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Q-When the Saudi government started pointing out people on request of the American government where did they draw the line? You said that Prince Turky was involved in these activities and obviously he's in a higher position. The other question is that you probably heard Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab and the Saudi family in Saudi Arabia have a lot in common, what are they doing and what's their role and position?


A-In response to your 1st question, I think what's at the heart of the matter in trying to draw the line between those who are deemed "insurgent" Muslims, (I think this might come close to the type of communication that flows from Washington to Riyadh and Jeddah), on one hand i.e. those who aspire to a revolutionary type of change in the area and those who are willing to settle into an American sponsored status quo and democratic process that may take roots. High hopes are placed on stabilizing Iraq right now as a 1st phase in this generational project. So, obviously a person like Prince Turky who has been living inside both of these contexts and he was also Head of Saudi Intelligence for a good number of years, (I don't know if it was 15 years or a-little-more-or-less but a very considerable number of years) had inside information on who, (to the best of his knowledge and assessment), can be defined as potentially an "insurgent" Muslim and who can be defined as potentially "liberal or democratic Muslims." Wherever he drew that line- we can now see the consequences (in) the shutting down of the charities that are going on around the world- this has made a major internal negative impression within what is called the Islamic Movement throughout the world and on the other hand those other Muslims who right now are in favor of the Saudi Arabia government they escaped this dragnet that is taking place inside of Saudi Arabia and all round the world to serve American policies all around the area- they just escaped the attention of key observers of the scene on how the Saudi Arabia government has played a still continues to play a defining and critical role; therefore a violent back clash against the Saudi Arabian government down the road is to be expected. You can fight armies or regular and conventional wars and win in purview of what the United States government can do in that part of the area, (but) you can't fight a civilization or people/population for an extended amount of time (and with) the way the Muslims are equipped and then think you are going to come out winning in this process.


Now, as far as the 2nd question that you posed regarding Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab and his descendents- the Wahhabi religious trend inside of Arabia, (generally speaking- because even though I concentrated and spoke a lot about Saudi Arabia, I hope some of you have enough background information to realize that as I jumped to Saudi Arabia but you can tag on Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen and all of these that make up the Arabian Peninsula because all of this influence is also in these areas and in these statelets around Saudi Arabia), as far as Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahhab and his offspring... At one time, Aal Ash-Shaikh and Aal Rashid assumed the mantle of this Islamic orientation inside of the tribal alliances in Arabia. As far as the Saudi ruling clan was concerned it was a hereditary affair, (and it continues to be a hereditary affair), so those who rule strictly rule because they were born into the family, but in the religious establishment, leadership and decision-making, (so to speak), changed hands between a few tribes there. Strictly speaking, Muhammed ibn Abdil Wahhab and his descendents who is not leading the religious establishment the same way the Saudi family was leading the governmental establishment.


Q- Mr Asi I have a question for you on a comment actually- have you ever been to Saudi Arabia? My comment is, just before you answer the question, there are a couple things you said that I find are not even close to the truth. 1st of all for the Hajj visa- usually the Saudi Embassy issues a three month (visa) for every Hajj visa, so the hajji will remain in Saudi Arabia for three months and take advantage of the ten days of the Hajj and the rest of the days will be going to other places like Makkah and Medinah. Saudi Arabia is pumping 9,5 million barrels and that's supporting to the oil prices. You mentioned a lot of reports about the 15 out of 19 which is hoax of a fox purely because you have to understand that the 15 out of the 19 hijackers target is the best allies of the United States and you have somebody like whoever's behind this- like bin Laden- who is trying to target two nations which is close together you will definitely find the majority out of this- and that's all in the 9/11 commissioner report which was selected by President Bush, the cabinet was elected by President Bush and that President Bush is elected by the genuine American people. So, I refute, (as a Saudi Muslim OK), whatever commentary you said OK. My last statement to you is you didn't give us a brief history about what is your personal issue with the Saudis, why you were elected out of the Islamic Center from Washington DC by the Board of Director- so I'm talking to a gentleman over here who is already taking a clout against Saudi Arabia and is coming and commenting against Saudi Arabia. We are the Saudi people, we are the product of the Saudi society and we, (here are my team), don't go to clubs in every country and that's not our main target OK. We are not into that so if you are trying to give us wrong statements about the Saudi people, and more than that, the Saudi government which has lasted 70 years now, will last 700 and 7000 years and will never be shaken ever, so check your statements and background very well and we will be more then happy to assist you in anything you would like to know about Saudi Arabia. I'm done, thank you very much.

A- Thank you very much for your comments and feedback. This is what makes freedom of thought and expression a valuable commodity in society- exactly what I expressed and what you expressed coming from two different angles/perspectives is what gives vitality to a society like this in which we can express our ideas and thoughts. I wish we could speak like this in Saudi Arabia and let me tell you something....


