The silence of Islamic groups in the West about the unbelievable depth and breadth of human rights abuses that happen every day in Saudi Arabia is deafening. Over the centuries, Islam has shown itself ever eager to confront and obliterate anything that smacks of heresy, so it is curious how the various “misunderstanders” of Islam who commit such abuses are not addressed with the same enthusiasm, but rather with lip service for non-Muslim consumption, in the most minimal way that Islam’s apologists feel they can get away with. If they are asked to do more, out come the accusations of “Islamophobia.”
No, really, they’re working on it. It just takes time. 14 centuries and counting. But hey, let’s try Sharia in your country, and maybe this will be the time it actually brings peace and justice. (Disclaimer: your mileage may vary.)
Islamic Tolerance Alert. “Saudis arrest Filipino Catholics at mass–report,” from The Inquirer, October 6 (thanks to B):
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi police raided a secret Catholic mass in Riyadh last week and arrested a dozen Filipinos and a Catholic priest, charging them with prosyletising, a local daily reported on Wednesday.
… because nothing says “tolerance” quite like a police raid on a Mass. What are they afraid of, if Islam is so strong, and its truth so self-evident? In their show of force, they are making themselves look weak, and deeply insecure.
The raid took place as some 150 Filipinos were attending the mass in a Riyadh rest house on Friday, the second day of the weekend in Saudi Arabia, Arab News said.
Imagine the uproar if this happened to a Muslim congregation anywhere.
The twelve Filipino men and the priest, whose nationality was not specified, were “charged with prosyletising,” the daily quoted an official from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh as saying.
They were all released Sunday on guarantees by sponsors or embassies, the report said.
Saudi Arabia bans the practice of any religion aside from Islam. However, small, low-key prayer services inside expatriate compounds and in Filipino gatherings are tolerated by officials.
With more than one million workers in Saudi Arabia, Filipinos comprise the bulk of the Christian community inside the kingdom….
An update: “Saudi Arabia: conditional release for 12 Filipinos accused of proselytizing,” from AsiaNews, October 7 (thanks to Geoffrey):
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Saudi authorities have conditionally released the Catholic Filipino migrant worker arrested on 1 October in Riyadh along with 11 other compatriots – released Oct. 3 -, while attending a Mass along with 150 foreigners celebrated by a French priest. At present, the 12 Filipinos have been entrusted to their employers and representatives of the embassy in Manila in Saudi Arabia are negotiating with the authorities for their repatriation. The fate of the others present at the Catholic mass remains unknown.
According Exxedin H. Tago, charge d’affaires of the Philippines Embassy the 12 are not yet completely out of danger. “It is still unclear – he says – if their case was closed. They were accused of proselytizing and if the authorities deem them guilty they could return to jail”.
Saudi Arabia forbids the construction of churches, and other non-Muslim temples, the wearing of religious symbols, or hanging of images in homes. The religious police (Muttawa) has tightened controls to impose these laws. Only rarely does the government allow the celebration of Mass in private. The availability of work, however, continues to attract migrants who put up with terrible working conditions, the risk of forced conversions and sexual abuse.
In early September, a Filipino nurse employed at the Kharja Hospital died in hospital after being raped and left dying in the desert by her rapists. Two weeks later, again in Riyadh, three nurses in the National Guard Hospital were abducted and raped while returning from work and are now in serious condition…..