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ISLAM in America

Stephen Schwartz writes: "I wrote a whole book showing that the Saudi royal family are Wahhabis. I live the backup data on American Muslim hatred of Wahhabis every day and do not need some "expert" questioning me about it. Come with me to mosques if you are brave enough. As for Jacqui West, I have no idea who she is and don't care, but she knows nothing if she argues as this man says. Name me a single Wahhabi who is not a wild-eyed terror-lover. The rest of these statements, at the present moment, verge on criminal sedition and are unacceptable to me. There is no demonization. 19 out of 19 suicide pilots on 9/11 were Wahhabis. 15 out of 19 were Saudis. There is nothing "sad" about the inevitable and necessary destruction of Wahhabism and I will not countenance "dialogue" with idiots who "think" in this manner.

I, by the way, have lived for the last six years with serious death threats from these poor, peaceful, demonized people, including in Kosovo where a death threat is something extremely serious. We just had a close call here in DC in which my entire organization might very well have been killed along with others I work with.

You do not need to live in Saudi Arabia to understand Wahhabism, any more than Orwell needed to go to Russia to understand Stalinism. Nobody respectable got away with the "I've lived in Russia and that's how I know it isn't so bad" argument, and nobody will get away with it in the discussion of Wahhabism.

If this is what WAIS is about, you can remove me from the list forthwith".

RH: Miles Seeley is a highly respected Middle East specialist, and has lived there for several years. Jacqui White is a very sane individual who has lived in Saudi Arabia, also for several years. As to what WAIS is about, it is to get experts to who disagree to respect the others and exchange their views courteously. I am sure we want to hear what Stephen Schwartz has to say. I want the debate on this highly important issue to continue in a civilized manner. Ojalá.

Ronald Hilton - 6/27/03