Friday, 14 October 2011

It must be Austria Day today.

Yesterday, in Vienna, the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain signed an agreement for the opening of a Wahhabi Propaganda Station to be known as the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. It is due to open next year. Most of the money comes from Saudi Arabia but Austria and Spain will also contribute. Spain's involvement comes through the Socialist Prime Minister's pet "Alliance of Civilisations" project. With almost 5 million unemployed, and youth unemployment at 45%, Spain is wasting 23.75 million euros on this foolishness.
"What we need in Europe now is a better understanding of religions, especially Islam," said Saudi-Arabian Vice Education Minister Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar. The idea for the Saudi-initiated centre comes "from the heart of Islam", he emphasised.

There are to be 9 directors: 3 Christians, 3 Muslims, 1 Jew, 1 Hindu, 1 Buddhist.

There were some dissenting voices at the opening event yesterday. 'Liberal' Muslims protested outside, beheading a straw dummy to symbolise Saudi barbarity and tying up female dummies to illustrate Saudi Arabia's repression of women. Their placards said "Wahhabi sect centre, no thanks. Vienna is different." [See photos].

Asked how Saudi Arabia could call for religious freedom without practising it itself, the Saudi foreign minister claimed that Saudi Arabia was open to other religions "but there is a limit that may not be crossed" because "the two holy mosques" in Mecca and Medina - "the cradle of Islam" - are located in Saudi Arabia. Tradition is very important to people in Saudi Arabia, therefore "reforms would only be implemented very slowly", he said. He rejected western demands for reform in his country, saying this was a "misjudgement of the situation in different cultural circles".

When asked whether it was possible to visit a synagogue in Saudi Arabia, he replied that there were no synagogues in Saudi Arabia but Jews were not prevented from entering the country [there are reports to the contrary]. Austrian foreign minister Spindelegger claimed the initiative would be a signal for the internal politics of Saudi Arabia:
Ultimately you cannot advocate something here and not do it at home.

Sources: Salzburger Nachrichten, Der Standard, Der Standard, La Tercera Yihad


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