Joel Mowbray

  At the Al-Hessy Mosque in the capital of Riyadh, for example, the Imam talked of the pursuit of a “happy and peaceful life” and “asked God to maintain the dignity of Islam and Muslims.”  But he was not done.  He then “asked for the destruction of the Jews and Americans,” though as if to try and soften the summation somewhat, the cable continues, “something he does not call for on a regular basis.”  For whatever reason, though, the imam’s audience perked up.  “The relatively inattentive congregation showed more interest when the Shaykh asked for the destruction of the Jews and Americans.”

  Although the Al-Hessy Mosque is not funded directly by King Fahd, it is apparently close to the Saudi government, as officials from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs were in attendance.  After the service, the government employees were standing outside—on the heels of the Imam’s call for the “destruction” of Americans—collecting money for Muslims in Iraq.  Support for Iraq was even more explicit at the Saudi government-funded and controlled Grand Mosque in Mecca.  The Imam there prayed for God to help “Iraq score victory,” though on the plus side, he apparently did not explicitly ask God to bring death to Americans.

  Various Saudi officials, including the Foreign Minister, have told the international press that violently anti-Semitic and anti-American sermons were a thing of the past.  The State Department has played along with that deception—the internal memo notwithstanding—trying to keep the Saudis as a strong ally and a partner for Middle East peace.  At least when the House of Saud lies, it is protecting its own people.  If only the same could be said of State.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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