Q- Prince Abdullah issued a statement and they are meeting on a weekly basis to do it on a monthly basis- President- of the conference- Abdullah is hosting a Women Association and they are coming along and they are talking. We do talk like this in Saudi Arabia, but when we do talk, we talk with facts, reliable information, we talk from both sides and we don't talk with one side. I remind you, by my own research, you've never been to Saudi Arabia; you've never been exposed to Makkah and Medinah; you didn't meet, probably, enough Saudis; and probably you had bad experience, (and this could happen to anyone), but you never ever set a foot in Saudi Arabia. When you go and see Saudi Arabia and what the Royal family have done in Makkah and Medinah if you see- ladies and gentlemen- Saudi Arabia has an unlimited budget for Makkah and Medinah; if you have a project and this project would work and if it costs billions and billions and billions of dollars, Saudi Arabia would approve you. This is how Saudi Arabia is taking care of the two Holy Mosques and this is what Saudi Arabia has been doing for the Muslims. ...not bashing the Saudi Arabia for the genuine efforts to do whatever they are doing and they are comparing them to the evil...(readers-please excuse this poor sentence insertion- we're trying not to doctor it- even though it's not making any sense), and so, Asi, please rethink and recheck and try to come to the truth because this is really affecting our image and you are nothing but a Muslim and fellow brother as we all are, but giving bad information about the Saudi people and the Saudi government is not helping in anyway and as long as we have strong foundation nobody can shake it- I mean nobody will shake it.

