Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Saudi Women Come Out Against Terrorist Internet Magazine - Arab News

RIYADH, 7September 2004 — A cross-section of Saudi women has come out strongly against the launch of a new Internet magazine targeting Saudi and other Arab women as well as children in the Al-Qaeda-inspired drive against “infidels in the Arabian Peninsula.”

They said that by calling on women to join in the preparations for Jihad, the deviant group was straying away from the path of Islam, which stands for mercy, compassion, tolerance and justice.

“What do they want to achieve?” asked radio journalist and broadcaster Samar Fatany from Jeddah. “They really need to think about the consequences of their actions. What they are preaching is extremism and revenge which are totally un-Islamic.”

She was confident that the website would have no adverse impact on Saudi women who are “God-fearing and in no way influenced by misguided teachings.”

According to Fatany, the situation reflects the weakness of the Arab world and the inaction on the part of the international community to stand up for justice and peace. She said the “unjust US foreign policy on the one hand and Israeli atrocities against Palestinians on the other have also been responsible for breeding such negative tendencies in the region.”

Another Saudi female journalist Hala Al-Nasser said the promoters of the Internet magazine were giving a twist to the concept of Jihad. “To me, Jihad means constant struggle and perseverance with oneself for the cause of peace.” She said Saudi women would not be attracted by the kind of message being put out on their website.

The newly launched online magazine declares that its mission is to “push our children to the battlefield, like Al-Khansaa.”

Umm Raad Al-Tamimi, the promoter of the magazine, further declares that another of their objective is to teach women how to contribute to jihad, or holy war.

The monthly, published by the “Women’s Information Office in the Arabian Peninsula,” advocates the ideology of Osama Bin Laden: “Drive infidels from the Arabian Peninsula,” or Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s holiest sites, Makkah and Madinah.

Named after a female Arab poet belonging to the pre- and early Islamic eras, the magazine appears to be the first of its kind targeting women and their children for jihad.

“Close ranks on the side of our men,” orders the publication, which also allocates space for alleged Al-Qaeda “martyrs” in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Khansaa, a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), is remembered for her eulogies, particularly the one written for her brother Sakhr who died in a tribal feud. She later sent her four sons for jihad. All of them were martyred.

“We will stand up, veiled and in abaya (black cloak), arms in hand, our children on our laps and the Book of Allah and Sunnah of the Prophet as our guide. The blood of our husbands and the bodies of our children are an offering to God,” says the editorial in the first edition.

One of the founders of the publication was Al-Qaeda’s former chief in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, killed in an encounter with the police in June. The journal carries a section entitled “Women’s Camp (Muaskar)”, which is reminiscent of Al-Qaeda’s military online magazine “Muaskar Al-Battar.”