his hair and seeing to it that he encounters his fellow-citizens in a pleasant and presentable way while the Saudi royals may spend hours dying their hair, trimming their whiskers and perfuming their cleavages. And if there were something called cheek implants they would have had it done!
When the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran goes on vacation he spends most of his time in his middle-level three-bedroom apartment in one of the suburbs of Tehran. When the Saudi King goes on vacation he goes to Spain and takes with him a few jumbo-jets — his 21st-century aviation caravan — filled with his freight and entourage to spend tens of millions of dollars in the parlors and shopping centers of places as exotic and far apart as Morocco and Thailand, the Caribbean and Australia. This can go on and on…
And in a moment of heightened attention you wonder: can’t the sincere and driven members of the global Islamic movement see the difference?
“For [thus it is]: the one who is blind and the one who can see are not on par; nor are the depths of darkness and the light” (35:19–20).