A- Can I just ask you a favor - I'm trying to respond to you- just listen to my response without breaking in like that. (I mean), I appreciate your enthusiasm and your point of view- and that's fine, but there has to be a little order here. I'm not running this, the moderator here was so kind to have this and I encourage and have no problems with this, but obviously you come from another perspective and I come from almost a contrarian perspective compared to yours. I didn't want to bring this issue up but you are forcing me to speak about it. You alluded to some 'personal thing' with Saudi Arabia; you said, (I don't know if), you used the word some investigation or research or whatever you did as far as yours truly here. As far as I know, (and I speak from what I personally know), I was issued a visa to go to Saudi Arabia in 1984 to perform the religious duty called Al Hajj i.e. the pilgrimage. The person's name, who issued the visa in the Counsel in the Saudi Embassy or Consulate in Washington DC, is Muhammed Ridha Abu Hamayee. He issued this visa- valid for 30 days, (I still have my passport at home; had I known I would be presented with an issue like this, I would have brought it along), I still have it and someone else might have the same type of visa but anyways, without going into this type of duplicity in dealing/giving visas to some people for 30 days/one month and to others for three months as you mentioned, (I don't know if that's going on), that has right now become another obstacle in all of this. So, I met all the requirements, (I can't remember exactly), but they you should have a certain amount of money with you to go over there, you should present your round trip ticket, (which I did); I met all the specifications on the visa form and presented the form and the passport and obtained the visa. Then, the flight that I took was from Washington DC via Madrid, Spain on to Jeddah. (This is the whole truth and nothing but the truth; I have no reason to skew this information; I'm telling it exactly as it is). When I arrived in Madrid, there was an Iberian airlines connecting flight from Madrid to Jeddah; when I went to catch the connecting flight and presented them with my passport, the employees of the Iberian airlines said "we are sorry we cannot have you board the plane." I said why? They said "we don't know why; the only thing we can tell you is that you have to check with the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Madrid." I said "look, it's about 0330 right now and I'm going to have to go to a telephone right now and take this number and do all these other things- it's going to take time, he's probably not going to be there (and) I'm going to miss my flight." They said "don't worry about missing your flight, we'll set you up in the hotel and after you check with the Saudi Embassy and they give you the permission to go on we'll board you on our flight- the next one out." Why is that? It's to follow up that they're telling me. So I tried to call the Saudi Arabian Embassy and speak to the Ambassador, they said "he's not in." I expected that. So, I went back to these people at Iberian airline and they said "OK fine, we'll have you here, accommodation is on our bill and you'll see the Saudi Arabian Ambassador tomorrow." So, the following day at the Saudi Arabian Embassy after waiting about six hours from about 0930 or 1000 in the morning to about 1500 or 1530 in the afternoon, we got a permission- I don't know what all this was about, I thought the visa was the permission to go- I'm not speaking about the visa itself . The visa itself is another issue when going to the Hajj. I'm not talking about that- (do) we need some human being to authenticate/authorize us to go to Makkah and Al Medinah?! But that's another issue. So after we get this letter from the Saudi Arabian Embassy- thank you very much... We were very polite and they were very polite. I was just happy- everyone is very polite, we were polite, they were polite- there's no tension in the air, they're trying to work things out- (so it's) fine (and) they give us this paper. (So, I said), let's go back to the Iberian airlines. We take the paper to Iberian airlines and they say "we'll put you on the 1st flight out from Madrid to Rome to Jeddah." So we went from Madrid to Rome. Then, in Rome again, trying to catch that connecting flight, again the person, (I still remember his name if you have some investigations/research of your own you want to do- his name was written right here, (i.e. on his badge)- he's name is Zuhdi Khidr Zabana. We presented him with our passport your ticket and everything and he said "you can't go." (I asked) What's the problem? He said "you just can't go, there's no problem. You can't proceed." Then, at that I took out the letter I received from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Madrid (and said) "OK- look we have a letter, can't we proceed? Can't we go? Isn't this what it states?" It was in Arabic and Alhamdulillah we can read the language. "OK read this can't we go?" He looked at it like that, read it and said "this is an Ambassador, I have royal orders that you cannot proceed. Now, what do you want to do? You want to go back or you want me to call the security? What do you want to do?" If anyone of you were in my position what are you going to do? Force yourself on the plane? Had to go back! We went all the way back to the United States; we came back to Washington. I went to the Saudi Arabian Embassy and said "look, this is what happened." By the way, the employees name over there at the time, was Su'ad, (if you want to check on it go and check on it, I am giving you names- Muhammed Ridha Abu Hamayee, Su'ad,  Zuhdi Khidr Zabana), The truth has to be said, she was very polite and very kind. She said "please go and write us the particulars of what happened. I will forward this to our Ambassador and he'll take it from there." I said OK fine. I go back home and place all this issues of what happened on paper and explain everything, (just like I am explaining it to you), and she said "we'll call you." Three weeks (to) a month go by (and) no one calls. So I decide let me check with them, (bureaucracy has a way of gaining a life of its own), so I checked with them. They said "Well-look the Ambassador hasn't come back yet, he's very busy and all of this but I assure you we'll call you eventually." So goes another two or three months and I don't hear anything from anyone. So here I go, (I don't want this bureaucracy thing to set in and ossify so let me call them. I called them and spoke to her, "she said please don't call us; we'll call you." OK fine. The whole year lapsed till the next Hajj, the following year, 1985. I go there and said 1st of all, "I'm following up, is there any answer?" 2nd of all, when I applied to go to Hajj again she said "no you can't apply to go to Hajj again and by the way the ambassador has been so busy with this public affair." You know at the time there was this civil war in Lebanon and this Ambassador in Washington DC, Bandar ibn Sultan, was involved in this plot of arrangement- he was busy, (I don't deny that, the guy is busy- OK fine; is this a one man shop?! He's busy, just give it to an assistant; it's just a little matter of a visa to go to hajj. But no, they make it this way. So anyways "No- you can't go to Hajj, we'll not issue you a visa." OK fine, let me go back home. I went back home; life goes on. The year after that, 1986, I said maybe things may have settled they may have come back to their senses; this paper may have been reviewed by someone; something may have developed; so I go back there- "did anything happen, you know me and I know you." I'm talking to the same person, her name is Su'ad by the way she's Christian, "you know me and I know you, look what is happening in all of this." She said "the only thing I can tell you is that we cannot issue/give you a visa; as far as that paper/report that you wrote about what happened to you in attempting to go to the Hajj has been forwarded and that's all I can tell you and I can't say anything else- believe me." She was speaking in a very honest way, albeit at face value. I said "OK fine- three years have lapsed no one's doing anything." (Of course, in the mean time, I'll to go back to this later concerning the issue of what was going on in the Islamic Center in DC. T 4th year I go there and I said "I'm not coming for a visa this time, I coming for a simple explanation. Explain to me why as a Muslim I cannot go to Makkah and to Al Medinah- that's all I want to do." She said "give me a few minutes." She goes back to the office in the back and after about five or 10 minutes she comes back to me and says "look, we are only employees at this Embassy or Consulate and we have instructions and directives from the Kingdom, (I'm trying to paraphrase her), and the Minister of the Interior, Prince Nayef ibn Abdul Aziz has instructed us not to give you any type of visa, whether its hajj, umrah, a visit or business, whatever- we can't issue you a visa. We are just employees and we go by whatever information we receive- do you understand?" I said "thank you for the explanation" and then I just left. Since then I am not concerned and if they don't come to me with some kind of explanation what do you do? Do you beg these people for some type of explanation or a visa? What do you do? You tell me, if you were in my position. I hope I answered that part. The other part has to do with...

Audio on (04-12-2004)

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