This morning’s Times reports that the Conservative leader will confront King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia later today about Saudi Arabia’s financial support for extremist literature that is available in British mosques:
"The Conservative leader will ask the Saudi King to curb the export of
fundamentalist religious ideology in books and pamphlets that advocate the
suppression of women’s rights, hatred for non-Muslims and the execution of
Mr Cameron will be drawing on yesterday’s report from the Policy Exchange think tank which found that a quarter of UK mosques contained literature, much of it Saudi-funded, that was hateful to gays, Christians and Jews.
Mr Cameron is also expected to point to evidence compiled by Dame Pauline Neville-Jones’ security report that Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment is still exporting extremist propaganda across the globe.
There is something deeply objectionable about the way that the British state has given Saudi Arabia the red carpet treatment. Yes, we should certainly talk to this important nation but do we really have to deck The Mall with its provocative flag and have the whole British establishment honour the leaders of this repressive, terrorist-exporting nation? Dan Hannan writes this on his blog:
"Saudi Arabia is one of many dictatorships around the world, neither the
mildest nor the harshest. We should deal with it in a brisk and
businesslike manner, as we do the many other regimes which fall
somewhere between the categories of “distasteful” and “rotten”… When a free democracy lowers its standards in order to accommodate a
sleazy autocracy, the former is diminished and the latter magnified."
The video below from last night’s Channel 4 News captures the hilarious moment when King Abdullah is greeted by the Queen. And the music that is playing? The music from Star Wars that accompanies Darth Vader’s arrival. I’d love to think that that was planned.