Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saudi media are brimming with pride over the inter-faith dialogue festival in Spain. They are hailing the role of the Saudi king. But they Arab and Western media ignored the actual text of the speech (read haltingly and embarrassingly by the illiterate head of the House of Saud) in which King `Abdullah railed against atheism and atheists. He wanted the believers to unite against the atheists of the world. He apologized for the absence of Bin Laden who was invited but could not attend for security reasons. The conference was well-organized. Sessions were divided along different themes: Wahhabi clerics presided over workshops to train people on anti-Semitism, takfir, intolerance, misogyny, and homophoebia. A workshop on beheading was the highlight of the conference.